The Not So Sweet Facts About Sugar

The Not So Sweet Facts About Sugar

July 19, 2013

Do you realize that the average American consumes an astounding two to three pounds of sugar each week?  Sugar is disguised in many different forms such as sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup. It is used in many foods you wouldn't even consider.  It is added to bread, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and even in many microwave meals. Some restaurants even add it to their French fry batter.  It is used to add or enhance flavor. Here are more facts about sugar.

In the last 20 years, we have increased our sugar consumption in the United States to 26 pounds per person per year! The rate of people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer have increased as well. Sugar is an empty-calorie food. It contains zero nutrition. As weight loss surgery patients, foods containing large amounts of sugar are detrimental to our weight loss, maintenance, and overall health. We are limited in the amount of food we eat. It is important to make certain what we eat counts nutritionally to our bodies.

Facts About Sugar: Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a measurement of how a certain food affects blood-glucose levels, food being assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the absorption into the digestive process. This slower absorption provides a more gradual, healthier infusion of sugars into our bloodstream. On the other hand, a high rating means blood-glucose levels are dumped into our bodies quicker. This dump stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. The drop of blood-sugar levels results in rapid fluctuations which are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.

Facts About Sugar: Dumping Syndrome

Weight loss surgery post-ops can experience dumping syndrome, depending on the type of procedure they've had. A high percentage of post-ops that have had a malabsorptive procedure experience dumping. Not all post-ops encounter dumping syndrome. Symptoms of dumping may include a rapid heartbeat, fatigue, nausea, tremors, flushed face with sweating, cramps, a faint feeling, or diarrhea. Dumping can occur when the patient eats refined sugar or certain fats or other high-glucose foods.

Due to the consumption of certain quantities of sugar or fat following a malabsorptive procedure, it surges into the lower intestine. Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly resulting in less impact on blood-sugar levels. Dumping episodes are temporary and can be controlled by watching what you eat. Whether a weight loss surgery post-op dumps or not, intake of high amounts of sugar and fats are to be monitored to maximize weight loss.

19 More Facts About Sugar

Whether someone is a weight loss surgery patient or not, sugar has many other consequences that impact our health. Some of the dramatic ones are:

  • Sugar can suppress the immune system.
  • It can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  • Contributes to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
  • It can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
  • Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
  • It can cause kidney damage.
  • Can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
  • Sugar can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • It can speed the aging process.
  • It can increase total cholesterol.
  • Can contribute to diabetes and osteoporosis.
  • Can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  • It can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
  • It can cause hypertension.
  • Causes hormonal imbalance.
  • Cause headaches, including migraines.
  • Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.

Sugar may be sweet to consume but the results to our body and health are not so sweet. Enjoying our good health is the ultimate sweetness of all.

The Not So Sweet Facts About Sugar
cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

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