Sugar Or Fat: Who’s The Real Villain?

It’s no secret that obesity is on the rise in the U.S., and has been for the last 35 years or so. Reasons for this include debilitating changes in the American diet, a heavy reliance on fast foods and junk foods (a problem compounded by an increased advertising focus on children and youths), and a general lack of significant exercise among the general population. But there’s general disagreement among experts as to what exactly causes people to put on weight. Something’s shifted, we know that for a fact; obesity rates are increasing exponentially every decade, with 50% of the population projected to be struggling with weight issues by 2030. But between two of the biggest evils, who’s the real villain: sugar or fat?

In the beginning, fat took most of the heat. The vilifying of fat reared up in the early 1960s with the war on cholesterol, then proclaimed as an insidious sleeper agent that could build up in the body over time and lead to fatal results like heart disease and cardiac arrest. This saw a shift in thinking towards ‘dangerous’ food products like butter and cream, which were slowly repealed from dinner tables across the country and replaced with new kids on the block like margarine and low-fat dairy options. Recently, however, researchers and scientists have started questioning whether fat is all that bad for you. Not all fat is the same, and there is such a thing as ‘good cholesterol’; butter was even claimed to be a healthy part of a person’s diet in moderation.

Dr Handicap - burger and fries

Sugar, on the other hand, is ever-present in many of the foods we eat, a trend that has become more prevalent in recent years. Unlike fat, which can come in various different forms, sugar has many names – but when it comes down to it, it’s always sugar. Sugar makes people fat; when we consume too much sugar that our body can’t burn off during the day, it converts it to fat and stores it for a time when we will need it. Doing this in excess leads to people putting on more and more weight, to the point that the fat is no longer useful to us, but in fact hinders us. So when asking whether sugar or fat is the original villain, it’s worth considering that recent studies have actually shown that consuming fat is no worse for us than consuming carbohydrates. In fact, diets that remain low in carbohydrates but high in fat are apparently healthier than vice versa. But of course, consuming fat at high levels can also be hugely detrimental to our weight and, ultimately, overall health.

Everybody wants to be healthy, so we are all easily swayed by the latest research or the latest finding in the field of nutrition. But eventually, everything seems to swing from one side of the pendulum to the other, being either good or bad for you depending on what decade you find yourself in. We’re all agreed that both fat and sugar are potentially dangerous parts of an average person’s diet when consumed in excess; both play a role in heralding obesity and keeping people overweight. Both undoubtedly feature heavily in our national diet, present in nearly all fast food and junk food, sometimes in very concerning amounts. But the two are very different substances. So when it comes down to it, which is worse, sugar or fat?

Dr Handicap - measuring belly fat

The answer is that they are both as bad as each other when consumed in high levels, and the solution is to keep both in your diet in moderation. The body requires both fat and sugar, but too much of either results in obesity, and the rise in weight problems we find in modern-day America. If you suffer from obesity, put a plan into action that can help you slowly start cutting these damaging substances out of your diet, and reduce your overall weight. In the meantime, explore options that can help your current lifestyle, as obesity is a particularly debilitating disorder. A handicap parking permit can be a useful tool to help morbidly obese people function in day-to-day life; being able to park in a disabled parking space by holding a handicap parking permit can greatly reduce the stress obese people go through when having to go about their daily chores. A simple handy parking spot can go a long way!

Ultimately, research and science doesn’t have all the answers about what’s good to put in our bodies and what’s not, but most nutritionists are agreed on two points: anything in excess poses a risk, and too much fast food is one of the main providers of most of the bad stuff we should be avoiding. Whether you’re currently overweight or worried about becoming obese, keep in mind that when it comes to sugar or fat, both pose serious health risks in different ways, so be smart about what you eat!