Sugar - Health, Dangers and Diseases

Sugar - Health, Dangers and Diseases / Naturopathy
From a biological point of view, our sugar is usually crystallized sucrose. This raw material occurs in different plants, and that is why we extract sugar from, for example, sugar cane, sugar maple, sugar palms and sugar beet. The most important facts:

  • Sugar is indispensable in the body for motor function, mental activity and cell function. Without him we die.
  • Our sugar has evolutionary causes. Sweetness suggests energy to the body. That's why we have to work consciously if we want to reduce sugar consumption.
  • In moderation, sugar consumption is vital, in amounts well over 12 teaspoons a day it creeps into the body as a sweet poison, leading to hypertension, heart disease, cell aging, obesity and diabetes.
  • Also known as healthy foods with lots of vitamins and minerals like fruits contain plenty of sugar.


  • overweight
  • Where does the sugar go??
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Why does sugar make you fat??
  • From lack to abundance
  • What is sugar?
  • Why do we love sugar??
  • Hidden sugar
  • sugar sources
  • The history of white gold
  • The sugar beet
  • Lots of sugar
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Restrict sugar, but how?


The most obvious consequence of excessive sugar consumption is overweight. In 2009, the Robert Koch Institute published a German long-term study, according to which 15 percent of all children and adolescents suffer from obesity - that is about 50 percent more than in the 1990s. The main cause is the increasing consumption of sugar, especially through soft drinks and energy drinks.

If you eat too much sugar products, then the body first places sugar stores in the cells. When these are full, the body sugar becomes fat and settles on the hips, abdomen or buttocks and internally, for example, in the liver. Now threatening sequelae such as hypertension or diabetes.

Sugar can be found in many foods, eg. B. also in the frozen pizza from the supermarket. In moderation, it is healthy, but overconsumption of sugar leads to high blood pressure and diseases such as diabetes. (Image: chones /

Where does the sugar go??

When we consume sugar products, the body produces insulin. Insulin causes us to be more hungry and burn less fat. We are getting fatter, and the thicker we get, the greater is our urge for sugar - the dangerous omission of overweight. The vicious cycle causes diseases such as fatty liver, dental disease, bowel problems, sleep disorders, heart problems, poor concentration and depression.

Type 2 diabetes

Too high sugar consumption drives up the level of blood sugar in the air. The pancreas now emits more insulin, which brings the sugar parts into the cells. Insulin normally balances the blood sugar level. If the sugar intake is now too long in the long term, as with almost all people in Germany, and this is associated with too little exercise, an otherwise unbalanced diet and stress (which also applies to a lot of Germans), then the blood sugar system will not work at some point.

The cells become resistant to insulin, and the sugar transport no longer reaches the overloaded cells, but accumulates in the blood. The blood sugar level rises steadily, and the blood vessels suffer as well as the nerves. We call this disease type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Why does sugar make you fat??

Refined sugar turns the body into fat five times faster than complex carbohydrates. The sugar nourishes the fat cells.

concentration problems

The constant energy kick due to excessive sugar consumption leads to concentration problems. Those affected become nervous, can not sit still, are plagued by inner restlessness.

Too high a consumption of sugar can lead to concentration losses - with regard to children anyway a much-discussed topic. A sugar reduction can be quite helpful here. (Image: S.Kobold /


Too much sugar causes damage in the intestine. The show up in bloating, diarrhea and constipation. The high sugar level attacks the intestinal flora and ensures that harmful bacteria can settle there. Not only we love the sweet substance, but also the yeast Candida. In the end, you may develop serious intestinal diseases.

sugar addiction

If we drink energy drinks all the time and order our lunch almost only at the pizza delivery service, then even a sugar addiction can occur. If we stop the narcotic substance now, the body produces more dopamine. We have headaches, are aggressive and have an insatiable appetite for chocolate and gummy bears.

sugar depression

Too high a blood sugar level leads to emotional instability. Nervousness and unexplainable fears can turn into real depression.

"Sugar stupidity"

A high level of blood sugar has a negative effect on the hippocampus. This is the brain's memory center. People with high sugar consumption scored lower on memory tests at the Charité in Berlin than people with moderate sugar consumption.

sugar cancer

Like smoking and alcohol, the sweet drug is a risk factor in the development of cancer. Firstly, sugar overdoses promote the proliferation of tumor cells, but secondly, the tempting sweetness weakens the body's own immune system and body cells, and this promotes cancer.

Exactly like alcohol and cigarettes too high sugar consumption leads to an increased cancer risk. Think about their health and enjoy everything in moderation. (Image: nenetus /

sugar immunodeficiency

Sucrose, fructose or glucose, they all destroy vitamin C, which is exactly the substance needed to fight harmful viruses and bacteria. This way, inflammation can spread more easily.

Saccharified cells

Too high a sugar intake causes sugar molecules to attach to the collagen fibers in the tissue. This now hardens, thereby failing the body's own hygiene: toxins remain in the skin, it shrivels and ages.


