The Harmful Effects of Sugar

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Is sugar really that bad
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When it comes to consumption and the effects of sugar, I often hear things like:

All things in moderation….

A little bit won’t hurt…

It’s fuel for the brain…

All justifications for consuming sugar in some amount. The question is: should sugar ever be consumed and if so, in what amount?

The Effects of Sugar…

Sugar exists in many forms besides just the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we can pick up at the grocery store. There are effects of sugar in all of its forms (including corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup)  and we are consuming more of it now than ever before. For instance:

…Consumption of processed foods (which are laced with sugar) cost the American public more than $54 billion in dental bills each year, so the dental industry reaps huge profits from the programmed addiction of the public to sugar products. …Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 20 pounds of corn syrup. To add more horrors to these facts there are some people that use no sweets and some who use much less than the average figure, which means that there is a percentage of the population that consume a great deal more refined sugar than their body weight. The human body cannot tolerate this large amount of refined carbohydrates. The vital organs in the body are actually damaged by this gross intake of sugar.

I often hear the argument that sugar is ok in moderation and that eliminating any “food group” is dangerous. Certainly, avoiding an actual macronutrient category completely (carbohydrate, protein or fat) would be problematic, but sugar in itself is not a food group. Though sugar in some form is naturally present in many foods, by itself, it contains:

  • no nutrients
  • no protein
  • no healthy fats
  • no enzymes

Just empty and quickly digested calories that actually pull minerals from the body during digestion. It creates a hormone cascade when consumed that starts a positive feedback loop in the body to encourage more consumption. In a time when food was scarce and needed to be contained in large amounts in the summer when available to survive the winter, this was a good thing. In today’s world of constant access to processed foods, this natural biological purpose highlights one of the negative effects of sugar. Here’s why:

“Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11. It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.”

What’s in Sugar?

Most often, when we talk about sugar, we are referring to a mixture of glucose and fructose, both simple sugars that are contained in various amounts in different foods. As this article explains:

  • “Dextrose, fructose, and glucose are all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. Glucose and dextrose are essentially the same sugar. However, food manufacturers usually use the term “dextrose” in their ingredient list.
  • The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar), which is half glucose and half fructose.
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
  • Ethanol (drinking alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugars and starches, in addition to alcohol.
  • Sugar alcohols like xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
  • Sucralose (Splenda) is NOT a sugar, despite its sugar-like name and deceptive marketing slogan, “made from sugar.” It’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match.
  • Agave syrup, falsely advertised as “natural,” is typically HIGHLY processed and is usually 80 percent fructose. The end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant.
  • Honey is about 53 percent fructose2, but is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including as many antioxidants as spinach.
  • Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form). Lo han (or luohanguo) is another natural sweetener, but derived from a fruit.”

Fructose especially is harmful as Dr. Robert Lustig explains in this lecture and the effects of sugar on the body, especially the liver:

Is There Any Safe Amount of Sugar?

In my opinion, there is no safe amount of processed or refined sugar. Naturally contained sugars in fruit and vegetables are balanced by the fiber, vitamins, enzymes and other properties of the fruit/vegetable which slow sugar digestion and help the body deal with it more easily. Processed varieties, on the other hand, provide none of these benefits and instead create these harmful effects of sugar in the body:

  • Stresses the Liver: “When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it (3).However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen. When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat (2). Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (4, 56).”
  • Increases Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides (source)
  • Can contribute to Leptin Resistance (and then weight gain, cravings, sleep trouble, etc) – source
  • Creates an addictive sugar response in the brain (source)
  • Doesn’t fill you up and instead encourages you to eat more

Practically Speaking…

I realize that in today’s world, it can be tough to completely avoid sugar since it is so readily available. Unfortunately, the widespread availability doesn’t reduce the effects of sugar…

Especially for kids who are still developing their nutritional foundation, metabolism, and hormones, even a little sugar can be harmful. As hard as it can be sometimes, we try to stick to whole, real foods as much as possible and avoid any processed foods (especially those containing grains and sugars.

For us, this means cooking at home almost all the time. We work to teach our children about healthy eating at home and about the negative effects of sugar, but I also don’t completely restrict unhealthy foods if we are away from home for a few reasons….

