Fad diet

Fat vs Sugar

There has been this debate regarding whether fat or sugar is worse. Which makes u fat? A pair of twin brothers, who are also doctors, did 1 month experiment on themselves in an attempt to find out the answer.

BBC Documentary: Fat vs Sugar

Some points to note:

CARBOHYDRATES (low fat diet)

  • Provide fuel for brain. Brain uses 60% glucose for energy, so lack of carbs would lead to decreased performance in memory and focus.
  • It is a more efficient fuel for physical activity as compared to fat.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it actually increases sensitivity to insulin. Effects are more efficient lowering of blood sugar after meals.

FATS (low carb diet)

  • Suppresses ghrelin (hunger hormone) for longer periods of time, hence making one feel full for longer.
  • There seem to be a stop trigger to prevent one from consuming too much fat.
  • Does not necessary makes one fat. On the other hand, one may lose weight, but that includes a large percentage of muscle mass, which leads to potential problems in future. This is due to the breakdown of muscle for energy as glucose are not readily available.
  • Desensitize response to insulin. After one month of high fat low carb, Dr Xand actually became 0.2 points to being pre-diabetic.

The combinations of sugar & fat: (not available in nature)

  • The killer is a 50-50 combination of sugar and fat.
  • There is no mechanism to pull a stop trigger.
  • It is almost addictive as the combi makes people go back for seconds.
  • Mice experiment showed great increase in body mass.

In conclusion, a healthy diet is one that is balanced. It is unhealthy to exclude major macronutrients. Eat real food existent in nature, and reduce processed foods to minimal.

It is an interesting experiment. My sis often wonders why our grandma is healthy and living a long life despite eating all sorts of things – carb, fat, protein. She came to her own conclusion that grandma doesn’t eat processed foods. Grandma does not snack on potato chips, cookies and cheesecake. She does not even like butter and milk much, though she often put too much oil in the dishes she cooks. And she loves to walk, is always curious, and kind.

Sometimes the answer is around us. We just need to observe. As Michael Pollan puts it in Food Rules,

  1. Eat Food
  2. Mostly Plants
  3. Not too much

That pretty much sums up. No need for complicated science or calculation of calories. Calorie counting don’t work (been there done that). It serves as a guide but just a very vague one. It is like currency. Different currencies has different values and not exactly interchangeable. It is complicated. Calories from carb and protein are different. Its origins matters, how it is metabolised are also different. So, one calorie from bread does not really mean one calorie from an apple, or pork. It is different.