Friday, May 8, 2009 13:51
Posted in category Diabetes

It was widely (and wrongly) believed for many years that sugar and starchy foods like potato, rice and pasta were the cause of obesity. Twenty years ago, every diet for weight loss advocated restriction of these carbohydrate-rich foods. One of the reasons for this carbohydrate restriction stemmed from the ‘instant results’ of low carbohydrate diets. If your diet is very low in carbohydrate, you will lose weight. The problem is that what you primarily lose is fluid, and not

fat What’s more a low carbohydrate diet depletes the glycogen stores in the muscles making exercise difficult and tiring.

Sugar has been blamed as a cause of people becoming overweight largely because it is often found in high fat foods, where it serves to make the fat more palatable and tempting. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate and ice-cream contain a mixture of sugar and fat. However, the primary sources of fat in our diet are not sweet. Fatty meat, cheese, French fries, crisps, butter and margarine contain no sugar.

Current thinking is that there is little evidence to condemn sugar or starchy foods as the cause of people becoming overweight. Overweight people show a preference for fat-containing foods rather than a preference for foods high in sugar. In a survey performed at the University of Michigan where obese men and women listed their favourite foods, men listed mainly meats (protein-fat sources) and women listed mainly cakes, biscuits, doughnuts (combinations of carbohydrate-fat sources). Other studies have found that obese people habitually consume a higher fat diet than people who have a healthy weight. So, it appears that a higher intake of fatty food is strongly related to the development of obesity—not carbohydrate-rich foods.

Whether you are going to gain weight from eating a particular food really depends on how much that food adds to your total kilojoule intake in relation to how much you burn up. To lose weight you need to eat fewer kilojoules and burn more kilojoules. If your total kilojoule balance does not change—there will be no change in your weight People who consume a high fat diet automatically eat a high kilojoule diet because there are more kilojoules per gram in fatty foods. This is why eating low-fat foods makes weight loss much easier.


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