  1. While they are young now and it is easy to make sure they are eating healthy foods, especially at home, they will one day grow up and be away from home and exposed to all types of foods. I think it is important to let them start to make food choices on their own (and they usually make healthy ones) while they are still young and I can still help guide their choices rather than completely restrict them.
  2. When kids are used to eating a really healthy diet, even a small amount of processed food will usually make them feel *yucky* and discourage them from eating it again.
  3. Exposure to other foods often leads to conversations about different types of foods and which are good/bad for the body.
  4. My kids typically make good food choices on their own and have become rather adventurous eaters since they aren’t restricted or expected to only consume chicken fingers or hamburgers when we aren’t at home. For instance, my two year old loves broccoli, olives, sardines and other healthy foods. Make the good foods readily available and make the unhealthy ones few and far between…

We also don’t consume sugary drinks – even juice. The only thing we use sugar for is making Kombucha, water kefir and homemade sodas, and the great majority of it is fermented out and converted to beneficial bacteria before we drink it.

Our breakfasts usually consist of eggs or leftovers, lunches are salads or soups and dinners are often a baked or grilled meat with many veggies.

Sounds like a lot of work? It certainly is more work than a meal-in-a-box meal, but so worth it! We haven’t had to take any of the kids to the doctor in years, all but one have never had antibiotics and they are happily active and fit naturally. My hope as they grow is to nurture their own healthy eating habits and develop a lifelong foundation for healthy eating.

Additional Reading

The Harmful Effects of Sugar on Mind and Body

Fructose: This Addictive Commonly Used Food Feeds Cancer Cells, Triggers Weight Gain, and Promotes Premature Aging

Sugar, not fat, exposed as deadly villain in obesity epidemic

What do you think? Is there ever a place for sugar? Do you consume it? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


84 responses to “The Harmful Effects of Sugar”

  1. Olivia Avatar

    What about organic cane sugar, organic pure honey, organic brown sugar, organic maple syrup?

      1. Dominique Avatar

        No offense but if I want sugar I WILL have it. I’m going to die of something mine as well not be humger

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Weird. You’re so (rightfully) worried about the horrid effects of sugar, but you eat animal products? That is strange. You should inform yourself about the health effects of dairy, meat and eggs. THAT is really creepy. Blessings, Sarah

    1. Sierra Avatar

      A vegan diet leads to ill health. Fact. You can’t get enough iron and B12 (among other things). Nothing healthier than grass fed butter, eggs, meat.

  3. Thomas McCormack Avatar
    Thomas McCormack

    I’ve started a page on Facebook called ” Parents Against Sugar & Substitutes” can you please post information on it, even a link to your website.

  4. Brianne Grogan Avatar
    Brianne Grogan

    I have found that sugar has been the last obstacle on my quest toward healing my body through food/proper nutrition. It has been difficult to remove, but it has made ALL the difference. I still “slip up” now and then, but for the most part I’m sugar-free and my health is so much better for it!

  5. Heather Avatar

    So, I actually spent some time thinking about this. For me, sugar and honey allow me to utilize my organically grown fruits. Let me explain. Here in Montana, the list of things we can grow is rather short. If it grows here at all, by here I mean my backyard specifically, it isn’t necessarily the variety you’d hoped for. As an example, we wanted to grow cherries. Do you think sweet cherries grow here? Of course not! So we have two beautiful dwarf trees that grow sour cherries. I like the fact that I can make organic jams with my own produce using high quality ingredients and honey just happens to be one of them. Same thing goes for our apple trees. We make our own organic applesauce using the apples from our own backyard. They just happen to be pretty dang sour so we add just enough sweetener to make it palatable and nothing more. Again, we get to use the bounty of produce grown in our own backyard with a little help. So you can accuse me of having a sweet tooth. Fine, I don’t really care. However, I’m actually putting out the effort to make my own food almost all the time. This is especially important for us right now as we can’t afford organic meats, produce and dairy at this time (I know all the arguments but we are in a tough place right now and literally can’t swing it). We do the best with what we have and try to make the most of it. That’s all any of us can do.

  6. Katy Avatar

    I didn’t see anything about lactose? Any info or thoughts about the health benefits/risks of lactose?

  7. Alixis Avatar

    “It’s fuel for the brain…”

    one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that the brain can function perfectly well on ketones… as long as it gets 30% of it’s energy needs from glucose it can utilize the remeaining 70% as ketones. There are only 2 kinds of cells in the body that have to use sugar (or rather glucose) as a fuel – red blood cells and cancer cells. So by having high blood sugar levels you are increasing your risk of cancer, and fueling any cells with cancerous changes!

    And not only that, the body is perfectly capable of making it’s own glucose by the process of gluconeogenesis…
    We don’t need sugar or even carbs at all!