Sugar is important for bacteria to draw energy. Oral bacteria thrive with increased sugar consumption and leave as waste acids. These damage the teeth and lead to tooth decay. As with many other diseases, sugar is not the only cause. Tooth decay also thrives when we eat hearty food before sugary food, it depends on how the food is made (sticky sugar stick to the teeth), how long the food on the teeth act, etc. In general, but the simple carbohydrates are more likely to Caries as multiple carbohydrates, because they are available to the bacteria faster. By the way, it helps to brush your teeth after consuming sugary foods.

No matter the type of sugar: table sugar, honey or easily digestible starch promote caries alike.

From lack to abundance

Only a few centuries ago, ordinary people in central Europe had little sugar available. Sugar from sugarcane was a luxury product, and those who could not afford it resorted to honey. Today, at 35 kilograms per year, we consume about five times as much of the sweet substance as in the days of the German Empire. The World Health Organization states that Germans consume 90 grams of sugar per day, almost double the amount that would be justifiable: 50 grams for adults, 25 grams for children, that is 12 or 6 tablespoons.

What is sugar?

All sugars are carbohydrates. Table sugar usually consists of multiple sugars (sucrose). In food we also find glucose (glucose), fructose (fructose) and lactose (lactose). If you find glucose, fructose or lactose on a food, it is always sugar. And for that applies: More than 12 teaspoons a day harm the health.

There are different types of sugar. Fructose is one of them. Overall, daily consumption should not exceed 12 teaspoons. (Image: spline_x /

Why do we love sugar??

Our body needs the sweetener. These are simple carbohydrates that are available immediately - necessary for people who consume a lot of energy through physical activity. Without these carbs we could not breathe, think, run or climb. For this reason we are evolutionarily fixated on sweets. Fruits and honey gave our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, instant energy that they desperately needed, like a car's gas in the tank.

Our digestion splits into fruit and glucose. The blood then transports these building blocks into the muscles and organs. The brain alone needs 140 grams of glucose every day. Attention: These 140 grams do not only draw people from pure sugar, but especially from foods that contain carbohydrates such as cereals, bread, oatmeal, noodles or potatoes.

The industry takes advantage of the greed of our body after the sweet energy kick and processes quantities of sugar in all sorts of foods that they, freshly prepared, did not contain. In addition, a sugar additive has a conservative effect.

Hidden sugar

Everyone knows that ice cream, cakes, gummy bears or desserts contain large portions of sugar, and that luscious enjoyment of these treats thickens and hurts health. However, we do not reach the bulk of our excess sugar levels over such well-known sweets, but over industrial foods that most people hardly associate with sugars. Such sugar bombs include: ketchup, meat salad. Crunchy breads for children, crispbread, crisps, strawberry yoghurts, cocoa powder, ready-to-serve pizza, ham, red cabbage, coleslaw, salad dressings, crunchy muesli, liverwurst, soft drinks, fruit nectar, and even as a healthy dairy product for children.

Even people who try to eat healthily, are not immune to the sugar bombs. A healthy diet includes plenty of vegetables, low saturated fats, and sugar reduction. However, canned vegetables and frozen vegetables (with seasoned spice) often contain plenty of added sugars. 80 percent of all groceries in the supermarket contain artificial sugar supplements. Beverages such as lemonade, cola or even natural fruit juices contain up to 120 grams of sugar per liter.

To this hidden sugar in food, which we do not directly associate with it, every person in Germany also eats on average seven kilograms of sweetened baked goods such as cookies or gingerbread, over three kilograms of ice cream, five and a half kilograms of candy and sweets such as fruit gum and ten kilograms of chocolate per year.

sugar sources

Sugar comes mainly from the tropical sugar cane and the sugar beet of temperate latitudes. The most important sugar cane countries are Brazil, India and China, and sugar beet France, Russia and the USA.

Sugar often comes from the tropical sugarcane. The pipes can reach a thickness of 20 to 45 millimeters and can reach heights of three to six meters. (Image: eqroy /

The history of white gold

The wild sugarcane grows in New Guinea. As early as 8000 years before our time, finds in Polynesia prove it, 2000 years later people spread it in India and Persia. Chinese, Indonesians and Filipinos cultured it a thousand years before our era, today it is an important crop in all tropical countries such as subtropics.

From India, this crop came to Persia and Arabia. Nearchos, a general of Alexander the Great, reported on a plant from which a substance sweet as honey could be obtained. That's what Europeans learned about cane sugar. Pliny the Elder mentions cane sugar from Egypt and India as medicine.

600 years after our era is how the Persians made sugar: they treated the juice of the sugar cane with lime and egg white, heated it and then filled it into conical clay molds. The sugar crystallized at the top. That's how the sugarloaf was made. Rich people imported this sugar from the Persian Empire to Rome; however, the Romans usually used thickened grape juice for sweetening.

The Arabs cultivated sugarcane on the coast of North Africa and Spain, and the Venetians imported it into Sicily, Cyprus, Malta, Rhodes and Morocco. After core Europe, the cane sugar came around 1100 after our era with the Crusades and was sold in pharmacies. The sweet goods was considered a medicine and was a luxury product. To a greater extent, cane sugar came to Europe with colonialism.

