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Is Sugar Bad for You?

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Sugar being bad for you is an ongoing debate that you hear both at the gym, and at the dinner table.

It’s a regular occurrence in most people’s diets, and can be found in almost any processed and unprocessed foods – but is sugar actually bad for you?

If you’ve just started your cut, or diet and wondering whether you can still indulge your sweet tooth (albeit in moderation), listen up. This one’s for you.

We’ve done the research, and looked at numerous studies involving the substance and have found not only should you avoid it on a diet – you should cut it out all together.

These are the 5 most shocking reasons why you need to stay away from sugar.

1. Sugar is a Drug – You will get addicted

Believe it or not, sugar’s effect on the brain makes it inherently addictive.

We’ve all had moments of weakness that involves finishing off a box of chocolates or having that extra can of soda, sometimes when we don’t even feel like it – you just want it.

This is the power of sugar. As these foods have an unnaturally sweet and pleasurable flavor, it overloads the amount of dopamine released in your brain, which can lead to addiction [1]. This is a similar effect that drugs like cocaine and heroin have on your brain, you’re rewarded for the stimulating experience, and you’re made to crave more.

Like drugs, these products can really take a hold of you make you feel like you need them by building a dependency. With some people even making junk food a ritual of their every day life, be it a candy bar after lunch or can of soda before dinner – it’s an addiction, and we see it everywhere.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your life every now and again. However, if your idea of a reward is a sweet treat at the end of the week, you may find yourself being pulled into a cycle that could put a stop to you being shredded – and this is just the start…

2. Sugar is Toxic – It will damage your metabolism

A recent study in an Obesity Research Journal [2] has some sobering news for us all: sugar may be toxic.

The study involved 43 obese children aged 9 to 18 all with various metabolic disorders such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides (blood fats), and fatty livers. In a test that lasted 9 days, each subject had their dietary sugar reduced with their caloric intake staying the same to see how their health changed with the only difference being less sugar.

Before the study, each child had on average 28% as their daily intake as dietary sugars, for the test this was reduced to 10%, with starches and carbohydrates filling in for the missing calories.

The study lasted 9 days, and the differences were astonishing. On average, the children experienced the following changes:

  • Blood Pressure down by 5mmHg
  • Triglycerides down by 33pts
  • LDL (Bad Cholesterol) down by 10pts
  • Insulin levels down by a third
  • Fasting glucose and liver function tests improved

This is what’s possible in 9 days without sugar. Imagine how beneficial a month could be, or cutting it out altogether?

3. Sugar is Useless – It has no essential nutrients for you

So far we’ve heard sugar is addictive, and it damages our metabolism – but it must have some redeeming features, right?


Added sugar is one of the only foods that are so calorie-dense, yet contain no essential nutrients. The only thing it helps you with, is supplying your body with energy.

If you’re on a cut with restricted calories, and you’ve got sugar in there – take it out immediately. It contains no vitamins, minerals, proteins or good fats, it will just give you less of a caloric window to squeeze in your macros.

4. Sugar will Kill You – Gives you Cancer and Type II Diabetes

If you haven’t been convinced already that sugar is bad for you, the white stuff has been repeatedly linked in studies as one of the biggest suspects for causing cancer [3], [4] – due to its ability to influence insulin levels.

The more sugar you intake the higher your insulin levels, which means the more unregulated your cell growth becomes – which gives more opportunity for mutated cells to multiply and become a cancer [5].

It doesn’t end there. The metabolic problems that sugar causes that we looked at in #2, increases inflammation and are also a precursor to cancer [6].

It’s also a known cause of Type II Diabetes. Too much sugar increases the amount of insulin our body has to create to keep blood sugar down, eventually it can’t keep and blood sugar levels go far too high, creating Type II Diabetes.

This can lead to problems such as vision loss, cardiovascular disease (strokes etc.), kidney failure, and neuropathy – which can eventually lead to amputation.

Although it seems far fetched, the problems are very real. A constant intake of sugar in your diet can very easily raise your insulin levels and set the stage for any of these problems.

5. Sugar stops your Gains – Lowers your Testosterone and Sex Drive

Finally one of the worst facts there is about sugar – it can stop your gains.

Not only that, but the hormonal changes brought on by a life of sugar also affects your sex life, energy and mood.

It’s all down to the insulin that your body makes to balance out the surplus sugar. Studies have shown that the more sugar you have, the less testosterone you produce (That’s right, read that again.) – essentially burning your right to having muscle mass. [7]

Testosterone is a vital part of the muscle building process and for keeping you lean, without it a lot things you take for granted fall apart, for instance:

  • Your sex drive plummets – you no longer have ‘desires’ with men struggling from erectile dysfunction
  • Body fat increases – more estrogen circulates in your system and it becomes difficult to build muscle
  • Energy decreases – Feel sluggish, no longer mentally sharp, and memory becomes fuzzy

On top of that, too much sugar can also sap away your body’s supply of growth hormone. There’s a direct link between high insulin levels and less GH being produced [8] which will make you weaker across the board, and tanking any remaining chance of building muscle.

Overall Conclusion – Is Sugar Bad for You?

The answer has got to be yes.

And there’s even more reasons for this than the ones that we’ve covered in this article.

Sugar is one of the only components in our diet that we enjoy so regularly, but is incredibly harmful to our health. It is the dietary equivalent of smoking – a dirty habit that does nothing but hold you back from the physique you want to achieve.

It’s a toxic mess of addictive empty calories, that has no benefits, several health drawbacks and can massively impede on your lifestyle.

To learn this news may be bittersweet, but steering clear of the sweet stuff with not only give you a stronger body, it’ll give you a stronger mind.

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[1] Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience and Behav. Rev. 2008;32(1):20-39. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2007.04.019.

[2] Lustig, R. H., Mulligan, K., Noworolski, S. M., Tai, V. W., Wen, M. J., Erkin-Cakmak, A., Gugliucci, A. and Schwarz, J.-M. (2015), Isocaloric fructose restriction and metabolic improvement in children with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Obesity. doi: 10.1002/oby.21371

[3] Slattery ML, Benson J, Berry TD, Duncan D, Edwards SL, et al. Dietary sugar and colon cancer.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1997;6(9):677–685.

[4] Seely S, Horrobin DF. Diet and breast cancer: the possible connection with sugar consumption. Med Hypotheses. 1983;11:319–327.

[5] Boyd DB. Insulin and cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003;2:315–329.

[6] Biagio Arcidiacono, Stefania Iiritano, Aurora Nocera, et al., “Insulin Resistance and Cancer Risk: An Overview of the Pathogenetic Mechanisms,” Exp Diab Res. vol. 2012, Article ID 789174, 12 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/789174

[7] Caronia LM, Dwyer AA, Hayden D, et al. Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2013;78(2):291–296.

[8] Lanzi R, Luzi L, Caumo A, Andreotti AC, Manzoni MF, et al. (1999) Elevated insulin levels contribute to the reduced growth hormone (GH) response to GH-releasing hormone in obese subjects.Metabolism 48:1152–1156.