How Sugar and Sweets Make You Fat
We all know that if we eat too much fat, most of us will get fat. What many people do not realize is that even eating excess sugar can make you fat. Here’s how sweets make you fat.
Sugar is a prime energy source for the body
Sugar molecules are constantly traveling to each cell to provide energy. Within each cell is a tiny furnace, called the mitochondria. The sugar or glucose molecules enter this furnace and are burned as energy for the cell. This energy- conversion process creates carbon molecules that are building blocks for both cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. When you eat more sugar than your body needs for energy, excess carbon molecules are produced. If carbon is produced faster than it can be converted by the body into carbon dioxide, water, and energy, the excess saturated fatty acids and cholesterol are then deposited as fat or carried in the bloodstream as cholesterol. The body does this because the excess carbon molecules would otherwise be toxic to its metabolic processes. However, while the body can turn excess sugar into fat, it can’t turn fat back into sugars. It must burn off the excess fat as fuel through exercise.
Another angle to look at when it comes to how sweets make you fat is the survival mechanism of the body operates on the feast or famine principle. When you feast on excess high-carbohydrate foods, the body stores these excess calories as fat as a way of storing energy in case of famine.
Low-fat is healthier for your heart and reduces your weight: Not necessarily. Overeating any food, whether it’s fats or carbohydrates, will put fat on the body. “Low-fat” snacks and fast foods tend to be loaded with carbohydrates and junk sugars. Without the fat to fill up on, it’s easier to overdose on carbs. If you eat more carbohydrates than the body can burn, the excess carbs will not only be deposited as fat, but also raise the level of triglycerides in the bloodstream, which in itself increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. A low-fat diet can lead to a lean body only if it’s part of an overall low-calorie diet.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.