Free English Lessons: What’s Wrong with Sugar?

English Listening Practice

Listening level: 3
Audio file: 2:01 min
Story length: 278 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.


What’s Wrong With Sugar?

Many people, especially children, enjoy sweet food. New information, however, says that sugar is unhealthy because it hurts our mental and physical well being.

There are many kinds of sugar. There’s sugar in fruit. Many people say that’s good sugar because it’s healthy. Then there’s the white stuff people buy at the supermarket. That’s bad for our health. The worst kind is hidden sugar. It’s the sweet taste that comes from processed corn syrup, called high fructose. It’s in soft drinks, salad dressing, snacks and more.

Too much sugar is bad because it creates an addiction. When we eat it, our brain makes us feel good for a short time. After the good feeling goes away, the brain tells us to eat more. That’s a craving. Over time, we have to eat more to get that good feeling again. When the brain craves something, our feelings change. We become angry or worried easily.

Gaining weight is the second effect. When we eat small amounts of food with good sugar, like a banana, our body slowly produces energy. Packaged food or drinks put too much sugar into the body. It can’t use all that energy right away, so it’s quickly turned into fat. Many more serious health problems are caused by sugar, like heart disease and cancer.

What happens if people stop eating sugar? The first couple of weeks might be uncomfortable. Many people feel tired. After that, the long term benefits are great. People have more energy, their thinking is clear, they sleep well and they don’t get sick very often.

The bottom line is that sugar doesn’t improve the quality of life. It makes life more difficult.

More Practice

Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download the sugar printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.

Learn English Online with More Listening Practice

Ready for another lesson? Try this free online listening comprehension lesson about the history of pizza.

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