Is sugar worse for your waistline than fat?

Is sugar worse for your waistline than fat?

The sugar-free, carb-free, and fat-free diets are being bandied around like nothing before, especially now there’s a heightened awareness of how much bad stuff lurks in the likes of processed foods.

But if you choose to go strictly sugar-free, then you’re omitting fruit from your diet, as well as all the processed rubbish. If you choose to remove fat from your diet then you need to make a choice whether you still consume “good fats” that can be found in the likes of avocados and nuts.

Eating both fat and sugar together is a sure fire way to put on weight, and on their own, depending on how much you are consuming can lead to an increase of weight – this is certain to happen if you eat too much of anything.

There are certain benefits to cutting sugar out of your diet. By doing so, the choices you make in everyday life will more likely be healthy. You will most likely have to ditch pretty much anything that comes in a jar or a packet. You’ll eat more vegetables, nuts and proteins, all of which are good for a healthy balanced diet.

Try and cut fat out of your diet and you may find this harder to manage. Good fat, which is the unsaturated variety, as I mentioned before, is found in all number of healthy foods – coconut oil, avocadoes, nuts, oily fish, and these all contain important minerals, nutrients, and the fats themselves to contribute to a healthy body.

The fat you need to cut out is the saturated fats found in the likes of sticky buns, chocolates, crisps, and processed foods. And guess what – there’s sugar in those as well.

So in reality it’s hard to judge the two in isolation. Sugar and fat together in foods is a bad combination. This will no doubt contribute to a poor diet and an increased waistline.

So what should I ditch, sugar or fat?

On balance, sugar should be the one to go. Cut out all fats and you end up cutting out the good stuff, but by cutting out sugar – well actually, you’ll probably find yourself eating healthier overall. There is no benefit to your health to be found in processed sugar. Although don’t ditch the fruit – it contains naturally occurring sugars, fructose - rather than glucose which elevates the bodies insulin levels. Fruit contains fibre, vitamins and minerals, all vital for good health. 

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The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura loves running, Pilates and Yoga, and is forever trying to find the time to fit these activities into her life around a busy family. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

craig t.
19 January 2016

craig t.

I have just looked at the Dr. Attia websote/blog and yes there's some interesting stuff there. I am assuming he thinks saturated fat is good for us, which I agree with too. There's a lot to read there, so will also look him up on YouTueb. Thanks again.

frederick w.
18 January 2016

frederick w.

Dr Attia has a great site called the eating academy. If you are really keen to understand the cutting edge of performance nutrition then it's all there.

craig t.
17 January 2016

craig t.

Hi Frederick, I have just read up on Professor Lustig and his approach to sugar.. He seems very sensible about it, even allowing his kids cookie on the weekends, but fruit at other times. Very interesting to read about - thanks for the lead.

frederick w.
15 January 2016

frederick w.

A great article, I applaud people coming out and saying actually, it is processed sugar that is the problem. There are unfortunately too many vested interests to make these beliefs mainstream. Stay strong people, stay healthy, ignore the ads and avoid the processed sugar! For anyone interested in the science behind why sugar is bad, just check out some of Professor Lustig's work. His point about eating fruit is that 'when God created sugar, he packaged it with the antidote'. By that he means fibre. He gives a great example of the sugar plantation workers eating the sugar sticks (with the fibre) and the managers eating it processed. Guess which group got hypertension and high blood pressure? It is the fibre in the fruit that limits* the harmful effects of fructose. Fructose on its own is the real baddy here, as it can only be broken down in the liver (only poisons get broken down in the liver)(Sugar hydrolyses into fructose and glucose in the body. The glucose can be used by any cell). Fructose is great if you are glycogen (stored form of glucose in liver) depleted, but most people aren't.

Clare R.
15 January 2016

Clare R.

I think it is impossible to cut out all sugar, but cutting down on the cakes and sweets is always good. Losing the 'low-fat' stuff is another way as that is always stuffed with sugar.

Emma C.
15 January 2016

Emma C.

Surely it's not so much a matter of which is better for your waistline,. but which is better for your health. Just because you're slim doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy.

Mike D.
15 January 2016

Mike D.

Sugar is by far the baddie, and I would wholeheartedly recommend the Paleo way of eating. This is high in healthy fats and cuts out any processed food and refined sugars. You can have fruit though, but so you should - it's a natural healthy food!

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