The following is a roll-up of various articles that have appeared in the papers and on-line in relation to fat and sugar over the last couple of months. I have been thinking of putting this together but I actually got up off my butt and came in here and did it after just watching a quick article about this very topic on Sunday Sunrise (on TV).
After about 25 years or so of the ‘experts’ telling us that eating fat was just about the worst thing we could possibly do for our health, now they are telling us we need to eat fat! That the health benefits of eating fat far outweigh the downsides.
Seems we NEED fat to ensure our cardiovascular system is well maintained. Turns out fats actually reduce LDL cholesterol levels and are crucial to maintaining healthy brain function.
Eating fat, or fat in our food, is one of the key indicators to the brain that we have had sufficient food to eat and to turn off the hunger alarm. Because of this, not eating fat can make you fat (your hunger alarm is going off when you are not actually hungry).
And now, after telling everyone to eat less fat for tens of years, the low-fat diet is linked to infertility in women, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, and has even been linked to Alzheimers.
This is a bit like the ‘eggs are bad for you’ advice we got for about 40 years. Now they tell us we should eat eggs at least every other day and eat up to five eggs a week.
It seems all this time sugar has been the big bad gremlin. Especially processed sugar.
The new thinking is that sugar is the primary cause of heart disease and is the number one reason we are all getting fat.
Just because they found a build up of fatty cholesterol on the heart and arteries they jumped to the conclusion that cholesterol was the problem. Apparently not. It is sugar. It seems that spikes in sugar in the blood causes the blood to act a bit like sandpaper. This results in a rough surface being created on the inside of the arteries and heart valves. This rough surface then manages to ‘catch’ and hold passing cholesterol molecules. Then further sugar spikes lay down a sticky surface on the cholesterol that is already caught, which then causes additional cholesterol to become attached.
So the root and ongoing issue is sugar. If the blood had not been saturated in sugar the problem would not have started and would not then keep layering on itself.
The other thing sugar spikes do is cause a rapid rise in the insulin levels (in non-diabetics). From research over the last five to ten years we now realised that when insulin levels are high, indicating to the body there is an over-abundance of sugar energy in the system, the body then changes its strategy. Instead of burning the sugar the body instantly starts converting it into stored fat.
Even if you are doing hard exercise, if your insulin levels are high then sugars will be converted to fat rather than being burned.
There is obviously as LOT more to this than I have been able to summaries here. Do your own research, and maybe even have a chat with your doctor, before adopting any changes in eating habits based on the above.
Have you ever heard someone on a low-fat diet who had just eaten about three tomatoes, a lettuce, a cucumber, and a medium sized tin of tuna say something like “I just ate a square foot of food but I still feel hungry”? Seems that there is a reason for that . . .