14 Ways Sugar Is Secretly Evil

Put down that can of Coke. You won’t want it after reading this.

1. Manufacturers add sugar to make reduced-fat foods taste better and seem healthier.

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Tesco low-fat strawberry yoghurt contains 20.2 grams of sugar, over 20% of the guideline daily amount.

2. We significantly underestimate the amount of sugar in drinks that seem healthy.

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Especially milkshakes, smoothies, and fruit juices.

3. And there’s a surprising amount of sugar in foods that aren’t even sweet.

Flickr: sliceofchic / Creative Commons

A slice of Kingsmill white bread contains around 1.5 grams of the stuff.

4. Carbonation tricks your brain into thinking a drink contains less sugar than it actually does.

So drinking a sugary fizzy drink is likely to make you want to eat more sugar, not less.

5. It’s no surprise, then, that all age groups in the U.K. get more than the recommended maximum of 11% of total calories from sugar.

With over 15% of their calories coming from added sugar, 11- to 18-year-olds get the most.

6. And the average American consumes 77 pounds of added sugar each year.

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That’s more than 22 teaspoons a day.

7. Even a “safe” amount of sugar made mice more likely to die than their healthy-eating counterparts.

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A study found twice as many deaths among female mice eating 25% of their calories from sugar and fewer offspring and less territory for male mice on the same diet.

8. Sugar might be more addictive than cocaine.

Sugar can be addictive. And in a study by researchers at the University of Bordeaux, 94% of rats preferred sweetened water over cocaine.

9. Eating sugar gives you a rush similar to injecting heroin.

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But on a smaller scale. It leads to the release of opioids in the brain.

10. But after the initial high, sugar saps your energy and makes you want to just lounge around.

Those Sugar Association ads were lying to you.

11. Increase in sugar availability has been linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes.

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The link cannot be explained by physical activity or obesity.

12. Sugary drinks have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

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A 20% increase in relative risk was seen for men drinking sugary soft drinks, but there was no increase for those drinking artificially sweetened drinks.

13. Worldwide, 180,000 deaths every year may be associated with sugary drinks alone.

Flickr: poolie / Creative Commons

The study looked at deaths from chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

14. So we should all probably think about cutting back on the amount of sugar we eat.

Trouble is, that’s easier said than done.

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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