Food / Health & Fitness / Lifestyle / Over 50

Sugar Versus Fat – Which Causes More Weight Gain? By Robin Trimingham

Bill Storie and Robin Trimingham are the co-founders of The Olderhood Group – an online retirement learning environment with over 70,000 global followers. In 2013 they launched a retirement planning blog which focuses on the issues related to the transition from the workplace to a... Read More

Sugar Versus Fat – Which Causes More Weight Gain? By Robin Trimingham

As some of you may recall we published an article in 2015 regarding a study that was being conducted to monitor the effects of sugar versus fat on two identical twins in the United Kingdom.

I was reminded of this today as I was reading a review of a book on the same subject by physician and New York Times contributor Aaron Carroll entitled “The Bad Food Bible – How and Why to Eat Sinfully”. Beyond the catchy title, this book contains a detailed explanation of new scientific research that further supports the hypotheses that fat consumption does not cause weight gain and may even help you shed a few pounds.

As the obesity rate in my own country continues to climb, I thought the subject was worth addressing again because it turns out that there are now a mounting number of studies that conclude that real demons causing unprecedented weight gain more likely added sugar and refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and white rice which are quickly broken down into sugar when they enter the body).

It turns out that the more refined grains a person eats, the more likely they are to also increase their sugar consumption in beverages laced with sugar and high fructose corn syrup and compound the weight gain. Interestingly, the more whole grains that a person consumes (such as oats, whole wheat bread and brown rice) the less weight they tend to gain.

To make matters worse, the journal The Lancet has published findings of a study that concludes not only did people on low-fat diets not really lose weight, these diets resulted in “a higher likelihood of heart attacks and heart disease” but people on low-carbohydrate diets, had a significantly lower risk of developing both.

I can’t help but think that there must be some truth to all of this when I consider the amount of space devoted to highly processed sugary beverages in the grocery and convenience stores around the island. The convenience store I was in today was displaying a dizzying array of brightly colored beverages on over 30% of its limited retail space and it seemed that the more the label emphasized the fruit content of the beverage on the front label, the higher the sugar content turned out to be on the product information on the back.

It is also interesting that other products in the same store that are known to be hazardous to your health such as alcohol and cigarettes now carry blunt warning labels – I wonder how long it will be before food and beverages with a high sugar content are required to carry the same disclaimer?

By Robin Trimingham