facts about sugar

8 Facts About Sugar That Will Shock You

Do you like sugar? I’m sure you do. I mean who doesn’t- it’s like a dance party in your mouth when something is decadent and sweet, right?!

Who wouldn’t like to eat a delicious cake, ice cream, or that sweet donut with chocolate topping while binge-watching Netflix… We all love to consume sweets but only a few of us have sufficient knowledge about what they do to our body, how often you should be eating them, or even which products contain sugar (you would be surprised!). There are some incredible facts about sugar that you should not ignore. So let’s wade into those crazy facts that will make your jaw drop.

1. In the USA a person consumes more than 76 pounds (=34 kg) of sugar every year.

Yes, you read that right. 76 pounds of sugar! The truth is that people consume way too much sugar that adds a lot of empty calories to their daily intake as well. 

According to the American Heart Organization (AHA), in one day no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar (25 grams) is recommended for a woman. This number is higher for men, a maximum of 9 teaspoons (38 grams) would be acceptable. This recommendation means that you are not even allowed to drink a 12-ounce regular coke as it contains more than 9 teaspoons of sugar (39 grams). I know what you are thinking now, it’s hard to believe. But unfortunately, this is the truth.

The scarier reality is how sugar has sneaked it’s way into everything we consume. If sugar has no nutrient density and is one of the major components of the current obesity epidemic- why are there even drinks ands foods on the market that contain this much sugar? Simple- they’re delicious, they make money, and its VERY addictive.

After this realization, I’m sure you would like to know in reality how much is the average sugar intake per day. As stated in a study by the U.S. Agriculture Department, the daily sugar consumption is around 22 teaspoons. Can you imagine that? I was shocked when I heard about it the first time. Without any doubt, we can say that we are greatly overconsuming sugar. 

Related article: What is Mindful Eating?

2. Excessive sugar consumption can cause serious health problems.

facts about sugar

This fact shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Everybody knows that it is not good to eat too many sweets because it is bad for your health and makes you fat when eaten in excess (remember fact #1?). Although some diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay may seem like an obvious consequence of eating a lot of sugar, there are many other illnesses and health problems that can be linked to the higher sugar intake as well. 

Related article: How To Reduce Sugar Cravings For Good

3. Too much sugar can weaken your immune system.

If you eat more sugar than it is recommended, you can easily end up with a weakened immune system. Sugar forces your body to produce more digestive enzymes than you need and also secondarily heightens the inflammation and pain in the body. 

Furthermore, consuming too much sugar can cause mood disorders (for example manic depression) as well. I hope that this thought will come to your mind when next time you are about to eat ice cream or chocolate one week straight after a hard year (enter 2020 for pretty much everyone!) or breakup. 

Eating a lot of sweets when feeling down maybe isn’t such a good idea after all? Ironically, it can make matters worse.

Now that’s not to say that indulging in a favorite treat can give you a dose of feel good hormones. It’s the mindless, excessive eating that we’re concerned about here!

Related article: How to Boost Immune System Naturally

10 Ways to Boost the Immune System

4. Eating lots of sugar can ruin your digestive system.

facts about sugar

While eating a big slice of strawberry cheesecake or a huge piece of chocolate everyday can make you feel better and give you satisfaction, excessive sugar intake can also harm your digestive system. It doesn’t sound so good, does it? Be aware that sugar removes the vitamins and minerals from the body and makes the digestive system considerably acidic.

In addition to this, there are two elements (magnesium and potassium) that are necessary for the health of your cardiovascular system, and sugar can lower their presence in the body as well.

5. You can have vitamin B deficiency due to sugar consumption.

Vitamin B deficiency as a possible consequence of sugar consumptions is not one of the most well-known facts about sugar, but I think it is still important to talk about it. 

