The Harmful Effects of Sugar

Consuming refined sugar and processed foods will damage your intestinal lining and prevent healthy absorption.  This can cause a myriad of health problems throughout your body:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Inflammation throughout your body, especially in joints, join pain
  • increased allergies
  • Poor digestion: gas, constipation and diarrhea
  • Increased intestinal permeability (which allows big, toxic and foreign molecules to enter our blood stream, resulting in inflammation and other immune-related problems)
  • Obesity
  • Weakened immunity, depression, anxiety
  • Tooth decay
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut (Dysbiosis)
  • Increased frequency/severity of bad moods
  • Loss of tissue elasticity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis

-B vitamins, removed during the refining process of sugars and carbohydrates, are needed for the metabolism of these foods.  When you eat refined or processed foods, your body must use reserve vitamins, or vitamins from other foods, to digest these processed foods.  In this way refined sugar, as well as white flour, and processed grains or foods, will deplete your body of valuable nutrients needed to support proper metabolism and immunity.

-Sugar has been shown to increase dopamine and opiates in the brain, heavily influencing our mood.  Moreover, when you eat an excess of sugar for long periods of time, acetylcholine release is delayed, which can prolong appetite and further the consumption of these foods.

-“Carbohydrates need to contain vitamins and minerals to aid in their proper digestion and metabolism.  Refined sugar is stripped of these valuable nutrients. Incomplete carbohydrate metabolism results in the formation of ‘toxic metabolite’ such as pyruvic acid and abnormal sugars containing five carbon atoms. Pyruvic acid accumulates in the brain and nervous system and the abnormal sugars in the red blood cells. These toxic metabolites interfere with the respiration of the cells. They cannot get sufficient oxygen to survive and function normally.”

-“Sugar leaches the body of nutrients because of the digestive demands as well as detoxification methods our bodies use to process refined sugar”

-“Excessive sugar has a negative effect on the functioning of the brain. The key to orderly brain function is glutamic acid, a vital compound found in many vegetables. The B vitamins play a major role in dividing glutamic acid into antagonistic-complementary compounds which produce a “proceed” or “control” response in the brain. B vitamins are also manufactured by symbiotic bacteria which live in our intestines. When refined sugar is taken daily, these bacteria wither and die, and our stock of B vitamins gets very low. Too much sugar makes one sleepy; our ability to calculate and remember is lost.” From

Strategies to Reduce Sugar:

Don’t eat sugar for two weeks This will reset your body’s metabolism and reduce your cravings
Have protein with your meals Protein slows down digestion, keeping blood sugar in balance.
Eat avocados, olives, fresh coconut milk, nuts and seeds Fats are very satisfying and the fatty acids found in these foods have many health benefits and help moderate sugar cravings.
Take 500mg of glutamine between meals


Glutamine, an amino acid found in proteins, is the primary source of energy for your gastrointestinal tract. Increasing your levels can aid your GI tract in repairing areas that have been damaged from consuming too much processed and refined foods.
Consume whole foods for their mineral content Dark green vegetables contain magnesium (deficiency can cause cravings)

Chromium helps reduce cravings (onions, romaine lettuce, tomatoes.

Zinc-helps balance blood sugar levels and is found in pumpkin seeds and broccoli

Eat fruit Whole fruits are a great sweet source of vitamins. The fiber helps moderate metabolism of sugar, preventing blood sugar from spiking too high.
Use stevia


Naturally sweet plant that does not affect blood sugar
Consume prebiotics and probiotics to return the healthy balance of your gut microbiota Prebiotics, fructooligosaccharides and inulin, are starch and fiber in foods (or supplements).  They are the preferred food for the healthy bacteria you need. Bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, and artichoke are good sources.  Probiotics are the bacteria themselves that will colonize your large intestine.  Consuming fermented foods: saurkraut, kimchi, yogurt**, keifer.
Give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made Its a process to change your eating habits-make small gradual changes

Resource: Anasuya Batliner, Dipl. ABT, NC. Strategies for Breaking Free from Sugar Cravings

3 thoughts on “The Harmful Effects of Sugar

  1. Pingback: Sugar Glycation-another reason not to eat too much sugar! « holisticnourishment

  2. Pingback: The Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet « holisticnourishment

  3. Pingback: The Pros and Cons of a Vegan Diet | HOLISTIC NOURISHMENT

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