  8. Polly Avatar

    I have noticed that every time there is a rise in our sugar intake– and only processed, not the natural like from eating fruit or putting honey in our oatmeal– I feel ill. Slowly changing our diet over the years, we have been removing sugar a small bit at a time. I am now thoroughly convinced that most of my childhood nausea and later hormonal struggles have been directly correlated to the amount of processed garbage and sugar I took in. Makes me a little sick to think about it, and we were always low sugar/low processed food people. Shoot, as a kid we grew most of our fruits and veggies and only went to the store for things like eggs and meat.

    So glad you posted this. I have been attempting to remove splenda from the hubs coffee, and maybe this will be the capper. He’s been almost convinced for some time now, but I think this article just might take the cake…literally. =) Thank you!

  9. Carli Avatar

    Thanks for sharing that article Maria! I love Tropical Traditions. I haven’t used coconut sugar yet and It doesn’t sound like it is very sustainable. I’d much rather have the oil and coconut cream. I think I will stick to honey! 🙂

  10. Karmin Avatar

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. Someone told me in Trader Joe’s they weren’t a fan of Stevia either, so maybe I won’t spend my money on that. My husband loooves sweets (mostly ice cream, fruity things, and pie…not candy type stuff) and I wish there was a way to make the stuff without sugar. I’ll definitely have to check out the banana bread recipe you linked to. I’ve never seen coconut sugar but I’ll have to start looking for that. Also don’t know how to bake with dates and prunes. Can they be used in any recipe – like a pie crust? It’s hard to imagine that working but whatever healthy thing I can use I am all for trying.

    And I agree…processed sweet stuff is sickening after just a bit of it. I worked in a school for a while, and it is always around. Rewards from teachers, treats from kids. It’s crazy how much junk kids are fed by the schools day in and day out. Gross.

    1. Lia Fernandes Avatar
      Lia Fernandes

      Hmm.. I’m not really sure if fruit will work for pie crust… I eat mostly grain-free so I haven’t really tried that. I can tell you this… don’t expect crunchy results when you sub the sugar for fruit. Try and sub with fruit when crispiness is not what you’re looking for as in muffins and ice cream. Just soak for a few minutes in warm water and process until pureed. Works well for smoothies and popsicles (which I’ve been making to relieve my kid’s teething gums).

      I can’t even imagine how it’s like in the USA. Processed foods are not nearly as popular here as they are in the US… I hope we never get there! That’s one thing we sould never import from anyone, anywhere.

    2. Erika Avatar

      Google recipes for vegan pie crust – usually made with only dates and pecans, ive made some from raisins and cashews and they ARE AMAZING!!!

  11. Melissa Avatar

    Excellent post. I quit sugar over a year ago now and feel fantastic. Amazingly if I dare to try some I find my mood changes and I get an instant headache. A clear head and no mood swings suits me much better.

  12. Alixis Avatar

    Great post! We don’t use refined sugar at all in our house. Instead, when we need to sweeten something (which is rare in the case of Hubby and me, but the kids do like a little bit of sweetness sometimes) we use either raw unfiltered honey, fresh fruit, dried fruit or a little fruit juice.

    1. Olive Avatar

      No processed sugar here. It feeds infections and WORMS!!! They love it. MM!

      A little really raw honey for the enzymes and dates once in a while in a recipe. Whole unprocessed is delicious and easier on the body.

  13. Karmin Avatar

    So what do you think about pure stevia, raw honey, and pure maple syrup?

    1. Jennifer L. Avatar
      Jennifer L.

      In my personal experience, when I hear myself asking about stevia, honey, syrup and coconut sugar, it’s my body’s way of searching around for the next sugar fix. “But what about *those?* Aren’t those okay for me?!” Honestly, if it raises your blood sugar fast and you eat too much of it, it’s not good for you. Pure maple syrup has a lot of nutrients in it, but you can easily get those from other food sources, especially since you ought not consuming enough of it to get those nutrients on a daily basis! Also, things like syrup and honey are, to some degree, seasonal. Most people tend to consume them all year round with abandon. If you find yourself searching for all the sugars that might be “okay” (notice no one ever says “good for you”), it could be the addiction in your head talking.

      I just read “Super Nutrition for Babies” and the sugar pages in it are something I am inclined to post on our fridge. I knew a lot of it already, but it’s good to have to have a little over-the-top, spelled out reasons why sugar just might not be as sweet as it’s cracked up to be–especially for kids.

