According to one recent study, consumption of sugar is responsible for as much as 40 percent of health care dollars spent each year. In the U.S. more than $1 trillion is spent fighting obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. All of these diseases are related to the excessive consumption of sugar.

The foods you eat have an immense impact on your brain, gut health and cellular metabolism, all which impact your health and daily ability to be productive at home and work. Historically, sugar was a treat enjoyed only on special occasions. Today, it’s found in almost everything you eat, short of whole foods. It’s in processed foods of all kinds, snacks, drinks, sauces, breads, condiments and deli meats. Even infant formula and baby food is loaded with sugar, which triggers the brain’s reward center, increasing desire for more.

Research quite clearly shows that refined sugar in excessive amounts promotes mitochondrial dysfunction. These little powerhouses provide the energy for your cells, so when they cease to function normally, any number of functions throughout your body may be disrupted. Now, researchers have confirmed that sugar damages cellular function no matter how healthy you were before you began eating poorly.

In a study from the University of Surrey, researchers asked two groups of men to change their eating habits for three months.2 In the beginning, one group had evidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); the other group did not. Each man went through a 12-week period when he ate 650 calories from sugar each day or no more than 140 calories from sugar each day. The researchers measured levels of fat in the participant’s blood and liver.

What they discovered was not surprising. Those who ate 650 calories of sugar per day for 12 weeks had much higher levels of fat in their blood and liver. The research was designed as a randomized-crossover study, meaning each participant followed both diets and the order they followed the diet was randomly assigned.

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