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When talking about what is added to diets on a daily basis that causes health problems or inflammation, things like dairy, gluten and soy might come to mind. Have you ever thought about sugar in your diet? Even though many people are dairy or gluten intolerant, some of them can just be fine when handling eating those things. On the other hand, sugar is a different story. According to Turner (a medical nutrition therapist), sugar is the universal inflammatory and everyone is sugar intolerant. Why is sugar so bad for you and why do people find it hard to avoid eating sugar?

What Is Added Sugar?

When we say sugar, we are not talking about naturally occurring sugar in food, this isn’t an issue. An example of the naturally occurring sugar is those in sweet strawberries you tossed on your salad when taking lunch. When you eat a piece of fruit, you’re not only consuming sugar, which is in the form of fructose, but you are also consuming vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytonutrients. These added nutrients help feed the healthy bacteria present in your gut thereby helping your body digest the sugar found in the fruit. With this, you will not crave for more sugar and you will stay satiated for a longer period without the fear of having massive blood sugar spikes from eating too many fruits.

The main problems are those added sugar that the manufacturers put in foods while producing the foods. These added sugars are either to enhance the flavour in some way or to sweeten the food. There are no natural sources of these added sugars in nature. This is in contrast to the table sugars that we are consuming in a pure form.

How Added Sugar Messes Up Your Body

Per day, an average American consumes 94 grams of added sugar in different forms. The daily recommendation of sugar for women is no more than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams while men should not have more than 36 grams of added sugar per day. 12 grams (this is about one can of soda worth of added sugar) of added sugar is more than enough for children.

According to a major 2014 study, the consumption of a diet that is high in added sugar is very bad for your heart. They confirmed that the consumption of more than the daily-required amount of added sugar might increase the risk of you having heart disease. Going to the gym and eating your greens regularly will not immune you from the effects that the added sugar will have on your health. If you are healthy, eating a high-sugar diet can set your body up for diseases. Men eating a high-sugar diet are always suffering from unhealthy levels of fat in their blood and livers that may increase their risk of heart disease. On the other hand, if you are eating sugar as a pick-me-up, you may not develop depression or anxiety like those who are fond of eating sugar.