Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Sugar Bad For You?

Also Known As: table sugar, sucrose



Short answer

Table sugar is bad for you. The negative effects of consuming table sugar regularly can appear in under three months.



Long answer

As human beings, we are born to love the sweetness that sugar affords. The problem with table sugar (aka sucrose) is that it is only partially made from the sugar our bodies need, glucose. Sucrose is made from the linked molecules of glucose and fructose in equal parts. While glucose is needed by the body, fructose is not - and this is what can cause havoc. So, while sucrose is very similar to glucose, its effects can be very different due to its fructose content. 

Now, fructose by itself isn't necessarily dangerous. Anytime we eat fruit, we are consuming fructose. In moderate amounts, the liver converts it into glycogen which gets turned into glucose through a process known as glycolysis. However, eating too much table sugar can lead to elevated amounts of fructose in the liver, which then converts it into fat. 

At the very least of the worries is the fact that table sugar contains no nutrients. Moving on from there, it can lead to an elevation in ghrelin, a hormone that tells us we are still hungry, which can induce overeating and rapid weight gain. Sucrose, due to its glucose content, also leads to elevated levels of blood glucose and thus a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Still worse is that table sugar has been found to increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver, leading to heart disease and possibly even cancer. All this combined with the fact that sugar is highly addictive as it causes the brain to release dopamine, table sugar becomes nearly as scary as any drug. 

So, while table sugar may be a delicious addition to various foods - when answering whether it is good for the body or not, the answer is a resounding no.

Possible short-term side effects

  • mood swings
  • blood glucose elevation
  • promotes overeating

Possible long-term side effects

  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • addiction
  • cancer
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver


  • boost in energy

Healthier alternatives

  • avoidance
  • stevia
  • local, organic honey

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-03-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 01-03-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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