Fun Zone
11th August 2015 | By:

Sugar is the new fat

For the last decade the food industry has been heavily insisting and promoting healthy being by eating their new range of low fat and low calorie products. Everywhere, all you can see is, low fat, reduced fat or 0% fat products etc. This all sounds great for us, the consumers, well, that’s what the majority of us thinks but before we jump into conclusions let’s see what really happened here.

When an average person consumes a meal which is high in fat, the body naturally tries to store it for later use, when you need it. For instance if you are trying to exercise and your body needs the energy then it will dig and use the fat previously stored, this is the simplest representation of how your body is working. What happens when you do not need that energy? Well the body will keep on storing the fat and make you… fat. Let’s be honest, any product without fat doesn’t really taste good and is bland, the food industry knows this very well.

So once everyone discovered this and there was a pressure from the regulators to reduce and regulate the amount of fat they put in their products, the food industry came back with this wonderful products which are half the fat, low fat or 0% fat and still maintain the same taste as before. So you are thinking, why this was not done before? Why they didn’t simply start with this? Well, the simple answer is that nothing changed really, you got bluffed, as simple as that.

Chemically it is not really possible to reduce the fat within the given product and maintain the same taste, so what really happened is that instead of fat they started adding sugar. Yes sugar, any type of sugar, you name it be it normal, brown or corn syrup they all have very similar chemical compositions and they all act the same way once inside the body. So we reduce the amount of fat but we increase the amount of sugar what happens when we consume the new low fat product? Well believe it or not the result is the same, when you consume a product your body has a natural hormone called insulin, the job of this hormone is to absorb any nutrients you consume, so when you give it sugar what does it do? Well it will try and absorb and convert it to energy if you need it but if you don’t… it will simply try and store it as fat, yes fat.

Overall nothing changed and we are back to square one, we are still consuming the same amount of fat and the products we buy nowadays mostly contain incredible amounts of added sugar otherwise the taste of the product is simply not good.

Look at this oat bar, advertised as Oats & Honey[1] with the following ingredients

Whole Grain Rolled Oats (59%), Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Honey (2%), Salt, Molasses, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin, Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate

Per 100g 2 x bar (42g) % RI*
Energy 1916 kJ/ 805 kJ/ 10%
456 kcal 192 kcal 10%
Fat 17.2g 7.2g 10%
of which saturates 2.4g 1.0g 5%
Carbohydrate 64.5g 27.1g 10%
of which sugars 28.3g 11.9g 13%
Fibre 5.6g 2.4g
Protein 8.1g 3.4g 7%
Salt 0.8g 0.3g 6%
*Reference intake of an average adult (8 400 kJ/ 2 000 kcal)

In 100 grams you have 30 grams of sugar and 20 grams of Fat, so 50% of your product is fat. Great… and the list goes on…

This is really annoying for people who really do want to eat healthy and the only choice they end up with is just a small group of products with exorbitant prices because there is not enough demand for it.

References:

[1] http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/gb/groceries/nature-valley-crunchy-granola-oat—honey-bars-x6-252g

Picture from http://thefoodpornographer.com/

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