The Equation of Weight Loss and Sugar That You Need to Learn
The exact effect of sugar on your health and your weight management efforts is a matter far from settled. At some point in time, every macronutrient has received misplaced hatred in one form or the other. But sugar has stayed the familiar demon all these years, luring you with its sweetness, demanding to be exorcised.
Only, just how much of an enemy sugar is?
Time to find out.
Why Is Sugar Considered Harmful?
For starters, researchers put sugar and increased obesity, cancer, and heart disease rates in a directly proportional relationship.
If you consult a health and nutrition specialist, the chances are that they’ll ask you to stay away from sugar to achieve an optimised body composition and good health.
Studies show that sugar has minimal effect on your satiety. You take in many extra calories (depending on your source of sugar) but don’t feel full. It directly leads to fat accumulation in your body.
Sugar is considered lipogenic. When compared to calories from other carb sources, many believe that sugar promotes fatty acid production, thus increasing the rate of fat storage.
Some recent research studies claim that sugar is toxic, but well, it will (ideally) take about 450 grammes of sucrose to kill someone. Give someone one-third of this amount of vitamin C, and they’ll die. So really, toxicity is a matter of number, that’s all.
As You Can Sense, There Is a ‘But’ Coming
Look at some correlation data, and you will successfully see a connection between obesity and increased sugar usage. However, the doubt lies in discovering if sugar is any more lipogenic than other forms of calories or carbohydrates.
International Journal of Obesity had a study published in one of its 2001 editions. A group of overweight subjects’ diet was monitored. The diets extracted only about 5 to 10 percent of calories from sucrose. In a diet containing 2000 calories, this could mean 25-50 grammes of sugar and no more. An eight-week-long observation discovered no statistically relevant differences in weight loss or BMI.
Another tightly controlled study published in the Journal of Nutrition of the University of Minnesota’s prepared all the meals of a day for the subjects for twelve weeks and then asked the group to follow the diet by themselves for another 24 weeks. Each group, as the researchers found, lost almost the same amount of body fat.
Many other types of research that studied the matter have come up with a similar conclusion- sugar intake doesn’t seem to affect weight loss. Rather, it is the effect of the entirety of sugar and calories in your body (coming from all macronutrients and foods you consume) that play a role in weight gain or loss.
How about a Study on the Athletic Kind?
Fair enough. It is a good comeback that most of the researchers use obese or overweight people to form subject groups. The results could vary when the studies consider bodybuilders or active people.
An obese person has a low tolerance for glucose. Their insulin sensitivity system is also a bit messed up. Athletes, on the other hand, have greater insulin sensitivity which enables them to tolerate glucose better than others.
An obese person would be unable to lose much weight on a high-sugar diet. An athlete or a bodybuilder who actively engages in rigorous training will tolerate a high-sugar diet just fine.
However, when you understand the concept of how calories are counted and how that number is affected by the total sugar content in your body and not by how much sugar you intake, it becomes evident that most people can tolerate sugar easily.
Scratch the Weight Loss Effects, What about Other Health-Related Consequences of Increased Sugar Consumption?
Many have studied the changes in the body between a high-sugar diet and one that is low in carbs and sugar content. With a diet that has moderate sugar amounts and similar portions of protein, carbohydrates, calories, and fibre, studies found no difference or significant changes in the blood pressure, blood sugar, blood lipid, and insulin levels, and in cholesterol or thyroid hormone.
They noticed how low sugar diets with about 11 grammes of sugar a day affected blood lipids and cholesterol positively than diets which were too high in sugar content with a consumption quantity of 118 grammes a day.
However, this observation accounted for a difference of less than 10 percent between the two subject groups. The minimal difference observed caused the authors to question the significance of this particular finding.
Although the carbohydrate turns into sugar inside the body, low carb diets do not cause increased fat loss rates. A study arranged at the University of Arizona shows similar fat loss results on a moderate carb diet and an isocaloric low-carb diet, both of which were equal in protein constituents.
Over the six-week long study, researchers also investigated and observed that the group that consumed moderate sugar containing diet had lower markers of inflammation as opposed to the subjects who were on the low-carbohydrate diet.
Sugar Does Have Its Drawbacks
Sugar doesn’t work much for your satiety levels. It isn’t very filling considering how it has empty calories. It is possible to overeat on a sugary diet, something a fiber-full meal wouldn’t let you do.
Also, if dieting is your current path and weight loss your immediate goal, it is suggested that you do not take a big part of your daily calorie quota from sugary items. There is not much food in sugar which means that it will make you hungrier sooner than you need to be.
You Need to Strike a Balance between Calories, Sugar, and Other Micronutrients
It is possible to make sugar a part of your diet and still make progress on that weight loss regimen. The idea is to balance one with the other.
Pick a reasonable amount of sugar and find other food items that give you the balancing quantity of proteins, carbs, fibre, and calories. If your metabolism is working properly, it won’t create an issue for you.
Do remember, though, too much sugar is toxic indeed, in varying terms of course. As long as your approach is reasonable, you are safe from the sugary demons of fat hell.