Which is worse – fat or sugar?

Sugar and fat are two of the most widely talked about dietary topics, but which is worse?

Which is worse – fat or sugar?

Sugar and fat are two of the most widely talked about dietary topics, but which is worse?

Limiting the amount of sugar we take in should be a priority for everyone.

Sucrose (table sugar) is a major part of some of our favourite daytime snacks, such as cakes and biscuits, but what many people fail to remember is that sugar is also present in a wide range of other foods.

These include:

  • Cereals
  • Fruit drinks and smoothies
  • Fruit yoghurts
  • Ready-made meals
  • Soups

Aside from energy (calories), sugar provides no nutrition, which is why it is often referred to as ‘empty calories’.

Cutting back on the amount of processed foods you eat is also recommended, as the majority contain added sugars.

Excess sugar converts to fat in your body. When you eat something sugary, any energy your body doesn’t use is converted into fat.

For decades, fat has been labelled the ‘bad guy’ in diet and nutrition. However, in recent years, a number of research studies have shown that fat is no worse for us than carbohydrates.

Diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat are now widely regarded as being healthier and better for weight loss than low fat, higher carb diet plans.

Fat is the most energy dense nutrient and carries twice as many calories as the same weight of pure carbohydrates. While this doesn't mean you should avoid fat altogether, you do need to be reasonably aware of how many calories you are taking in when eating high-fat (or fatty) foods such as butter, cheese and cream.

The most important thing about fats is to consider whether you are eating good fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds and oils, or bad fats, such as those found in highly-processed foods.

What’s the answer?
The healthiest and most sustainable way to improve your health is to make minor changes for healthier choices. Sugar is highly addictive and has been associated with a number of adverse effects on health. Healthy fats, on the other hand, are an essential part of the diet and may actually aid in weight loss, improve heart health and reduce inflammation. For this reason, it’s best to swap the sugar out of your diet and fill up on healthy fats instead.


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


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    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2018
    Definitely sugar. I was recently in the states and their food is so full of sugar and salt that it tastes just awful. No wonder their people are so big and fat.
    20th Sep 2018
    The sugar and fat play a part but the portion sizes are way over the top. Just eating that quantity of food would be enough for most people to gain weight even if it was 'healthy' food.
    Old Geezer
    20th Sep 2018
    I agree usually just get one meal and ask for an extra plate as it annoys us leaving so much food to go to waste. One might also order an entrée and the other a meal if there is something nice on offer. Never had a problem doing it.
    20th Sep 2018
    I had gradually cut out added sugar over the years and was also eating low fat. I now eat full fat dairy, avocados, olive oil, nuts and I’m not obsessed with cutting all visible fat off meat. I feel healthier, don’t overeat because I am more satisfied and my weight has stayed stable.
    20th Sep 2018
    I am doing that exactly. Full dairy, avocados, pork crackling, in fact my naturopath condones pork fat, it's better than an apple, My body reacts violently to sugar, and very glad I found out at last what was causing my sickness. thanks jen50 for your comment.
    21st Sep 2018
    It depends where you get your research from. From what I read it is both, too much processed sugar and too much fat is both bad for your health. Natural unprocessed sugar from fruit and honey are fine. Low fat is better. Those who claim you need a lot of "healthy fats" are just not eating enough fibre. Meat and dairy has no fibre. Wholefood, no oil, low fat plant-based diet is the healthiest, already proven to reverse and prevent disease. Eat more veg and fruit,wholefood carbs, only a few nuts and seeds.

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