Tuesday Tip: Sugar doesn’t make you fat 🍪
Sugar has been vilified as the main cause of obesity, with people claiming it results in more fat storage than any other nutrient and that it alters your metabolism. This is simply not true. Sugar is a carbohydrate and on it’s own it contains 4 cals per gram, and no other nutrients or fibre etc that help keep you full. So it’s true that sugar won’t fill you up, and that of course could lead to excessive consumption of more sugar or other foods, but the same applies to any food. You may not feel full but you’re still making a conscious choice to eat more.
100g of sugar alone is 400 calories. However if you consumed 100g worth of sugar inside other foods (e.g. chocolate, fruit, bread, ice cream etc) then you’d be eating well over 1200 cals. Only 400 of those calories are sugar, the other 800 are non-sugar calories within food. Many high sugar foods are high in overall calories anyway – a cookie isn’t bad just because it’s “full of sugar”, it’s also the large amount of fat calories too.
A calorie surplus is what causes you to gain weight. It’s not the sugar in the food, it’s the total calories. The ratio of sugar to other nutrients does impact on food choice (you choose things because they taste good) and because those foods often leave you feeling less full you’re then likely to eat more too. But it isn’t the sugar causing you to gain weight. Eat too much of anything and you will put on fat. In fact a recent study of people who were assumed to be “naturally skinny” actually found that despite some of the participants living off sugary foods they were still lean – why? because they weren’t at a calorie surplus.
So yes, eating or drinking sugar can contribute to weight gain, and it can certainly make it harder to stick to a daily calorie goal, but this is in conjunction with a whole host of nutritional, behaviour and psychological variables that all affect how many TOTAL calories you consume. Sugar itself is not the devil it’s made out to be!
Happy Tuesday 🤗