The "white gold"

On his second trip to the Caribbean, Christopher Columbus brought sugarcane cuttings to the island of Hispaniola. In 1494 the Spaniards planted it in Haiti. The Caribbean has now become the main growing area of ​​cane sugar in the world. Portuguese and later Englishmen also entered the business, and the Caribbean islands soon also called "sugar islands".

The Portuguese cultivated sugarcane in West Africa and Brazil, worked with Dutch banks and created the largest sugar production in the world. In 1625 they had the monopoly on the European market.

The British occupied Barbados 1627 and Jamaica 1655 and produced here only sugar cane. They brought the molasses to England and processed it there. They replaced the Portuguese as a monopolist in the sugar business. The British called the cane sugar "white gold".

sugar slavery

For sugar production, the colonial powers used slaves from Africa, who captured slavers in today's Ghana and Guinea and kidnapped them to work in the plantations of the Caribbean. Most people living there today are descendants of these slaves. Between 10 and 15 million Africans were abducted for plantation slavery. Today, the "sugar islands" of Trinidad, Tobago and Barbados have the highest sugar consumption per capita in the world.

The sugar beet

Sugar remained a luxury product. That changed after 1747. This year, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered that sugar can be made from sugar beet. In contrast to the sugarcane, the turnip grows in temperate-cool latitudes. This was a favorable alternative to tropical sugarcane for Europe. In 1801, the world's first beet sugar factory was established in Cunem in Silesia. In 1900 already 11 million tons of beet sugar were produced. Sugar was now part of the daily diet and no longer a product for the rich.

Sugar beets grow in field soil. After harvest, they are mechanically cleaned and dismembered. From these chips, the sugar juice is dissolved out with hot water. Lime milk binds the non-sugar substances. The pale yellow sugar juice is now evaporated, and it creates a golden thick juice with 75 percent sucrose. The thick juice now gets so-called seed crystals, and the beet sugar crystallizes. Then centrifuges separate the syrup from the crystals.

In 1747, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered that sugar can also be made from sugar beet. This was a favorable alternative to tropical sugarcane for Europe. (Image: Bits and Splits /

Lots of sugar

  • Cane sugar is the brown sugar refined from the juice of the sugar cane. It is available in a variety of forms, which differ in taste and color, depending on their origin, method of cultivation and further processing.
  • Beet sugar is said substance from the sugar beet.
  • Maple sugar is made from the sugar maple, whose juice contains about five percent sucrose.
  • Palm sugar is obtained from the pedicels of various palms. These are scratched, and the effluent juice contains about 15 percent sucrose.
  • Fructose is a simple sugar. This is mainly because honey is also contained in glucose-fructose syrup made from corn.
  • Melezitose is a triple sugar that excretes aphids in honeydew. This is how he gets into forest honey.
  • Malt sugar is artificially made from starch and is mainly used to make alcoholic beverages.
  • Molasses is the name of the brown syrup that drops off when making alcohol. For sugar cane, it is the basis of rum.
  • Lactose is a double lactose with glucose and galactose. Many people, especially Asians, have lactose intolerance. In them, lactose triggers severe diarrhea.
  • Stachyose is a quadruple sugar in soybeans.
  • Grape sugar, glucose or dextrose are simple sugars produced from starch, which are also found in honey and in the blood.

Sugar substitutes

Unlike sugars, substitutes have no calories. These include aspartame, acesulfame K, cyclamate, neotame, saccharin, stevioglycosides and thaumatin. Rumors that these harm health or even cause cancer have not been clearly demonstrated. But there is another problem. Because of the sweet taste, the body produces plenty of insulin.

Although honey contains vitamins, amino acids and minerals, but also almost as many calories as table sugar. Vitamins and minerals also contain maple syrup, fruit syrups and raw cane sugar.

Also used for sweetening are carob, the fruits of the cassia, the sugar root, the sweet dumplings, the mahogany (lichen), birch sugar, Latwerge, agave syrup, date syrup and manna ash.

Sweeteners such. Aspartame, unlike sugar, has no calories. Nevertheless, the body produces insulin when consumed. (Image: Heike Rau /

Grape sugar is especially healthy?

No, glucose is sugar. For example, on the supreme court decision of the EU, the dextro dextrose dextro energy was not allowed to advertise that its products were good for the health.

Restrict sugar, but how?

Our greed for sweetness is an evolutionary origin of urgency that requires effort to break through. It is best to gradually reduce the consumption of sugar. For example, we can drink a glass of water more often if we feel the urge to sweeten.

Very important: cook yourself with fresh food. This already bypasses most sugar traps in industrial food. For example, industrial ketchup contains nearly 50 percent sugar. You can also make ketchup yourself by mixing and seasoning tomato paste with soy sauce and / or water. Then this sugar bomb has disappeared. Juices can be diluted with water to sprinkle.
In the supermarket, check how much sugar, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose or lactose is in the product. Also maltodextrin, corn syrup, glucose syrup, sweet whey powder or malt extract means sugar. For example, get the AOK app "Conscious Shopping" to learn the real sugar content of food. What is considered healthy does not have to contain a little sugar. For example, dried fruits are packed with vital substances, but are also full of sugar. This also applies to fruit juices, even if they come 100% from nature. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)