What is Worse: Too Much Sugar or Too Much Fat?
“If you are conscious of the marketing gimmicks used on food packaging and you can see past these enticing claims to the actual nutritional value of the product and the effect that this food will have on your weight loss goals, you are on the right track.”
When most people start a diet or decide that it is time to lose some weight in bid to live a healthier lifestyle, they will start by looking on food labels for the phrase “low fat.” This is a good start but I strongly believe that the amount of sugar that we eat has as much effect (if not more) on the amount of extra fat that we carry.
The more that I look at food labels, the more annoyed that I get with these guys who are profiting off ignorant consumers.
For instance, I go to visit my parents during most weekends. On my last visit, I decided to see if they had any food that I could get my hands on (an important part of my visiting duty). I picked up a packet of extremely healthy looking breakfast cereal with “low fat” on the label, ticks to show that there were no artificial colors, and “all natural ingredients” plastered over the packet.
If I did not know what I know about fitness and diet, it would be a no-brainer to put this type of food into my shopping cart as a good start on my weight loss diet.
This breakfast cereal did look very tasty, so I casually scooped out a small handful and started eating it whilst talking to my mother about her week.
JEEEEZ! It tasted way TOO sweet to be a “fat loss” food! It would be great if you could actually eat things that taste as sweet as this and still get the body that you are after.
I decided to check the ingredients of this “healthy option” breakfast cereal a bit more closely. Lo and behold, the second ingredient that was listed on it was sugar!
To make matters worse, it said something like 1 serving was equal to only 99 calories. Okay great, but how big was “1 serving”? I looked around the packaging and found that 1 serving was 50g. Have you seen how much a 50g serving of a granola based food is? It’s a small handful.
This is very unrealistic and I can’t understand how food manufacturers are able to get away with this kind of misleading product information.
As a competing bodybuilder, I know that if you want to get into competition shape, you simply do not touch sugar. You learn very quickly that there is sugar in more foods and drinks than you can imagine.
I know that this blog is neither about the extremities of bodybuilding nor the sacrifices that bodybuilders have to make in order to get so conditioned, but the principles are the same. If you are consciously aware and can see that, 99% of the time, you may be eating hidden sugar, then you are on the right track!
Quick Checklist & Tips:
- The best thing that you can do is read the label. Food labels list the ingredients of the food in the highest quantity first down to the lowest quantity last. You will find sugar on most food labels but the lower down the list that sugar appears, the better it is for your weight loss. (The same goes for salt.)
- All food labels should have a section with a “Nutritional Information” panel on the packaging. This is another check that you should do. You will see how many calories, etc., are present in a few different measures. For example, you may get the information for “1 serving” and you will get “per 100g” You should always look at the “per 100g” when making your decision. This will give you a better, clearer idea.
- If a food is advertised as “low fat” much of the time, there is a lot of added sugar and salt to make the food taste better, so be aware of this.
To Sum Up
There are massive amounts of foods that you probably don’t expect to have added sugar in them. These are not just dessert type foods; foods like ketchup, A1 sauce, breakfast cereal, flavored potato chips, bottled fresh orange juice… the list goes on, and they all have added sugar!
If you are interested in researching more about this, you should check all of the food that you are eating. You will very quickly see what I mean.
If you are looking for better results with your weight loss and fitness goals, I think you will be taking a huge step in the right direction if you can understand the ingredients in the food that you are eating. If you are aware of the marketing techniques used on food packaging and you can see past these enticing claims to the actual nutritional value of the product and the effect that this food will have on your weight loss goals, you are on the right track.