Home / / #145 Is Sugar Really THAT Bad?

#145 Is Sugar Really THAT Bad?

By Rachael Attard, Updated Dec 19, 2015
how to eat sugar and not gain weight

OK I’m going to cut straight to it. Yes sugar is bad for you. Sugar does not only make you fat, it also contributes to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease and dementia just to name a few.

Here’s the low down on sugar.

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU EAT SUGAR

When you eat sugar, your body has two options on what to do with it:

  1. Burn it for energy (stored as glygocgen in your muscles)
  2. Convert and store as fat

Once the sugar reaches your bloodstream, your pancreas releases insulin to deal with it. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin is released. Insulin helps store the sugar as glycogen in your muscles for energy, or as fat. Eating lots of sugar quickly means lots of insulin is released and can actually lead to a drop in blood sugar – i.e. the sugar crash. This signals that you want more sugar.

sugar is bad

 HOW SUGAR MAKES YOU FAT

The more often your body goes through this process, the more severe the blood sugar spike and the more insulin your body produces. Remember that insulin stores excess sugar as FAT. So your body will become better and better at storing sugar as fat.

The more processed the sugar (i.e. white bread, cakes, etc), the quicker your spike in blood sugar and the more insulin you release. So what about the sugar in fruit? Yes fruit does contain fructose (a sugar!), but it also contains fiber and nutrients. Generally fruit will cause less of a blood sugar spike compared to other refined forms of sugar. Fiber is also a VITAL part of any diet and fruit contains a lot of fiber. Fruit will always be a better choice than any other form of sugar. NOTE: this does NOT include fruit juice, which is often highly concentrated with high amounts of sugar and usually has added sugar on top of that. Read more about fruit here.

sugar is bad

OTHER NAMES FOR SUGAR

Sometimes you’ll see sugar on a food label and not realize it because they have labeled it as something different. Be aware. Here are some other sneaky names for sugar:

  • Agave nectar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose

Always check the carbohydrate and sugar content on the food labels. For reference, a can of coke has 40g of sugar.

sugar bad

 SUMMARY

Overall, if your goal is weight loss and to lead a healthy life, I would minimize the processed sugars. I’m not saying that you can never eat them again! Just limit to 2-3 times per week maximum. The majority of your sugar should come from natural sources such as fruit.

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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