Bitter Truth About Refined Sugar: 10 Health Risks You Didn't Know About

Bitter Truth About Refined Sugar: 10 Health Risks You Didn't Know About

Sugar—the touch of sweetness in our day-to-day diet—adds delicious happiness to our lives. But did you know that all sugar is not healthy sugar? No? Even Meera didn’t know..   

Meera was a health-conscious girl. She did a lot of exercise, never touched soda, and drank only lemon tea. Then she added sugar to her diet, but unfortunately, it was the “wrong” sugar.  

Sugar can be broadly classified into two categories: natural and refined sugar. Natural sugar is something that lives naturally in fruits, vegetables, and dairy, while refined sugar is the crystallized white version of natural raw sugar

The distinction between the two has more implications than you think, especially for your health. In this article, we’ll delve further into details about the health risks of white sugar


How Refined Sugar Ruins Your Health and Happiness


Refined sugar, just like the sweet sound in its name, originates from plants like sugarcane or beets, but in bitter contrast, it’s shed all its natural flavours and good nutrients. It’s a “crystallized” version of healthy sugar that imitates its sweetness but directly impacts your health and well-being. From the cotton candy kids love to the baked cookies, everything these days is made of refined sugar, lacking any benefit from natural, unrefined sugar.


It was in India in the 2nd century AD that sugar was found to be refined. Crystallized sweet granules were derived through simple filtering and boiling from sugar cane juice. There also began the “Mithi Kranti,” or sweet revolution, in 2016 that encouraged more processing and popularizing of it. All this leads to health slowly taking the backseat and consumerism at the front. WHO says over 650 million adults have trends of obesity, and the American Heart Association links consuming refined sugar to two deadly chronic diseases, i.e., diabetes and cancer. 


10 Ways Refined Sugar is Harming You 


1. Fatty-Liver


The high fructose content in refined sugar is something the liver finds difficult to process. This leads to fat buildup in liver cells, causing a fatty liver. The regular metabolic processes of the body are also disturbed because of fructose, which in turn increases fat production and decreases fat breakdown in the liver. But what has far worse consequences is the development of insulin resistance in the body, making your cells less responsive to insulin’s effect on fat storage. Meera, who used to take pride in her health consciousness, developed a fatty liver problem as she regularized having refined sugar with her tea. 


2. Imbalance in gut


The harmful gut bacteria in refined sugar disrupt the delicate balance that natural sweetness maintains, leading to increased gut permeability. The permeable gut, in turn, enables the entry of toxins and food particles into the bloodstream, triggering the imbalance. This imbalance causes numerous health-related problems, like digestive disease, gut allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Meera had them too; gut allergies from prolonged sugar intake made her digestion problems worse.


3. Obesity


Refined sugar substances like table sugar and corn syrups contain “empty” calories, and without the power of the fibres and nutrients of healthy sugar, these empty calories contribute only to weight gain without actually filling you from the inside. This triggers a cycle of spiked blood sugar, increased fat storage, and an immoderate addiction to sweetness. The disrupted regulation of hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin makes overeating inescapable, and that makes you prone to obesity. Processed food contains huge amounts of it, making overconsumption of calories and weight gain a fact. Meera’s early lifestyle involved jogging, gymming, and exercising as part of her routine. But sweetness cravings landed her in the pit of obesity.   


4. Weakened immune system


The low-grade inflammation triggered by refined sugar impairs the white blood cells' defence against invaders. This disrupts the gut, lowering its immune functions and preventing the body from effectively tackling pathogens. The depletion of essential vitamins and minerals from the body, like vitamin C and zinc, is also the result of its consumption. Another thing that suppresses the immune response is increased cortisol surges.


5. Dental problems


Another critical downside of refined sugar is that it sticks to the teeth, producing acid waste that leads to enamel erosion. It also fuels gum problems like gingivitis and swollen gums due to the unchecked growth of bacteria in the cavity. Sensitivity is also a sub-part of the problem. As the dentine layer beneath the teeth is exposed, sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet food increases, leading to prolonged discomfort and pain. Other than that, serious issues like abscesses, tooth loss, and gum disease also arise due to its intake. Meera also developed dental problems due to her excessive addiction. They began with sensitivity, which eventually led to gum disease.


6. Diabetes


Unlike natural sugars that are rich in fibre in fruits and vegetables, refined sugar offers nothing but empty calories and triggers frequent blood sugar surges. This attack on the immune system overworks the insulin-producing pancreas, building insulin resistance and, in turn, causing diabetes. Diabetes is such a chronic disease that can only be managed and not cured. Choosing unwise sweetness has fatalities, and diabetes is a crucial example of that.   


