Does Sugar Make You Fat? Oh Yeah.

When it comes to excess, sugar and fat are the protagonists of poor diet. Who is at fault?

Today, we are about three times fatter than in the 60s and is not because we are eating a lot more because we move less. In fact there is more variety of light food, more options and more access to sport them. What factor behind?

We know that fat and sugar are suspects when it comes to obesity, but still seem to go through life without understanding how to balance our diet. What fatter, fat or sugar? From which we must abstain?

The first and the last: nothing in excess is good, ever. So much for sugar as fat lot they are harmful and are directly related to cardiovascular diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, etc. But there is something important to consider.

A (not so) sweet truth

For years, the fat was in the dock and the sugar we ignored while we ate a couple of berlines. This was because one gram of fat has 9 calories and sugar is one of 4. In this regard, fatter fat. But really we demonize fat foods more than necessary and the problem is that over time we have become addicted to sugar. Who would not be tempted with an ice cream treat, cookies, cakes, chocolates?

Sugar is not inherently bad, but the amount and the frequency with which you eat that matters. We used to eat more than our body needs.

Francisca Bustos nutritionist explains: “The body has a limited amount of reserve sugar, not fat, you can store unlimited”. Therefore, if we eat too much sugar and has already stored the amount bookable our bodies, it goes to accumulate as fat. As part of triglycerides or fatty tissue, which are fat molecules that accumulate in our arteries to increase cardiovascular risk.

Nutrition expert Dr. John Briffa notes: “the blame for obesity does not point increasingly to whole foods containing natural fats, but processed foods loaded with carbohydrates and refined sugars, which are rapidly becoming fat body “.

But … what really is and where he is?

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate: saccharose, a mixture of glucose and fructose.

Bustos explains that there are many kinds of carbohydrates and some provide only calories (simple sugars), while others also come with essential nutrients for our body, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes, among others (complex sugars).

“We must understand that even though carbohydrates are natural and come in healthy foods like fruit (fructose), milk (lactose), rice or noodles (starch), or artificial as table sugar or processed products that containing (delicacy, chocolates, cakes, etc.), provided that the consume in excess will be harmful. ”

We must also consider that it is not the same any sugar. The refined table (simple sugar), sugar is different because it is an empty food. It has no nutritional value.

Instead complex sugars naturally present in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, have a great advantage: its nutrients are essential for absorption and use. It takes longer to be absorbed, so a more slowly and produce moderate blood glucose elevation. This keeps under control the levels of blood sugar and at the same time, provides the body fuel long-term.

That’s why foods with processed sugars fatter. Just think about the example of the United States. It is one of the countries with the highest rates of obesity in the world and we can see here some pictures of your diet in relation to other countries.

Eye with low-fat!

“It 0% fat, then fat much less” is the myth that our mind thinks when we buy food. Many products will decrease the percentage of fat. But as they lose their natural taste, they are unpleasant to taste. What do you do to fix it? Easy, sugar added replacement. That means that there are cases where even a low-fat product has more calories than an ordinary one. And although it is not something that happens as a rule, there are many other examples of the low caloric difference having reduced fat foods.

Francisca explains that under Chilean food regulation, the term “light” means just as some 20% less sugar, fat or sodium. But that will fall to 20% of an ingredient, it does not necessarily mean that you do not raise the amount of other ingredients. Therefore, light is not equal to calorie-free or even less healthy.

Many of the products we see as healthy, yogurt, cereal bars, 0% fat products, flavored waters, can have much more sugar than we think and we should rely more on nutrition labels if we measure our power, which in the commercial label. Considering the percentage of our daily diet representing the portion.

Why do we love sugar?

First because we need: sugar is essential, glucose is the food par excellence of our neurons and therefore could not leave.

Then, because we want it: in addition to its pleasant sweet taste, sugar can lift the mood, by causing the body to release serotonin, the “happy hormone”.

Finally, because it makes us dependent: very sweet food (simple sugar) fill us and leave us empty very fast. By having a “high glycemic index” cause a rapid increase in blood sugar in our blood and satiate us, but that does not last long. In a little while we return to need. We are doomed?

We are not plummeting to obesity if we know to stop in time. Chileans have been well loaded with sugar, leading the ranking in Latin America with a consumption of nearly 22 kg. processed (simple) sugar per person per year, according to a 2011 study by Iansa. What we must do is to lower the amount.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist and American obesity expert, explains that resembles sugar controlled drugs.. “We have to wean our lives we have to desendulzar We need to make sugar a pleasure, not a staple diet. ” This is not to escape all meals and live traumatized for every taste than we. We know that is not necessary. But we should be more aware of what we are eating.

Not a bad idea as to decrease the amount of tablespoons of sugar in coffee or replace a snack with a more natural. It is clearly something usual. According to the FAO and the World Health Organization, carbohydrates are responsible to provide the bulk of energy needs, between 55% and 75% daily. But of them, the simple sugar, should not exceed 10%: about 10 teaspoons between coffee, chocolates, sweets, drinks and other foods.

Although sugar stole the limelight at this time, remember that we must not abuse fats. Lately sweet is what has affected us, because we are consumed in larger quantities and therefore need to be more vigilant.

But it is not to have you dread everything we eat and live depriving us of the wonderful varieties of food, no. You have to know more to be aware when choosing what we got to the mouth and especially to understand why some efforts invested had failed to change anything in our weight so far.

Did you last experience anxiety by eating something sweet? What is your best technique to decrease the amount of sugar?