The Top 10 Reasons to Give up Sugar

Are you wondering why I challenged you to give up sugar this month? I did this because I really, truly believe that it is one thing you can do for yourself and your family to positively impact your health. In this post I’m going to give you 10 great reasons to give up sugar (but there are more and you don’t have to look too far to find them).

Top 10 Reasons to Give up Sugar

1. Sugar makes you fat, sick, and malnourished

When we eat sugar (really, any carbohydrates) it gets turned into glucose. Excess glucose gets turned into triglycerides in our livers and then stored in fat cells. Sugar makes us fat. No, it isn’t dietary fat’s fault. It is sugar’s fault.

Sugar leeches minerals from your body and makes you over-fat. You become simultaneously malnourished and fat. Don’t think you’re out of the woods if you’re thin, however. It’s entirely possible to be thin, sick (even if you don’t know it yet), and malnourished. Some individuals have genes that enable them to stay thin despite a terrible diet.

2. Sugar causes insulin resistance which often leads to diabetes

When insulin levels are continuously high due to high blood glucose levels, this causes insulin resistance. When this happens, your body won’t respond well to lower levels of insulin, and more glucose will get stored as fat. Once you’ve developed insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes is just a step away. Make no mistake, type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and controllable with diet alone.

3. Cancer feeds on sugar

In 1955 Nobel laureate Otto Warburg discovered cancer feeds on glucose cells. Since then, more research has displayed that you can activate cancer cell death by depriving the cells of glucose. This is done through a very strict ketogenic diet. Not only are individuals using this type of diet to help treat cancer, but also to help avoid cancer (particularly in those who have a history or family history of cancer).

4. Alzheimer’s Disease

Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes doesn’t cause cancer, but more and more research is uncovering that they have the same cause—consumption of foods that alter the role of insulin in the body. Alzheimer’s is actually being dubbed type 3 diabetes by many.

5. Heart Disease

One of the biggest myths perpetrated is that dietary fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. This could not be farther from the truth. The true dietary villains are any foods that increase inflammation in your body. When your body is inflamed it produces more cholesterol to help take care of the problem. Sugar is one of the big villains in this instance.

6. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Instances of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has doubled in the US in in just the last 20 years. This corresponds with the continued over-consumption of sugar in this country.

7. Sugar suppresses the immune system

Sugar suppresses your immune system. It does this using a number of different mechanisms:

  • It interferes with Vitamin C transportation (double-check that bottle of Vitamin C to make sure there is no added sugar)
  • White blood cells have a reduced ability to kill germs in the presence of sugar.
  • The impact of fatty acids are neutralized when sugar is in your system. This makes your cells more permeable and susceptible to infection.

8. Sugar plays a role in mental disorders.

The brain is the most sensitive organ in our bodies to sugar. The extreme insulin spikes and the nutrient-leeching quality of sugar can cause major problems in the brain. This is why sugar has been linked to such disorders as anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia. If you suffer from any of these problems, it would behoove you to keep your blood glucose levels stable.

9. Sugar destroys your teeth

I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone that sugar destroys your teeth. The combination of sugar, saliva, and bacteria creates the perfect storm for tooth decay. Want to keep your teeth in your head and avoid expensive medical bills—cut the sugar.

10. Sugar can cause significant mood and behavioral problems in children.

Because sugar impacts the brain in such a dynamic way, children are particularly susceptible to problems from sugar. Consumption of sugar manifests itself differently in different children. It can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties, crankiness, and/or drowsiness. Children suffer when this happens they perform poorly in school or extra-curricular activities, they get in trouble, and don’t get along with peers.

Hopefully this list is enough to convince you that sugar isn’t just innocuous pretty white crystals. Be sure to check out 6 Ways to Cut Sugar and Still Enjoy Food for some helpful pointers to get you going!

Top (14)


  1. Scratch Mommy says:

    To answer your question…I haven’t completely given up sugar, but it’s limited a great deal from where it was and it is in different ways. For example, I can’t remember the last time I used just plain old white sugar. But, I did put a little maple syrup on my pancakes this morning. So, I feel good about my baby steps…and feel better in general.

    Thanks for hosting again!

    • Trisha Gilkerson says:

      That is great. I feel strongly that we have to make small manageable steps. Trying to do everything at once just sets us up for failure. Make the steps that you can stick to until they become a habit and then take another step!

  2. Great Post (Can I share it on my blog?) Next week is my official ONE YEAR anniversary of NO SUGAR! I have never been in better shape because of it.

  3. Thanks for hosting!
    How great to have a no sugar challenge! It is so harmful to the body…

  4. I had to share this on Facebook. Thank you for the list, there were some included on here that I was not aware of. I have not fully given up sugar this month, I think because we were so strict with it last month we laxed ever so slightly this last week. I added a tsp of brown sugar to oatmeal, and we at a candy bar. Other than that though, we haven’t really added any to anything. Still enjoying fresh fruits as our “sweet” after dinner. This list def makes me want to keep “Keeping sugar” at the most minimum I can keep it.

    • Trisha Gilkerson says:

      I know different people have differing tolerances for sugar and other carby foods. If I were to eat a cup of oatmeal, even without the sugar, it would give me huge cravings. The same with a lot of fruit. I can tolerate some strawberries or blueberries but other fruits with more sugar leaves me craving for more!

      Some people are more sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar levels than others, so knowing your body and how what you’re eating impacts you is important.

  5. 8. Sugar plays a role in mental disorders.
    (Sugar)? is the most sensitive organ in our bodies to sugar. error

  6. Thank you for hosting Trisha! :)

    As if the taste alone wasn’t enough, this week I shared 13 reasons to eat more butter… plus a post on how to bake with healthy fats, including – you guessed it – butter!

  7. I’m mad at you for continuing to post this because I have to take notice!!!! Thanks a lot TRISHA! Why do I link your blog with all this good health sense stuff posted for consumption :-)

    • Trisha Gilkerson says:

      I’m so sorry to upset you! But, you do need to take notice of the posts I wrote about fat. Just replace your pie with a big juicy well-marbled porterhouse steak, maybe with some garlic-herb butter melted on top. Yum. You’ll be so full you won’t even miss dessert! :) (hey look at that, I didn’t even realize you had a blog of your own!)

  8. Sharing on FB right now – great!

  9. I have taken the habit of having one good beer a day, or perhaps switch it up with a glass of wine. Is this also causing the spike with my glucose? I really love to relax to that drink after a hectic day.

    • Trisha Gilkerson says:

      Yes, the beer will also cause a spike in glucose. Dry wine is probably your best option – there will still be a spike bit it will likely be more minimal.

  10. What about dates, and maple syrup?

    • Trisha Gilkerson says:

      Good question! Dates and maple syrup had the benefit of actually having nutrients in them that can benefit the body. But, like sugar they can also cause a hefty spike in blood sugar. Definitely something I wouldn’t eat too much of, but are a better option than refined sugar.


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