Sugar, Acidity in the Body, and Disease

Updated on December 7, 2017

Our modern diet is no stranger to excess sugar consumption. Sugar is everywhere you look, in plain sight: in sodas, juices, candy, and baked goods, and hidden: visible only in the ingredient labels of common food items such as ketchup, yogurt, and even spaghetti sauce. It masquerades in many forms- high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, artificial sweeteners, fructose, sucrose, and dextrose, to name a few. But even the "healthy" alternatives, such as honey, agave nectar, and maple sugar, all have effects within the body. Are you fully informed on the effects all this sugar is having on your health?

What Is All This Sugar Doing?

The warnings are everywhere: sugar consumption causes tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity. High fructose corn syrup has gotten a bad rap and food producers are scrambling to offer alternatives. But a little-known side-effect of all this sugar is its effect on body pH and the resulting cascade of physical problems leading to chronic and potentially life-threatening disease. If the majority of Americans were aware of these implications, many of them would probably drastically alter their diets. Sugar, and its substitutes, are poisoning us in insidious ways. And acidity in the body is a very insidious thing indeed.


What is an Acidic Body pH and What Does Sugar Have to Do With It?

A normal pH range in the body is 7.35-7.45. Any measurements outside this range in either direction can have dangerous consequences. Many acute (meaning sudden) and serious illnesses that can land people in the hospital intensive care unit will result in, or be the result of, an extremely acidic or alkaline body pH.

Thankfully, the body has many compensating mechanisms for correcting these imbalances, and for most of us, a stay in the hospital on any given day due to pH imbalance isn't likely. But what about more subtle pH variations? Can that cause problems? The answer is a resounding YES. And many of us walk around every day with a body pH that is too acidic, thanks to excess sugar consumption. Did you know that the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year!?

As you can see from the chart below, sugar (in all its forms) is highly acidic. And when you stop and consider how prevalent it is in foods (and often in very high amounts), it is easy to see how significant its influence is in contributing to an acidic body pH.


Diseases Caused by Acidity

There are many diseases that can be traced back to high acidity. These include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth decay
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Heartburn/gastric reflux
  • Arthritis
  • Yeast infections

Interestingly, if you look at the above list, many of the diseases already known to be caused by a diet high in sugar directly relate back to an acidic body chemistry. When the body is acidic, it has mechanisms in place to try to counteract that and bring body pH back to the healthy 7.35-7.45 range. For example, it pulls calcium from bones to neutralize the acidic pH, leading to osteoporosis and tooth decay. And fatty deposits form to trap acidic waste products which an otherwise overloaded system cannot excrete, leading to obesity.

Consider, briefly, the following article. Notably, all three conditions mentioned have a common relationship: acidity in the body. Is one caused by the other, or are all three related to an acidic body pH?


Natural Ways to Correct an Acidic pH

Thankfully, correcting an acidic body pH is possible. It does require a certain level of commitment and awareness, however. At the forefront of this is eliminating excess sugar from our diets. Often, by simply striving to avoid sugar as much as possible, our diets will naturally contain less of all the food substances that contribute to an acidic pH.

How can you measure how much sugar really is in your food? Consider that one teaspoon of granulated sugar contains 4 grams of sugar. A 12 oz. can of soda has 33 grams of sugar- that's over 8 teaspoons of sugar! Removing soda alone will have a major impact, as it is one of the largest sources of added sugar in our diets. Check out this chart and consider what you've eaten today. How many of those foods are on the chart?


Keep in mind, the "all other foods" category includes all those hidden sources of sugar. Often, you won't even be aware you're consuming it unless you read the label! Common hidden sugar sources include:

  • Ketchup
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Yogurt
  • Peanut butter
  • Vitamin and energy drinks (even vitamin water has 13 grams of sugar per serving)

Fortunately, many natural sugar substitutes have the benefit of having little to no impact on the body's glycemic index (blood sugar level), which also means they have less effect on body acidity. But keep in mind, these sweeteners still have an acidic pH, so like everything else in life, moderation is key.

The following is a list of low-glycemic natural sugar substitutes:

  • Stevia
  • Whey-low
  • Agave nectar

Other natural approaches to creating a more alkaline (less acidic) body pH include:

  • Drinking more water (which helps flush out excess acid)
  • Eating more alkaline foods (such as spinach, broccoli, avocados, carrots, garlic, apples)
  • Supplements such as potassium citrate, magnesium citrate, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

In Conclusion...

The adage "knowledge is power" applies to the effects of sugar on acidity in the body. Armed with the knowledge that sugar has profound impacts on your overall health, you can make the best choices for yourself and create a healthy, balanced diet. Our bodies strive to maintain a delicate balance of optimal pH and are constantly at war with outside influences that alter that pH. With the understanding that sugar consumption can have an effect on your body's healthy pH, what will you do?

After reading this article, will you change your sugar intake habits?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Keep in mind, Harvard researchers had

      hidden sugar’s causative relationship to

      heart disease.


      Sugar industry moguls paid Harvard to put the onus on saturated fats (( Google “Life Extension Harvard fraud” article )).


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have cooked for many years and learned in my first restaurant, that you need to add a little sugar to a spaghetti sauce to balance the acidic nature of the tomatoes. Not much is needed, but it really makes a difference. This is not a hidden ingredient. Most tomato, Italian dishes have a small amount of sugar to balance the acid.

    • torrilynn profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Gabby,

      thanks for sharing with me about sugar acidity

      and how too much can be bad for your body.

      I really appreciate the knowledge that you

      have given me. I never knew so many diseasese were caused

      by acidity such as cancer and obesity. thanks again.

      Voted up

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 

      7 years ago from NJ

      This is a great hub and very important information. There really is no "healthy sugar". Too much is just too much, in any form.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)