July 17, 2007

You Ask, I Answer: Sugar

How does sugar affect weight gain and fat storage?

-- Anonymous

Sugar -- in all its forms -- amounts to 4 calories per gram. In other words, whether you are having sugar in the raw, honey, or plain white table sugar, the calories you are taking in per gram are the same.

If you look at a food label and see that a product contains 30 grams of sugar, a simple math calculation would let you know that 120 of its calories (30 grams x 4 calories per gram) are coming from sugar.

The issue of weight gain and fat storage has more to do with high fructose corn syrup.

Unlike sugar, which stimulates the pancreas to create insulin and lower blood sugar levels, high fructose corn syrup goes straight to our liver.

Our liver is not used to such visits, so it goes into freak-out mode, hitting the panic button to release its troops.
Our pancreas are used to sugar dropping by, so it has insulin ready to balance its effects.

However, all the liver can offer is a series of enzymes that tell the body not only to store fat, but also to raise triglyceride levels.
The most alarming thing is that these enzymes don't help tell our brains that we are full.

Thus, it appears to be easier to overeat foods with high fructose corn syrup rather than those with real sugar.

Sugar in and of itself is not fattening. It just so happens that sugary snacks are also high in fat (which clocks in at 9 calories per gram) and, thus, pack quite a caloric punch.

1 comment:

Mr. Anorexia Treatment said...

Great post! That's some great information that not many people realize.