      1. Karmin Avatar

        I’m not so much looking for a “sugar fix” as I am just trying to figure out how to navigate through life in a reasonable way. For me it’s not reasonable to go the rest of my life without enjoying any sweet treat, ever. The benefit of being sugar-less isn’t worth missing out while my family celebrates birthdays and special occasions. One of the simple pleasures of life is enjoying sharing food with the people around me, and I don’t want to be turning down stuff forever just so my blood sugar never goes up. Ideally, I could get through life being perfectly healthy and never ever eating anything with any negative aspects. I would love to do that. But it’s not really realistic to me. I love the smell of fresh baked homemade things and the delight of eating a slice of fresh fruit pie prepared by my husband and I working together in the kitchen. I know I’ll never be able to eat pie for the nutrition, so I’m not really going for that…just looking for a slightly-less-bad choice, since it will of course never be particularly healthy. I’m not at all tempted by processed sweets…but I think there’s something to be said for every now and then, letting go a little bit and enjoying something you made by hand. For me it’s more just a matter of not shutting out completely any one part of life, and occasionally baking for my husband and enjoying food with my family is something I’m not willing to give up, forever.

        I don’t have any kids so haven’t read that book, but know if I do ever have them I’ll be even more paranoid about what goes into them…

        So…I have used maple syrup in banana bread and like that, but haven’t tried Stevia. Does anybody use it, like it, and feel like it’s a better alternative than organic raw sugar?

        1. Lia Fernandes Avatar
          Lia Fernandes

          Me, I hate stevia… but that’s just me 😀 I know it has it’s benefits… but it has a yucky flavour. I can stand it as a sweetener in a cup of tea and I’m guessing it would be fine for toothpaste but I have a stevia plant “just because”, and I never use it. I recently found a really good banana bread recipe, no sugar added and I’m sticking with that (pardon the publicity).

          I usually try to sweeten with fruit whenever I can. I tend to use dried dates or prunes as a sweetener and sometimes, agave and coconut palm sugar (maple syrup is way too expensive around here). As said, no sugar is good for you but I live in south europe and food is a BIG thing. Everybody gathers around the table (business, family and friends, everything is a excuse to cook/eat) and when we have family over, we want them to feel welcome and not like “oh god… here they come with their weird I-dont-know-what-the-hell-that-is dessert”. We try and adapt the things we know they eat but we “cheat” on the ingredients and it usually works.

          I have a toddler and he’s never eaten refined sugar or subs… but I know he will. When he goes to school and all the kids are eating it, he’s going to want and have a go at it, for sure. I don’t think I’ll care… when you feed your kids real food, they’ll probably be sick of gummie bears after just one.

          Hope I helped and good luck with your quest to be healthy!

          1. LB Avatar

            HI I have to say dying to I can’t stand the taste of stevia in my tea
            I cant live without my tea and I can’t drink it flat without milk or sugar
            I tried another form of honey but I can’t drink it all the time I would try weaning myself to loving it as new habits need time but I want to try maple syrup now though at first I heard it doesn’t do well in hot beverages
            anyway I can go cold turkey off sweets and such I can live without them but not pure dark chocolate treats or cakes every once in awhile say monthly and certainly not tea my only solution is green tea but I try to drink that regularly and started craving proper red tea point being someone saying go cold turkey and stop whining for solutions is a cruel way to break it home some people can be weaned off it some can go cold turkey and some just will never live without it everyone’s different this website is for supporting others so this is not actually helping anyone it may be easy for some hard for others and difficult for most. For me it means giving up a lot more than sugar. its the only way my illness can relax and I can take a break from ptsd living only actually comfort I get in life is nice hot balanced not overly sweet tea but I do drink a lot of it in a day and gain a lot of my liquid from it maybe I can focus on toning it down but for everyone one thing and step at a time. cut out unnesscesary sugas and fake sugars while you can I.e processed sweets substitute it to maplease syrup homemade treats weekly then after while when think can manage monthly or on special occasions substitute unnatural sugars in beverages and you’ll be surprised how much you can live without full blown sugar when you add a lot of other healthy stuff in your diet. Me personally love homemade cakes like carrot cake with maple syrup. but I hate tea with stevia yucky taste and nothing beats the taste of cane sugar in tea but I will find a substitute and wean myself off it. If it can live my life without cane stage at all then ill show myself I probably can live without any sugars natural or unnatural 😉 take baby step and don’t be so hard on yourself. sugar is the biggest addiction and everyone’s in same boat at different levels

  14. Tasha Lamoreaux Avatar
    Tasha Lamoreaux

    I stopped eating any sugar (refined sugars & artificial sweeteners) for one year for a new year’s resolution. After that year, it wasn’t worth it to break the goal for a treat. That was 8+ years ago, and I still am off sugar.

