8 Dangerous Risks of Sugar Consumption on Overall Health

May 16, 2023
4 minutes

Table of Contents

Sugar, the sweet staple found in an overabundance of foods, has become a growing concern due to its impact on our health. While it serves as a primary energy source and adds flavor to our meals, excessive sugar consumption can lead to numerous health issues. 

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the benefits and risks of sugar consumption, providing valuable insights to help you make informed dietary choices.

What is Sugar? 

Sugar is a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in various foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. When consumed, sugar is broken down into glucose, serving as the primary energy source for our body's cells.

People often think that the word sugar means table sugar. It does, but it also refers to many other types of sugars including, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose.

How Does Sugar Consumption Impact Our Bodies?

However, for many, the only source of sugar comes from processed foods, such as soft drinks, candies, and baked goods, to enhance their taste. 

According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar daily, far exceeding the recommended limit of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. 

This excessive intake can have significant consequences on our mental and physical well-being.

8 Risks of Sugar Consumption on Overall Health
8 Risks of Sugar Consumption on Overall Health

The Sweet Side: Benefits of Sugar Consumption

Before bad-mouthing sugar, let’s point out the essential purposes it has in your body. 

  1. Energy: Sugar provides an immediate energy source fueling our body's cells and helping you stay active throughout the day.

Added sugar can have the opposite effect.

Symptoms of too much sugar consumption

If you’re a lover of soft drinks or sweets, chances are you might feel:

Low energy levels: A study concludes that participants felt tired and less alert after 1 hour of sugar consumption than a control group. 

Low mood: Sugar intake can increase rates of depression and mood disorders in males, an investigation found.  

Bloating: If you’re one to have digestive conditions(irritable bowel syndrome or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), some sugar might cause bloating and gas. 

Sugar Health 101

For many years, the general assumption was that consuming soft drinks and sweets gave you a boost of energy (sugar rush), but as more studies are ongoing, it points in the opposite direction. 

If you want to stray away from sugared products, read the label to find ingredients, such as:

  • raw sugar
  • corn sweetener or syrup
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • brown sugar
  • coconut sugar
  • fruit juice concentrates
  • honey
  • molasses
  • maple syrup
  • invert sugar
  • malt sugar
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • maltose
  • sucrose
  • lactose
  • Syrup

How about changing soft drinks to tea? Read about the benefits of tea for your health! 

A bowl of sugar with a wooden spoon inside and three sugar cubes surrounding the bowl.

The Bitter Consequences: Risks of Excessive Sugar Consumption

Apart from the side effects mentioned above, too much sugar intake can lead to

  1. Weight gain: Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, as excess calories from sugar are stored as fat.
  2. Increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes: High sugar consumption can cause insulin resistance, increasing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
  3. Heart disease: Excessive sugar intake has been linked to higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, contributing to an increased risk of heart disease.
  4. Impaired cognitive function: Studies have shown that high sugar consumption can negatively impact memory and learning capabilities.
  5. Tooth decay: Bacterias in the mouth feed off sugar, creating acid as a waste product. The acid can erode tooth enamel, producing holes or cavities in the teeth. 
  6. Acne: Drinking sweetened beverages seven times per week or more will most likely cause moderate to severe acne
  7. Cancer: Excessive sugar intake can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and obesity. Factors that influence the development of cancer. 
  8. Aging skin: High consumption leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), a critical role in diabetes, but it also affects collagen formation in the skin. It is suggested that AGEs may cause premature aging. Though, more research is required to understand the impact of sugar on the aging process. 
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Striking the Right Balance: Managing Sugar Consumption for Optimal Health

To enjoy the benefits of sugar while minimizing the risks, consider implementing the following strategies:

  1. Monitor your sugar intake: Keep track of the amount of sugar you consume daily and aim to stay within the recommended guidelines.
  2. Choose natural sugars: Opt for healthier alternatives like fruits, which contain natural sugars along with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  3. Read food labels: Be aware of the added sugars present in processed foods and beverages. Look for products with lower sugar content or those that use natural sweeteners.
  4. Practice portion control: Enjoy sugary treats in moderation by opting for smaller servings or sharing desserts with friends and family.

Overall, added sugar is not needed to function. Sugar from natural sources provides you with other essential nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. 


Sugar can be hard to escape after many years of flaunting advertising and a stack of colorful-vibrant variations. 

If you are determined to cut added sugar from your life, analyze your consumption. 

How many snacks, drinks, and foods do you eat daily containing added sugar? 

After having a clear view, opt to cut little by little those types of snacks/foods and start introducing your body to more suitable ingredients that will boost your energy, confidence, and health. 

Frustration is common, and it is okay to feel it, but don’t stay too long in that mindset. Your body is a machine that needs adequate care. It can be annoying, overwhelming, and even expensive (depending on your region), but if you take care of your body, it will take care of you for many years ahead.

Save yourself, and save some money (because you won’t be spending money on all those treats) by saying no to sweets! Of course, moderation and awareness can also make a difference. 

Continue reading about oxidative stress and its consequences on the skin! 

Explore AETHEION® products to boost your skin health! 

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