7. Less appetite control


The dopamine surge triggered by refined sugar creates a temporary feeling of pleasure and increases cravings for more sugar, even overriding regular hunger. The brain’s reward system is also impacted, as it starts desiring larger doses to achieve the same feeling of satisfaction. The higher the intake of it, the greater the chances of blood sugar levels crashing. 


8. Addiction to sweetness


Refined sugar intake can create a dependence on sweetness, making it challenging to transition to healthier alternatives. Once you get used to the candy-coated intensity, the natural, subtler sweetness of whole fruits and vegetables can seem less sweet in contrast. This makes shifting away from it a daunting prospect. Sweetness addiction is no different from other forms of addiction. The impact might be different, as might the degree, but the tendencies are more or less the same. Addiction to sweetness was the initiation that triggered a flurry of other health concerns for Meera, like obesity, gum problems, and other diseases. 


9. Nutrient inadequacies


Unlike natural raw sugars that are packed with vital nutrients, refined sugar contains empty calories and steals the spotlight from nutrient-enriched foods. This leads to inadequacies, impacting your energy levels and your mood. Natural sugars, on the other hand, don’t do that to your body; they contain the healthiness of fibre and the goodness of nutritious calories, and you can go on living a healthier life by choosing a healthier sugar option.


10. Fatigue


Last but not least, fatigue. It’s a serious health issue caused by refined sugar. Due to the addition of zero good calories, nutrients, or fibres and the excess of processed sweetness, fatigue develops in the long run, making your body unhealthy and unfit for daily processes. Meera too developed a certain amount of fatigue after she got addicted to refined sweetness. We wish she had chosen natural sweetness over processed one.


Related: Which Sugar is Good for Your Health - Which to Avoid?


How did Refined Sugar Replace Natural Sugar?


Enough about refined sugar; let’s learn what’s natural sugar.


The sugar that lives inside whole fruits, vegetables, and dairy, free of any refining and paired with nutrients and fibres beneficial to health, is natural. Their ingrained sweetness fuels our bodies without addicting us to their intake.   


Spikes in blood sugar levels, slower digestion rates, and gut imbalances are the most common hazards that pertain to the consumption of refined sugar. Natural raw sugar, on the other hand, is not just free of hazards but contains numerous advantages. Meera wasn't aware of them. She couldn’t differentiate between the true characteristics of healthy and unhealthy sugar and developed an affinity for the latter’s sweetness.


The filling of fibres, vitamins, minerals, good bacteria, and antioxidants in healthy sugar maintains healthy digestion and immunity in us. But, through gimmicky branding, scientific spins, and the convenience craze, it manipulated the market and crept into households.


Using vague terms in their campaigns, like “purity” and “white gold," and linking healthy sugars to fake health problems, the sugar industry compromised the general public’s health and filled its own pockets. 


So, do you still think the “whiteness” and “purity” of your sugar determine your real healthiness? If No! Then switch to GUUD Sugar.


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What are the harms of eating sugar?

Even though sugar has sweetness, too much indulgence casts a bitter shadow on your health. Eating sugar fuels weight gain, increases chronic health risks, rots and sensitizes teeth, and steals vital nutrients. While enjoying sugary treats is okay, prioritizing whole foods and specifically natural sugar helps ensure your taste buds get the sweetness they need without the harmful aftertaste. Remember, less sugar means more vibrant health.


  1. How harmful is refined sugar?

Refined sugar can be harmful as it fuels weight gain, raises chronic health risks, erodes and sensitizes teeth, and depletes vital nutrients. Enjoyment through sweetness can be moderated by replacing refined sugar with natural raw sugar.


  1. What diseases are caused by refined sugar?

Many diseases refined sugar can cause. Overindulgence isn't a direct disease, but it displays addiction, significantly increasing the risk of several chronic diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and nutrient inadequacies are the major diseases caused by refined sugar.


  1. Which sugar is bad for health?

All sugars contribute to health concerns in excess, but refined sugars, particularly the ones used in sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, are linked to higher risks of obesity, chronic diseases, and dental issues due to their rapid absorption and processing.




The leading health risk is the addiction to sweetness that refined sugar causes. Addiction, to any degree, is something to be taken seriously. Natural sugar has the highest level of goodness in everything. From vital nutrients to good calories, natural sugars offer you sweetness without the bittersweet side effects. To adopt ‘healthy’ sweetness, one needs to believe beyond the marketing gimmicks of the sugar industry that relate healthiness and purity and subversively infuse health hazards like diabetes and other chronic disorders through their diet. Meera chose Guud’ natural sugar instead of refined sugar; not only did her problems go away, but she also started enjoying the healthiness of real, healthy sweetness.