What Sugar Does To Your Body

Hello! My tribe

Do you feel lethargic post lunch or you crave something sweet after meals? Or are you a victim of a bloated stomach and are struggling to lose weight? Well, let’s agree to it; we all love donuts, chocolates and that tall glass of cold coffee loaded with ice cream. But sugar consumption has hazardous effects on our overall health, which cannot be ignored, especially for those with a sedentary lifestyle. Excess sugar increases your risk of type -2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And the worst part for us women who love our skin and want to look and feel young all the time, let me tell you, sugar reacts with the amino acid proteins in our body, causing wrinkles and premature aging. So with all these facts, we all know how bad sugar is for the body, but we don’t know why is it bad! So let me tell you, what sugar does to our body!

Eating sugar creates a surge of feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. That’s something like what happens to your body when you take cocaine. And just like a drug, your body craves more after the initial high, which gradually gets you addicted to that feeling. So every time you eat it, you want more of it. Once you eat glucose, your body releases insulin, a hormone from your pancreas which absorbs the excess glucose in the blood and stabilizes your blood sugar levels. But then, your blood sugar drops again. Which means you’ve just experienced a sugar rush, and then a drastic drop, leaving you drained. This makes you feel sluggish all the time, or or you begin to feel hungry or thirsty constantly. And then you end up consuming more sugar. Eventually, you get stuck in a vicious cycle and keep consuming sugar to feel good. But then, your body is not capable of digesting all the sugar you are feeding your body. So it ultimately gives up! That’s when your body starts storing the excess glucose, making you fat, leaving you at the risk of diabetes and multiple other diseases.

Now we all know that sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, protein bars and ketchup can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names. So let’s see which are those foods with hidden sugar…..and what are the different hidden names for sugar!

Foods that contain hidden sugar

Pasta Sauces
Pasta sauces have between 6 to 12 grams of sugar per half cup serving! Wondering how that’s possible? They taste savory and not sweet? Well, it is not necessary that a food containing sugar has to be sweet. There are many such foods which contain a lot of sugar, but do not taste sweet. So check the label and don’t go by the taste.

Granola Bars
Granola bars are health foods according to health professionals and fitness experts, but they contain added sweeteners like corn syrup, honey, brown sugar, dextrose and fructose. Some even have a chocolate coating which can increase your sugar intake drastically, anywhere between 10 to 12 grams per serving.

Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein. But flavoured yogurt contains 17 to 33 grams of sugar per 8 – ounce serving( including those that are naturally there in the milk it is made from). And that’s equal to almost 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream. So eat is plain or consume it at home by mixing fruits.

Instant Oatmeal
Oatmeal is the most suggested breakfast for gym goers and health enthusiasts due to its rich fiber content. But many fruit flavoured oats that sell in the market in the name of keeping you fit have 10 to 15 grams of sugar per packet. Instead, buy plain oats which has less than 1 gram of sugar per packet and add apple slices to it.

Salad Dressing
Though salads are a healthy choice, a salad dressing with excessive sugar can ruin your health goals. Sweet dressings like raspberry vinaigrette, French, and Catalina, have the most sugar(about 5 to 7 grams in just 2 tablespoons of dressing). You can instead try a light homemade vinegar and oil dressing which will have only about 1 gram of sugar in the same quantity.

Breakfast Cereals
Many popular oat, corn and bran cereals have more than 10 to 20 grams of sugar per cup. No! I am not just talking about the ones that are made for kids. Even the ones that are promoted as the healthier ones fall in the same league. So no matter what the box cover talks about, read the ingredients label to keep a check on your sugar intake.

Energy Drinks
Most of these energy drinks promise to energize you but they have lots of sugar and caffeine. Per 8-ounce of serving, there is about 25 grams of sugar. So when you feel low on energy, try having some water. Probably, you are feeling enervated because you are dehydrated.

Packaged Fruits
Packaged fruits contain high amounts of sugar. For example, mandarin oranges in light syrup contain about 39 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving. Better yet, have fresh fruits.

You’ve switched to tea to control your calorie consumption as you think tea has less sugar than other packaged juices. But packaged tea contains almost about 32 grams of sugar per bottle. Instead brew your own tea or drink flavored water that’s not high in sugar.

Dried Fruit
Dried fruits have higher percentage of sugar than fresh fruits. A small box of raisings has more than 25 grams of sugar. Instead try a cup of grapes which has 15 grams of sugar.

Although ketchup is not as high in sugar as other foods in this list, it still contains 4 grams per tablespoon. So, if you’re trying to cut back on sugar, which I suggest you should, go for a mustard sauce instead of ketchup. In 1 tablespoon of mustard sauce there is about 1 gram of sugar.

Different types of sugar

You won’t believe but there are 61 different names for sugar. So while many of the ingredient labels don’t mention sugar, they mention some other name instead of sugar. So I’m putting down all the different names of sugar so that next time you buy something, you know how to spot the sugar content in your food.

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barbados sugar
  3. Barley malt
  4. Barley malt syrup
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Buttered syrup
  8. Cane juice
  9. Cane juice crystals
  10. Cane sugar
  11. Caramel
  12. Carob syrup
  13. Castor sugar
  14. Coconut palm sugar
  15. Coconut sugar
  16. Confectioner’s sugar
  17. Corn sweetener
  18. Corn syrup
  19. Corn syrup solids
  20. Date sugar
  21. Dehydrated cane juice
  22. Demerara sugar
  23. Dextrin
  24. Dextrose
  25. Evaporated cane juice
  26. Free-flowing brown sugars
  27. Fructose
  28. Fruit juice
  29. Fruit juice concentrate
  30. Glucose
  31. Glucose solids
  32. Golden sugar
  33. Golden syrup
  34. Grape sugar
  35. HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  36. Honey
  37. Icing sugar
  38. Invert sugar
  39. Malt syrup
  40. Maltodextrin
  41. Maltol
  42. Maltose
  43. Mannose
  44. Maple syrup
  45. Molasses
  46. Muscovado
  47. Palm sugar
  48. Panocha
  49. Powdered sugar
  50. Raw sugar
  51. Refiner’s syrup
  52. Rice syrup
  53. Saccharose
  54. Sorghum Syrup
  55. Sucrose
  56. Sugar (granulated)
  57. Sweet Sorghum
  58. Syrup
  59. Treacle
  60. Turbinado sugar
  61. Yellow sugar

Hope this blog and video really helped you understand sugar better, and what it does to our body and hidden sugar in foods we eat.

Have you ever tried to quit sugar? And how did you feel? Please share with me and my tribe.

Love and Health



I am Uma - entrepreneur, award winning television personality,philanthropist and an eternal optimist dedicated to helping you liveyour dreams by bringing daily insights, fitness inspiration, cleaneating and beauty and wellness resources.Join me in this space and lets start this beautiful journey together.

Uma Ghosh
Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. It costs only US$ 0.50 to feed a child for a day.

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