Added-Sugar In Diet Worse For Fat Than We Thought:
So we’ve railed on about sugar and also fast-carbs, many times over the years.
Including the evils of the Inflammation Spiral that it can create.
It’s not doing your body-composition any favors, and may also be affecting your gut microbes, too.
But some crafty-researchers took time off from studying cuckoo clocks in Switzerland to find out it might be as bad or worse than we thought before…
The Short Answer:
- We’ve talked about how bad sugar is for awhile.
- It can worsen SAD and your metabolism.
- It may be a large culprit in a spiral of inflammation.
- Dr. Robert Lustig has been covering this subject for years.
- Most added-sugars come from drinks, baked-goods, candies & frozen desserts.
- U. Zurich’s team tested about 100 healthy men on 3 types of sugar.
- One type, found in many sweets & processed foods doubled production of fat.
- That elevated production lasted for at-least 12 hours.
- Table sugar created an even worse effect than the other types.
- Added sugar is everywhere, even in ultra-processed foods.
- Residents of the US consume at-least 72g/day vs. Switzerland at 100g/day.
- Excess metabolic fat-production is closely-tied to fatty liver disease and Type-2 Diabetes.
- It can eventually lead to hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular disease.
- The WHO recommends everyone get less than 50g/day of added-sugar in their diets.
- Update: Sorry about the subhead mistake in 1st version of the excerpt, email newsletter fans! -Fixed!
Read on to find out the details…
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Now Robert Lustig has been warning us about this for years.
Especially since part of The Inflammation Spiral has sugar implicated in it at one point or another.
It goes roughly like this:
1) You have systemic inflammation that gets into your brain
2) You feel depressive symptoms
3) You eat fast-carbs or things with sugar in them to give yourself a Dopamine hit
4) Sugar creates free-radicals and oxidative-stress
5) Your liver stores it as body fat
6) Your body fat produces extra hormones
7) Those lead to more systemic inflammation
8) The cycle repeats
Other things that accompany that are also Insulin-Resistance at the cellular-level,
And also metabolic by-products interfering with other nutrient absorption & function in your body, too.
But the Zurich team research focuses mainly on 1 part of the inflammation spiral. Fat.
So after eating a meal, did you ever feel unnecessarily or unexpectedly-sleepy or tired?
That was probably the sugar-crash & insulin-blast.
Right at that moment, you were probably storing excess fat.
And the Swiss found out something that’s making it worse: Added Sugar.
So one way or another, we’ve all come to accept a certain amount of it on our food.
Like sugar in coffee or tea, syrup on pancakes, muffin-crumble topping, etc.
But the top sources of it include:
1) Soda, Energy, & Sports Drinks
2) Cake, Pie, Cookie & Baked -style Dessert Foods
3) Fruit Drinks like Juices & some Smoothies
5) Dairy-Based Desserts like Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt
In the U. Zurich team’s study of 94 healthy young men over the course of 7 weeks,
After which the men were either dead or Wilford Brimley,
They tested the metabolic response of diets with different types of added-sugar vs. none for the control group.
And true to the most-common sources of sugar, they were given a drink that was sweetened in some way.
According to the letter of the study, the men allegedly did not consume any extra calories.
We’ll take them at their word for now, even though dietary studies are notoriously-hard to control,
And one of the concerns about intake of liquid-carbs is that they make it very hard to feel any sense of fullness,
That you might ordinarily get out of eating solid food instead.
So what we knew before from standard sugar-metabolism is that when you get added-sugar in your diet (more on that later),
Your blood-sugar spikes, your insulin freaks out, spikes too and overcompensates,
And that’s where that sleepy/tired feeling comes from.
What we didn’t know before this study is how bad it is.
Glucose is the most basic sugar you can get in your diet and it’s what your body runs on.
In food, it comes mostly from sources like Honey, Dried Fruit, and some sweetened drinks.
But what may be another chapter in the HFCS wars, the study points out that Fructose is even worse; much worse.
For some reason Fructose, of which most people’s livers can only process 50 grams/day before converting it straight into fat,
Turned out to Increase Fat-Production by Double!
Even better? That level of production remained elevated for more than 12 hours after first ingestion!
But wait, it gets worse.
Because the lab docs may have figured out a way to get Glucose into the guy’s drinks as a baseline,
And Fructose is looking really bad.
But Table-Sugar is even worse!
Which is odd, because not only did Fructose cause other problems (like elevated triglycerides) for diabetics,
In-spite of the fact that it was once hailed as a savior because it doesn’t jack-up blood sugar as much (due to a lower glycemic-index).
But as we all know, HFCS has been demonized as of late, especially in the soda world.
They also found out that no matter what the sugar, even MODERATE Amounts lead to changes in metabolism, too!
So why do we care?
Well added sugar is used everywhere!
The Swiss docs were so alarmed about the study results, because their population allegedly consumes about 100 grams of it a day one way or another.
And even though it’s hard to believe, the average American consumes less, or at-least 72 grams of Added-Sugar a day.
That’s according to some recent statistics.
But what about a less strict view of food-intake?
What if, instead of food made at home from simple ingredients, you’re eating a lot of ultra-processed foods?
Among the other less-than-great ingredients in it, like too much Omega 6 corn or canola oil, you’re also getting added-sugars in the place of “flavor enhancers”?
So, there is at-least some possibility that all the unnecessarily added-sugar in our diet is not solely the result of grabbing the snack foods & sweet drinks.
Also, as you might have guessed, the health implications are not great, either.
Because along with those unnecessary sugar-syrups included in most supermarket breads,
The excess fat production that would eventually result is linked with health problems like fatty-liver disease and ultimately Type-2 Diabetes.
And probably worse things from there on, like hardening of the arteries & cardiovascular disease.
Even the (occasionally questionable) WHO has recommended that we get a maximum of 50 grams of added-sugar a day.
So to conclude, it’s not like tons of non-bodybuilder types out there buy bags of Dextrose off Amazon.com just to use a “healthier” sugar on their food,
But even with the recent decline in sweetened drink & soda consumption in the US,
Most of the first world could be doing a lot better about it’s added-sugar intake,
Whether through sweets, or processed-foods.
And now that we have another set of numbers on that, let’s all try to remember to get less sugar in our diets, because our hearts & waistlines might thank us!
• Source:U. Zurich
• Source Study: J.Hepatology EU – Fructose- and sucrose- but not glucose-sweetened beverages promote hepatic de novo lipogenesis: A randomized controlled trial
• More Coverage: HT – Zevia Soda Review | UCSF – Sugar Myths