    For a while, I would use sucanat or other “unrefined” sugars. I still think they are less harmful to our bodies. I noticed, however, that when I consumed them, I would crave sweets. Honey did not have the same effect. Sometimes I will consume a bit of raw honey, but I don’t put it anything baked or cooked.

    Stevia is my sweetener of choice for smoothies.

  15. Virginia Miner Avatar
    Virginia Miner

    I eat more sugar than I let my toddler eat… I have noticed that it really does give him a crazy “high”. Yikes! We try not to eat too many grains (esp. wheat) and processed foods, but I do like to bake and will have an illicit pan of brownies every now and then. So… I totally buy what you are saying, but it is SO HARD to put into practice!

    1. Mandie Jean Wright Avatar
      Mandie Jean Wright

      I agree, it’s hard! But you should try using pure, raw honey or pure maple syrup where you can. I use both for most anything I need sweetened, and I think it tastes better than plain sugar. Sometimes, I will still use organic, raw, cane sugar. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the alternative!

    2. Starr Avatar

      Look online for Ketogenic recipes or Paleo recipes. You will be surprised at all of the various things you can do. I know I was..

  16. Raska Avatar

    It is great you are trying to help people avoid sugar in their diets because of all the harm it can do. Comparing sugar’s chemical formula to cocaine is just silly. Nitrogen changes a lot. This weakens your stance substantially.

    1. Danielle Williams Avatar
      Danielle Williams

      It’s true that nitrogen changes a lot, and maybe her comparison was not chemically valid. I think the point she was trying to make is that it’s a pure chemical substance, refined, devoid of any food value, just like cocaine. Interestingly, according to recent studies, sugar is actually MORE addictive than cocaine.

      1. Anna Avatar

        If you think sugars (esp glucose and fructose) are crazy you should look up dihydrogen monoxide! It’s just as invaluable and I can’t seem to get it out of my diet :/ I can also give resources if anyone needs them!

  17. Angela Williams Avatar
    Angela Williams

    Thanks for the eye opener! My kids and a are going grain free soon, I praying it will help my 10 year old with her ADD,along the way helping with my weight. This post on sugar really helped I have a major sweet tooth wish my luck y’all! Oh do you think you’ ll make a cook book?

    1. HamatoYoshi Avatar

      Please don’t assume your kid’s ADD is really a sickness. My mother made the same mistake after taking me to a know-it-all doctor, and it really held me back as a kid, feeling like there was something wrong with me. If you truly want to help your kid, coffee is the answer. I’m dead serious. Try giving her a coffee (sugar in is fine – has no negative effect on ADD, despite some doctor’s lies, but stevia if possible), and letting her do her school work this way. Make sure the drink has a reasonable amount of caffeine, like ordinary coffee. Watch the results over time. It may take a few weeks for you to notice, but your mind will be blown.

      1. Angela Williams Avatar
        Angela Williams

        I do not make her ADD a sickness she is super smart it the organizing item in her mind to get things done that is the problem. Coffee in not a option for us because we are Mormons and we don’t drink it, but I believe eating the right food could help our family that is why I’m making this change. I do thank you for suggestion.

        1. Heather Ragonese Avatar
          Heather Ragonese

          I had debilitating headaches in fourth grade that caused me to miss all but one month of my school year. I was raised Mormon and my Bishop made an exception for me based on doctor’s orders to consume caffeine. I only used it for about 2 months. A really wonderful chiropractor recommended that I have allergy testing which revealed a severe allergy to pete dirt that was being released into the air by nearby construction. I am not trying to say that caffeine or allergy testing are a solution for you, just that there are exceptions made based on guidance through prayer.
          Thanks for all the interesting info. Whenever I think that I have it all figured out, I learn something new.

      2. Louise Avatar

        yes, my husband thinks i have add according to description….. he read and me too, but that coffee really helps me have energy and feel like i did when i was a kid…but if i half it with hot water its sufficient ,too much caffeine i can not tolerate…can”t imagine a child having full strength caffeine….i also have thyroid problems and caffeine helps with low energy and my brain working greatly …normally when i am not cleaning or performing any thing that takes lots of energy, i only use hot water and a shot of coffee like its cream…a little cream and stevia…….can not handle sugar either….you should look how bad sugar is for us …its a killer

        1. Starr Lucas Avatar
          Starr Lucas

          I was a carb sugar Junkie.. I decided to start a Ketogenic Lifestyle and have found it to be very good for me. High Fat, Low Carb is great. I know it helps with so many problems that sugar causes in our body. I never would have believed it is If I had not felt it, seen it and did my due diligence about the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Look up Ketones & Fat Loss, Ketones & ADD, Ketones & Cancer. You will find that they are now doing research on all of these things and more. It helps reduce inflammation and reduce pain. I have been doing keto since July 22, 2015. Love my new pain free, Better skin, Better Life overall.

