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How Sugar Can Make You Sick

And How You Can Prevent It

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While you can follow a good diet, exercise regularly and keep your stress levels low to help boost your overall immunity, people are not generally aware of the enormous impact things like sugar can have on your immune system.

Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose and honey cause a 50% drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. Eating or drinking 100g (8 tbsp) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40%.

The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

CUT OUT SUGARY SNACKS

It's time to think again about the types of snacks that you eat and at what times you consume sugar.

Nutritionist Angela Emmerton, from Nutritional Matters, said sugar is a major hindrance in building up your immune system - and it's hiding in many common snacks.

“Sugar will actually suppress the immune system and excess sugar will cause the gut bacteria and balance to be disrupted. Excess sugar is classified as anything over six teaspoons in one day which many be consumed quite easily by most people. Breakfast cereal is a big one and anything labelled low fat will usually have high sugar. Really anything that is in a packet, or if processed in anyway, is going to contain added sugar.”

Pro-actively swapping your sugary snacks for healthy alternatives will help reduce your sugar intake and combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, less stress and more sleep it should keep your immune system in check and stop you getting ill.

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