Sugar vs Fat: Which is Worse?

An interesting programme to see how a high fat diet compared to a high sugar diet.

I did not think that both would lose weight, intuitively you would expect the high fat diet to gain weight. However, both twins lost weight, although crucially it was a mixture of lean mass (LM) and fat mass (FM). Putting aside confounding factors, it was also good to witness the physiological reactions to the cycle test and how fat was utilised as a longer term energy source and sugar as a quick burst energy source.

It was also interesting to see the twins reaction to the high fat diet with regards to insulin tolerance. The sugar twin was informed that he was moving towards the pre-diabetes category and would become diabetic if he continued the diet. However, research also demonstrates that the high sugar diet twin would also become diabetic, albeit over a longer period and despite a short term benefit (but the 2 doctors who thought they knew a lot about metabolism forgot about this in their excitement over the ‘your nearly in the pre-diabetes category’).

The only new information I personally gained was the almost 50/50 ratio of fat/sugar as the elixir of taste heaven, which scientists, seemingly, have only just discovered. Although looking at food labels and production techniques over the last few decades it would appear that food processing companies have known this for a while!

The point of the programme was to illustrate the differences between fat and sugar, and that it is not an either or scenario. We do not usually eat them in isolation to one another and high/over consumption of both is bad for our health generally (definitely in the long term if not also the short term).

Finally, although the programme mentioned the availability and cheapness of food in modern society there was a distinct lack of reference to sodium (or salt). As well as utilising sugar and fat for taste, food producers also utilise sodium to enhance flavour – but not a single mention. Is that the reason why it is called the silent killer?


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