Sugar – the New Fat!

For many years it has been suggested that ‘FAT’ was making us overweight and obese, this resulted in many products appearing on the supermarket shelves with low-fat or no-fat options. It was assumed that removing fat from these products made them better for us, reducing our dietary fat, and therefore the fat that our body would store.

However, we must ask if ‘FAT’ is the natural flavour component of food, then how are manufacturers filling the flavour void left behind. Many processed foods, have higher levels of sugar to compensate for the fat that has been removed. How do these processed sugars affect us? The majority of naturally occurring sugars including lactose, fructose and sucrose, can be processed by our body and used as a source of energy, however some sugars are harder to process. If we look back along the evolutionary line of humans, we needed a way of maintaining our energy when food was scarce, as such some foods that are high in sugars such as glucose were consumed, with the sugar being converted to ‘FAT’ and stored by our body to be broken down, when required for energy.

So despite all of the hype about ‘FAT’ making us fat, the true cause of being overweight or obese, can be linked back to evolutionary factors and our body wanting to store some sugars.  This evolutionary storage of sugar has led to new dietary trends including intermittent fasting. Watch out for our next blog looking at intermittent fasting, and the effect on stored fat.

By Ingrid Hand