Does sugar make you fat? But of course! It did not matter whom I asked they all answered “Yes”.
This fattening property of sugar is so well popularized that even Google got that one wrong. I understand, Google is into biopharma AKA health, so its bias may be warranted. But what about Coca Coca. Shouldn’t the company defend its products?
Given the obesity epidemic it’s hard to believe that sugar does not make you fat . But can you accept your 400-pound neighbor as a sole testament to your beliefs?
Let’s have a look at some experiments. There are two that I would like to bring to life.
Does sugar make you fat? A rat experiment
These rats had it good. They got to be fed high carb, low fat diet, just like the one advised for humans (68% carbs, 12% fat, 20% protein) without caloric restriction. These lucky rats were divided into three groups:
- sucrose (white sugar) group
- fructose + glucose group
- fructose + starch group
The purpose was to find out which of the groups would put on weight the most. For the simplicity reason, I am going to omit all the experiment details and dive directly into the results. Here they are:
- sucrose (white sugar)-fed group – put on extra 164 g of fat
- fructose + glucose-fed group – put on extra 177 g of fat
- fructose + starch-fed group – put on extra 199 g of fat
Ok, they all put on weight, but differently. The starch group got the fattest. The white sugar group was the leanest. That means sucrose (table sugar) is less fattening than starch. Translating it loosely into human reality, it means that a bowl of sugar is 21% less fattening than the same bowl of rice.
Yet, when I ask people whether rice is fattening, not everyone is sure. The truth is starch is worse than sugar, because it makes creatures (rats or humans) fatter.
So why are so few bitching about a bowl of risotto, yet many make a hoo-ha about two teaspoons of sugar in coffee?
Let’s get the priority straight, people!
It doesn’t make sense to use sugar substitutes, unless you decide to first use starch replacers.
Even 400 cal of sugar won’t make you fat
Ok, I know I did not make a convincing argument yet. Don’t worry. It’s coming. Here is another experiment. This one is on humans aiming to lose weight.
The participants were put on high carb diet (71% carb, 10% fat, 19% protein) with varied amount of sugar. High sugar group menu contained 43% calories from sucrose (table sugar). That is 34 teaspoons of white powder day in day out, for 6 weeks. The low-sugar group was allowed maximum 3 teaspoon of sugar a day.
Here comes the shocker:
Both groups had positive weight loss and health outcomes: both lost weight, lowered blood pressure, lowered body fat, lowered cholesterol and improved thyroid function. Moreover, both groups scored lower in depression, lower in hunger, higher in mood.
So, one can eat loads of sugar and still lose weight? Confusing like hell, isn’t it?
Don’t worry, the sugar story is rather straightforward. We will un-confuse the confusing details in our upcoming video. For now don’t worry about your two teaspoons in coffee. It doesn’t make any difference.
In the meantime,