Sugar vs Fat – Which is worse?

Sugar vs Fat – Which is worse?

What are they?

More often then not, you have been told at one time in your life or another that one of these substances is bad for you. But has anyone ever asked the question why? Or how it actually breaks down in your body? But which one is worse then the other? How do they really effect your body? Let’s first start with sugar.

In order for us to understand sugar, we must first understand how it is made and where it comes from. Sugar commonly is produced from a stalk of sugar cane and refined down to what we know as sugar crystals. The first step in the production of sugar is harvesting the sugar cane. After harvesting, a machine or individual cuts away the outer husk of the sugar cane to expose the fibers and tissue where sucrose is found. Eventually this sucrose is refined into sugar. As the machine harvests the raw sugar cane, a worker takes all the sugar cane into the mill and it must be washed multiple times to get rid of any dirt and unwanted material. This is a crucial point in sugar production since once the sugar cane is cut, it quickly loses its sugar content. It also must be as clean as possible because any impurities will show up in the final product if it is not taken care of at this point. After the sugar cane is washed, it is then shredded, broken down and pressed until the juice is released. After the juice is collected, impurities in the sugar juice must be removed. A thickener is added to the juice which converts the brownish liquid to clear. After processing, the sugar is taken into a heater and is refined into what we know as sugar.

How does it effect us?

When we consume sugar or any type of carbohydrate, our bodies must break down each gram of carbohydrate into their simplest parts. The most common sugars that we know today are sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Each type coming from a different source. Fructose is most commonly known to come from fruits and vegetables. Sucrose and glucose can come from fruits and vegetables as well but is most commonly found in rice and wheat. As we consume these foods, the food travels down to the stomach where stomach acid and enzymes break down carbohydrates down to glucose. Afterwards, insulin is released and transports each of the glucose molecules to the muscles and fat stores. Whatever is not used is then stored as fat. The more often we eat carbohydrates, the harder our digestive system has to work to break down the foods we eat. In most cases, our bodies digest this food just fine and there are little to no negative effects. But there are some individuals who will experience rapid weight gain and increased risk for clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, and many other conditions. One of the most common conditions that effect millions of people is diabetes. Diabetes refers to having a higher level of blood sugar than the average person. Type II Diabetes patients often times have to buy insulin in order to keep their diabetes under control. The general public does not know what causes diabetes or how to manage symptoms. For the longest time, doctors have been telling these patients to go on low fat diets in hopes of managing their condition. But for the most part, either their condition gets more severe or in some cases they might stay the same with no improvements. Gradually doctors started realizing the benefits of a high fat diet. They started implementing these diets with their patients and some of them noticed that not only were they losing fat but over 17,542 type II diabetics stopped their need for prescription medications and insulin injections.

Is fat really that bad?

When you hear the word ‘fat’ what do you think of. Unhealthy? Obesity? Dangerous? That’s what the majority of the population believe. But to understand fat, we need to understand the basics. Fat, also known as a triglyceride is one of the three main macronutrients. The others are known as proteins and carbohydrates. When you hear the word triglyceride, you may not understand what it is or have ever heard of it. A triglyceride is a compound derived from glycerol and three fatty acids. Hence the word tri. The most common triglycerides we know is unsaturated and saturated fats. Simply put, a saturated fat has single bonds and an unsaturated fat has at least one double bond between carbon atoms. Most people think we should stay away from saturated fats and only eat unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. But they would be missing out on important nutrients. Saturated fats contain high levels of lauric acid which can be found in coconuts. Lauric acid has been known to be anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, and also aid in immune health. When most people think of fats, they believe that your arteries would clog up and you would die. In fact, fats actually help protect your organs and heart health. Unsaturated fats help by lowing HDL (high density lipoprotein) otherwise known as ‘bad cholesterol’ and raise LDL (low density lipoprotein) aka ‘good cholesterol. Being the most calorie dense macronutrient at 9 calories per gram as opposed to carbohydrates and proteins at 4 calories per gram, fat gives you steady energy throughout the day. When eating fat rich food, your body takes longer to digest and break down the fat which allows for that steady state of energy. Fat also acts as protection around the organs by strengthening your immune system. Now this is not to be confused with body fat which is caused by gluten and inflammation. Gluten is also derived from carbohydrates which then breaks down into sugar.

What’s the verdict?

All the negative so called ‘facts’ you’ve heard about fat are simply not true. The real culprit is sugar. By ingesting sugar, you are raising your blood sugar, which in turn will increase the rate in which insulin is released. For the majority of the population, some sugar here and there won’t hurt you but there are some who’s bodies are very sensitive to insulin. These individuals are known to be ‘insulin resistant’. Most diabetics are insulin resistant which means that the release of insulin is either slowed or completely stopped. With insulin release halted, more sugar accumulates in your blood which causes you to be diabetic. Forget everything you’ve heard about the negatives of fat. Fat is one of the most important macronutrients that your body needs. Especially for men because fat aids in growth hormone production. Which in turn results in increased muscle mass.

If you think about it, your body does not require carbohydrates to function. It is the only macronutrient that really serves no purpose but for excess energy. If you don’t eat carbohydrates for a week, your body will convert fatty acids into ketones which your body can use as energy. During survival situations, you also do not need to eat carbs at all. If your body goes long enough without carbohydrates, it will convert fat into energy. If you went back to the days of cavemen, the majority of the available food source were plants and animals. Our ancestors lived on a diet of meat and vegetables. Protein on the other hand, is an essential macronutrient because it makes up almost every cell, enzyme, tissue, organ, and even bone marrow.

Even the most elite athletes in bodybuilding know that carbohydrates aren’t necessary. If you ask any professional bodybuilder, at one time in their career they have reduced carbohydrates while prepping for a show. They might eat carbs during the beginning phase of their prep but eventually they begin to cut out their carbs to get shredded. Do you think that that’s an accident? Do you think they know something you don’t know? But why just cut carbs out for a week or two? Why not just go on a low carb diet and look ripped all year round? If the professionals know this, how come you aren’t?

 

 

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