Effects of sugar on your body

Sugar is my only true vice. I never smoked, I’m not a drinker, I might run too much but really sugar is my vice. I always knew that in terms of my waistline sugar was a problem, but I didn’t realize all the other ways in which processed sugars are effecting my health until reading Jackie Warner’s book (book review post coming!).

Once you start looking for information on what processed sugar does to the body, the results are astounding and overwhelming.

Seriously, I said cancer! Did you know they are able to link sugar to cancer?  Not only does excess sugar depress your immune system, but it creates insulin…insulin feeds all the cells in your body including those of cancer causing them to grow larger at a more rapid pace.

Sugar damages collagen and thus creates wrinkles! Because of the decrease in collagen your skin looks less “supple” and leaves your skin more vulnerable to sun damage.  You can see everyday examples of this on the faces of  people with uncontrolled diabetes.

Sugar damages your liver
Sugar is bad for your heart
Sugar makes arthritis worse
Sugar causes cavities
Sugar causes diabetes
Sugar causes obesity


Heroin and sugar are arrived at by very similar processes of refinement. In producing heroin, the opium is first extracted from the poppy: The opium is then refined into morphine. The chemists then went to work on morphine and further refined it into heroin, proclaiming they had "discovered" a wonderful new pain-killer that was non-addictive. So they said.

Similarly, sugar is first pressed as a juice from the cane (or beet) and refined into molasses. Then it is refined into brown sugar, and finally into strange white crystals C12H22O, that are an alien chemical to the human system.

The “but I’m a runner and burn off the calories” logic is what has long allowed me to continue eating a daily cookie or piece of chocolate…but here’s the thing this isn’t about calories, it’s about the effect of sugar on your body.  It can cause osteoporosis and really aggravate arthritis.  Does that sound conducive to a long running life?

Did you know about all of these effects? Do you monitor your sugar intake?
Gratitude Journal
Sept 29
I am grateful for storm warnings
I am grateful for candlessig
I am grateful for dusty free rooms
I am grateful for all natural cleaners
I am grateful for good advice

Running Book Reviews: September
Life Is Too Short


  1. says

    Ugh I didn't want to read this but I'm glad I did. I too have a weak spot for sugar, and with some recent things going on with my body, I feel it now more than ever slowing me down…and for good reason! Reading this makes me want to go cold turkey, but it is super hard!

  2. says

    Wow, interesting (and scary) info about sugar! My problem is not adding it to foods or eating lots of sweets, it is that sugar is in almost everything you buy these days. From breads, to sauces, to yogurt, it's hard to avoid it!

  3. says

    I truly think I have a sugar addiction, I have read more books about it than I care to admit this year and I still don't know what to do about it. It does scare me a little.

  4. says

    good to know – where is the sugar in your diet? I'm trying to think in mine: Maple syrup, agave nectar – these are the main ones. Also hard candy is a vice.

  5. says

    I know it's bad, but I keep eating it! Do you know if less refined sugar is a little better for you? Like sugar in the raw? What about sweetners like agave and honey?

  6. says

    The only good sugar is the naturally occuring kind that's in fruit! I used to think that things like agave were better, but I'm finding studies that report that it really isn't.

  7. says

    Thanks for all this information. Like you I justify my sugar intake with my running, but as you pointed out, the sugar is probably ruining my running. For running fuel, I use pretty much straight sugar (jelly beans currently). I'm using those because other things seem to upset my stomach, also all the fuels seem to be mostly sugar anyways. Are we just kind of stuck on mid-run fuel consuming these sugary products? Or is there another alternative?

  8. says

    I did not know that sugar can cause all of the above listed. How sickening. And to think, how many small butterfinger bars did i eat yesterday?! GRoss. I really am usually good about this, but there are a few things that i crave – candy and sugared coffee drinks. gasp. Bring on the Holliday bootie buster challenge… I NEED IT!

  9. says

    there's no doubt that sugar is bad for us. but i do believe you can enjoy it in moderation (low moderation) and not have to give it up completely. there are a lot of other things out there too that can mess you up like too much vitamins, minerals and even protein. it's all about eating real foods, that come from the ground!