          I still eat out but watch what I eat. No bread love Protein style burgers, You can make Pizza with Cauliflower flour etc. I do not miss many foods because if you look online there are a ton of recipes to replace the sugar and other refined things that our body can not process properly.

  18. Carli Avatar

    We’ve done our best to eliminate most added sugar from our diets. However, I really like to bake and we like to lightly sweeten our plain yogurt. I generally use pure maple syrup or honey for these. You addressed honey in your post, but what are your thoughts on pure maple syrup? I have also seen real food recipes that call for coconut sugar, which I haven’t really researched at all yet…thoughts? Very interesting info, and I will definitely be thinking twice before I consume any added sugar.

    1. Karen Avatar

      I’m curious about coconut sugar too…

      As for maple syrup, I think Grade B (less processed) is better. It would still spike your blood sugar, but would not have the side effects of processed sugars, I assume.

      1. Maureen Avatar

        Grade B Maple Syrup is not less processed it is gathered at the end of the season right before the leaves start to bud :).

    2. Michelle Avatar

      I’m a Filipina and I know for a fact that coconut sugar which comes from the sap of the coconut inflorescence is the next big thing in Japan, where health research is topnotch. Coco sugar is fast becoming unaffordable here in the Philippines because it is being exported to Japan where the demand is very high.

  19. Kathleen Quiring Avatar
    Kathleen Quiring

    Interesting timing of this post: we consume very little sugar in our diet, but this week I baked some sweets with my mom-in-law as a bonding experience. I ate one there, took a few home, and ate a few more over the next few days. Today I got hit with my first illness in years. Recently, my husband had a similar experience: after indulging in cookies and sweets for a couple of days (because a client kept offering them to him), he got sick for the first time in years. Coincidence? It’s enough to make us think twice about accepting sweets . . .

    This post is just confirmation to me that we ought to be more wary of sugar.

  20. Heather Tully Avatar
    Heather Tully

    I’d love to hear your take on alternatives to sugar. this year, our family got rid of sugar, though we’ve cheated a bit. 🙁 We now use mostly pure stevia but also erythritol & xylitol when baking because you often need the bulk in a recipe.

    1. bob Avatar

      Use coconut palm sugar because most other artificial sweeteners r worse for you and more addictive… Having said that I don’t know what stevia or the other ones u listed are

      1. Teak Avatar

        Stevia in its pure form comes from a plant and is completely safe. ** but again only in its pure form. Other companies are coming out now and mixing it with other junk. Such as Truvia..
        It is three or four times sweeter than regular sugar so you only need a quarter of a teaspoon compared to say a tablespoon.and yes I’m going to agree any artificial sweetener is absolutely horrible for you

    2. Carolina Avatar

      I was so delighted by this post and by what “wellness mamma” wrote. well done for keeping sugar away from your family. You are a treasure to cherish. I wanted to let you know there are two 100% natural sweeteners removed from brown rice and barley that are simply the result of the breaking down of the complex carbs of these wholegrain and they are very low go (I have made blood glucose tests on them). Still completely agree that the less of added sweeteners the better.

      Thank you so much

    3. Carol Ann Avatar

      I have a stevia cookbook. You can use honey, stevia and real fruit to sweeten cookies and other desserts.
      There are options and white sugar is not one of them. Try making desserts with stevia.
      Coconut, unsweetened is also great with chocolate(no sugar) cinnamon and nuts to created delicious
      desserts. Instead of flour, use almond flour or coconut flour. They make great cakes.

      It is hard to give up everything but if you create these healthy snacks and foods, then once in a while won’t be so bad. Ice cream in the summer months is my weakness. Only June, July and August. Now I am done for another year. Strange that I only like ice cream outside. Must be a childhood thing. I knew sugar was dangerous now for years and it is tough to completely give it up. Read all labels. They hide everything in these products that are not “whole foods”. Pure unsweetened chocolate with avocado, honey and nuts makes a great mouse. You can add cinnamon and unsweetened real whipped cream and kids would love it!


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