Is sugar bad for you? The answer is a definite “yes.” Despite the sugar industry’s attempts to keep the negative health effects a secret, researchers have found clear evidence that sugar can wreak havoc on your body. Consuming too much of the sweet stuff can even lead to a dangerous sugar addiction. Sugar can destroy your health in numerous ways, each as harmful as the next.

Is Sugar Bad For You? Here’s How It Ruins Your Health

1. Increases the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

So how exactly is sugar bad for you? For starters, high sugar consumption can lead to heart problems. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, among many other illnesses. Research has shown that consuming too much processed sugar can significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In fact, the risk of dying from heart disease more than doubles in those who consume 17-21% of their calories from added sugar, compared to those who consume 8% or less of their calories from sugar.

2. Leads to a Fatty Liver

How else is sugar bad for you? Sugar, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, is hiding in many drinks and processed foods. Research has shown that the increase of high fructose corn syrup in food products is associated with the growing rates of obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When it comes to your liver, the answer to “Is sugar bad for you?” is a resounding “yes.” Studies have shown that people who drink one sugar-sweetened beverage a day have a hihger risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, compared to those who do not consume sugary beverages. (1)

3. Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome

How else is sugar bad for you? It destroys gut health. Sugar leads to chronic inflammation in the body, which can contribute to leaky gut syndrome. It feeds the yeast and harmful bacteria in the body, destroying the balance of bacteria in the gut.

4. Increases Type 2 Diabetes Risk

How else is sugar bad for you? Research has shown that for every 150 calories of sugar a person consumes each day, they increase their risk of type 2 diabetes by 1.1%. This includes sugar hiding in sodas, meats, oils and cereals, along with other foods and beverages. (2)

5. Increases the Risk of Certain Cancers

Perhaps the most concerning answer to the question, “How is sugar bad for you?” is the fact that it increases your risk of multiple types of cancer. Studies have shown that added sugars increase the risk of esophageal cancer, while added fructose increases the risk of cancer in the small intestine. How else is sugar bad for you? Researchers found a link between higher sugar intake and colon cancer. (3)

Sugar Ingredients To Avoid

Now that we’ve answered the “Is sugar bad for you?” question, it’s important to always read your labels. Many food manufacturers try to hide sugar under other names in the ingredient list. Here are the names to avoid:

  • Anhydrous dextrose
  • Brown sugar
  • Confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Nectars (like peach or pear nectar)
  • Pancake syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • White granulated sugar