  10. says

    i am so clearly addicted to it. i always say thank god i never tried drugs b/c i feel i would be addicted b/c i can't stop with sugar, i can portion control and take a step back, but to NEVER have it….not possible. i am finally feeling the cause and effect BUT i still break down and have a binge …..

  11. says

    I *try* to watch my sugar, I really do, but it seems to sneak into my diet more than I would like to admit. Reminders like this are needed! Looking forward to hearing more about this book you've read!

  12. says

    I wish I didn't read this!!Okay, I take that back. Knowledge is power. I have always been open and honest about my sugar addiction, but like you said I thought it was fine because I burn the calories through running. I never thought of it as an issue beyond calorie content.Wow – I need rehab.

  13. says

    Knowing this doesn't help me too much — I am a proponent of enjoying yourself in life in moderation. Given that I used to be a lot worse in the sugar department, I'd say I'm making progress. Sometimes I really don't want much of it at all, but other times, I will have SOME. I won't stress over it more than that. Blame my sugar-craving ancestral genes.

  14. says

    Thanks for this reminder. I'm a type II diabetic (I take metformin and Actos) and have monitored my sugar intake and blood sugar levels for years. I'm not one to hardly ever eat sweets, maybe once a year for a birthday or holiday. Even so, I think I tend to forget the importance of staying abreast all the information I can on it. Look forward to reading your book review.

  15. says

    I read a lot about sugar in The Kind Diet and it freaked me out… but I still eat too much of it. Like you, I don't smoke or drink but have a major sweet tooth. I need to work on it!

  16. says

    I just found your blog and this post is so timely for me. In June of this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer (early stage but still scary). I have spent hours, if not days, researching nutritional options and more and more research points out to sugar (and that means flour too, btw) as fuel for cancer cells. Sugar may not be the cause but it surely provides fuel for those cells to multiply.In at least one study of cancer patients whose cancers were terminal, eliminating sugars (and again, that means flour also) significantly reduced cancer growth. (Würzburg Univ./Stanford).I hope more people find out about effects on sweets on our lives.Thank you for your post.

  17. says

    I'm pretty good about the sugar – I don't usually crave it, and if I do, I usually eat a scoop of peanut butter. But that is not to say I don't have my occasional indulgances – remember yesterday's post? Life is too short not to have desert!But you bring up some good points – sugar is pretty damaging to the body – that's why all things in moderation. Except for running – I'm a junkie with that!Big hug to you girlie!

  18. says

    So true that sugar is so bad for us, but at the same time I think you can eat a little and just be sure to do it in moderation…Thanks for the recommendation of Livewriter- I've definitely considered it but I have a mac so I can't get it :(

  19. says

    Yeah, I try to limit sugar but definitely do allow it in my, and my family's, diet. But, it is in SO much food that you really have to be careful watching labels and I try my best! Good post.

  20. says

    Jeez, no I did not know it was that bad. I guess drinking my wine is not so bad after all. I try to limit sugar to an extent, but it's not something I crave that much anyway. Great info, though.

  21. says

    so, i've totally been thinking about this all day. i for one am completely guilty of the "i'm a runner, i can eat whatever" philosophy. i need to get sugar out and focus on better more beneficial foods. thanks for being thought provoking!

  22. says

    I seriously have a sugar problem and this post has really motivated to take a good look at my sugar consuption. It will be tough but I'm hopeful I can at least reduce it a little bit, baby steps :)

  23. says

    your newest follower!I just ate a lemon bar and read this…I have a serious sugar addiction to go along with my exercise mania. I try to stay away, but it just keeps calling back to me. Plus, baking is such a catharsis!

  24. says

    SOme of those things I knew because I read them somewhere. But others I knew b/c how my body reacts to too much sugar. I know the less I eat the less I crave sugar. If I eat too, much my face is puffy. If I have a high sugar diet, I crave other bad foods too.

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