With America’s obesity at an alltime high, we are more frightened than ever about eating anything! We are bombarded with information, news stories, and articles about what it could be that is making us fat. People don’t know what to eat… It’s got to be the fat. No, it must be the carbs. Well, no it’s the protein. And, it most certainly must be the sugar! Everyone knows that sugar makes you fat, right??
Well, the reality is this: Effective weight management depends on the combination of responsible eating and appropriate physical activity. Eating too much food makes you fat. It’s not sugar. Sugar is brain food. Sugar, and carbohydrates in general, are converted to blood glucose, the fundamental fuel needed by the brain.
With only 15 calories per teaspoon, sugar is no more fattening than any other 15 calories. You gain weight by taking in more calories than your body burns for fuel. Carbohydrates (like sugar) and protein supply four calories per gram, whereas fats deliver more than twice that – nine calories per gram. Also, carbs and protein are converted immediately into the fuels a body needs, while fats are initially stored in fat cells for later use.
In 2002, a three-year study conducted by The National Academy of Sciences concluded, “There is no clear and consistent association between increased intakes of added sugars and BMI.” BMI (Body Mass Index) is an indicator of body weight and obesity.
In reality, blood glucose levels depend not only on how much and what types of carbohydrates are eaten, but also on how much fat or protein is eaten with the carbohydrates.
Consumed at a reasonable level, sugar combined with both protein and fat, is both a nutritious and acceptable meal. A perfect example is a fruit smoothie, containing approximately 25 grams of protein, either pre- or post-workout. Don’t be afraid of a little sugar! It can sweeten your day without expanding your waistline!
* The Sugar Association, Inc. 2005. K F Powell et al, International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002, Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 76:5-56