candyThere was a time when I used to swear that no matter what, I would never want to give up sugar. As someone who loves chocolate and loves to bake, how could I ever do without cupcakes, cookies, pies, sigh ... I mean, YOLO!

But as it may turn out, eating too much sugar may mean not living nearly as long as you would otherwise. Eek! Researchers at the University of Utah fed mice a daily diet of 25 percent extra sugar -- the equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of soda -- and found that female mice were twice as likely to die and have fewer babies than those on a diet without the added sugar. OMG. Crazy, right?

Maybe even freakier: Thirteen to 25 percent of Americans currently consume a dose of added sugar equivalent to that used in the study.

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Knowing people were bound to be like, "Pfft, whatever, who cares about MICE, dude!" the study's senior author, biology professor Wayne Potts, stressed that his findings are definitely relevant to humans. And he's even personally reduced refined sugar intake and encouraged his family to do the same.

As a recovering sugar addict, I'm totally on board with what Potts is saying. The more we seem to learn about refined sugar, the uglier it gets. The benefits are so minimal compared to the drawbacks. And when we have even more access to healthier, more natural options with a far less turbulent effect on blood sugar like agave and stevia and, oh, I don't know, plain ol', straight from the earth FRUIT -- why shouldn't do what we can to steer clear of super-processed sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and white sugar? Especially when it might make for a longer, fuller life ... 

Does this make you want to change how much sugar you eat?