Sugar can take away the B vitamins from the body to such a great extent that as a result, it can leave you deficient in vitamin B. But how do you know if you have vitamin B deficiency? Many symptoms can show if you don’t have enough from any type of vitamin B.

facts about sugar

Just a few of the possible symptoms: 

  • fatigue,
  • weakness,
  • anxiety,
  • poor memory,
  • confusion,
  • nausea,
  • rashes,
  • headache,
  • trouble concentrating.

6. More sugar, more wrinkles.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? Can sugar cause wrinkles? Yes, as it turns out, it can. And I have to say that for me, from all the facts about sugar it was the one that sounded the most incredible. 

Since eating too much sugar causes glycation (a chemical process) in the body, the elasticity of your skin changes: your skin will become less elastic and you will have more wrinkles. 

I think this is the time when I should say goodbye to the sweets in my cupboard, reduce my sugar cravings, and look for a healthier alternative. Do you feel the same way?

Related article: How To Reduce Sugar Cravings For Good

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7. Sugar can cause addiction

Eating sugar can make you an addict. Having sugar cravings makes more sense now, doesn’t it? As humans, our bodies were evolved to favor sweetness because, before the age of processed foods and year round food supply, sweet foods meant more energy dense foods. Now, we have access to refined sugar that lights up our brains like a cocaine addict when we get a hit!

Plus, many companies spends MILLIONS of dollars each year to perfect the flavor of their candies, cakes, and other foods so our taste buds are left wanting more. I can totally tell the difference in my own eating habits. If I eat a piece of fruit or bake something with honey, I feel naturally full and satiated pretty quickly. Whereas, give me a bowl of Halloween candy or a box of cookies and suddenly it’s all gone before I can even blink. Can anyone else relate? 🙂

Just like in the case of any other addiction, if you give up your habit, you can have different withdrawal symptoms. It can be nausea, pain, or some symptoms similar to the flu. This can leave you feeling frustrated and relapsing before you body has time to adjust.

Related article: How to Stop Eating Junk Food: Practical Tips

8. You can find sugar in products you would never think about.


Many products contain added sugar, just sometimes it doesn’t seem so obvious. There are two reasons why:

  1. In most cases, “sugar” is not listed as an ingredient. Manufacturers rather use a different name (actually there are 115 of them!), for example, glucose, lactose, dextrose, dextrin, caramel, corn syrup, corn sweetener, etc.
  1. You would not expect that some kinds of products contain sugar. Did you know for example that bread, low-fat yogurt, frozen meals, ketchup, tonic water, and salad dressings have added sugar?

Related article: 10 Simple Healthy Food Alternatives

Kick Your Sugar Habits and Boost Your Health

I’m not here to tell you to never eat sugar again. Life is meant to be enjoyed and sometimes we just want a piece of chocolate cake- I totally get it! But we are also victims of the food industries marketing, food flavor research, and complete ignorance for our health. To take control of your health and reduce your sugar consumptions, it take your own awareness in choosing the best foods and prodcuts for you.

The next time you’re at a the grocery store, that might mean reading labels. Or if you’re treating yourself one night, that means sitting down and truly tuning into all the yummy sensations you’re experiencing.

For me, this had led to inspiration to do a 30 day no added sugar challenge. For me, that means fruits, whole grain carbs, and teas are still fair game for keeping my taste buds satisfied. I will be sharing tips all month in the Developing Healthy Habits FB group. I’d love for you to join!

If you’re struggling with your mindset and want some more motivation behind the health goals, consider picking up a copy of my fast track Consistent Healthy Habits Guide. (Don’t forget to use the code “gethealthy” for 50% off for all my blog readers!) It’s packed with bonuses for starting your own 30 day challenge that finally sticks. I’ve got this 30 day challenge down this time around- but I’ll admit it took MANY years of fine tuning and many “failures” before I figured out what helped me feel my best!

As you can see from going through these crazy facts about sugar, you should pay attention to how much sugar you are consuming. Overconsumption can cause you many health problems, and instead of giving you essential nutrients, it gives you only calories and extra weight.

Do you know how much sugar you’re eating a day? What small change could you make to start reducing your sugar consumption?

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