Which is worse, fat or sugar?
Fats have always been demonized and have been considered something that we have to run away from in order to achieve a healthy diet, but recent research on them is revaluing their nutritional properties, leading us to think that what we really have to eliminate from our diet are the sugars.
We are going to analyze what types of fats exist, which ones we should avoid and why sugar is so harmful.
Once we set out to eat a healthy diet, the first thing we do is reduce fat consumption, because such consumption can cause cardiovascular disease. However, not all fats are created equal, and some are considered healthier and more necessary than others. There are saturated fats (the bad ones) and unsaturated fats (the good ones).
Bad cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL)
It tends to form deposits in the arteries causing clogging and lack of elasticity in the arterial wall, which can be very dangerous, and on the other hand, good cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins (LDL) what it does is thin the blood and prevent the formation of those harmful fatty deposits, that is, the good cholesterol, it destroys the bad cholesterol.
Therefore, it is very beneficial to consume foods that provide us with unsaturated fats.
Among the unsaturated fats, there are the monounsaturated ones found in nuts, seeds, avocados and in some oils such as olive, sunflower. Polyunsaturated fats are also unsaturated fats and are found in foods such as corn, cottonseed, flaxseed, legumes and soybeans, also in margarines and shellfish.
They are usually those that are solid at room temperature, such as those found in animal meat and dairy products such as butter, cheese, and cream. They are associated with an increase in bad cholesterol and consequently with cardiovascular diseases.
It has become public enemy number one, as it is present in many foods and sauces, causing its consumption to increase alarmingly among the population. On labels, the composition of processed foods can appear under many names, among which are:
- Agave nectar (aguamiel or, in English, agave nectar).
- Dextrose (dextrose)
- Evaporated cane juice
- Syrup, syrup or malt syrup (malt syrup)
- Molasses (molasses)
Syrup or brown rice syrup.
If you knew in advance that these names refer to sugar, possibly seeing it in a product that you are going to buy, you would think twice, and perhaps you would not buy it… if it contains more than four grams (4%)… do not buy it!
They are also part of the group of unsaturated fats, but they are not healthy like mono or polyunsaturated fats. This is because these fats increase the risk of developing heart problems. They are found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils that contain products made with these oils such as cookies, cakes, donuts and fried foods in general.
Many specialists are joining this new suggestion that fats are not so bad, and that what is truly harmful are the “hidden” sugars that many products contain, that by taking them in excess, many times, without our knowing it, the body stores them as fat. However, fats should always be consumed in moderation and always ensuring that they are monounsaturated fats.
It is very important to learn to read the labels of the manufactured products that we buy regularly in the supermarket, since it is possible that out there, we are consuming harmful foods, without knowing it.