Is sugar bad for you?


Sugar can have detrimental effects on health, particularly when consumed in processed forms like high fructose corn syrup. Consuming high amounts of refined sugars is linked to various negative outcomes for both brain and body functions. It's not about sugar being inherently bad; rather, it’s the form it takes and the quantity consumed that matters. For instance, high consumption can disrupt body and brain functions, making sugar somewhat addictive and challenging the ability to maintain focus, and influence mood states 1.

Refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup have harmful impacts such as liver issues and metabolic disturbances. These sugars can influence the brain similarly to addictive substances, altering how insulin impacts body organs and overall cellular health 2. Additionally, sugars can inhibit important body enzymes, detrimentally affecting organs like the liver, and have long-term impacts on overall longevity, with some data indicating an "eight-year longevity tax" in contexts of high sugar consumption 3.

The Sugar Effect

Andrew explains how sugar impacts the brain and how the brain impacts our pursuit or avoidance of sugar. He discusses the mechanisms by which we crave more sugar and how sugar affects our neural circuits, which can impact our ability to focus, exercise, and achieve our goals.

Huberman Lab

Controlling Sugar Cravings & Metabolism with Science-Based Tools | Huberman Lab Podcast #64

To address sugar-related health issues, it's critical to understand and limit high sugar intake particularly in ultra-processed foods, and be cautious of the metabolic impact of such dietary choices.