What’s Worse for Your Diet -- Sugar or Fat?

Healthy Habits

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Eating right can sometimes seem like it should be a simple change, such as cutting sugar or fat from your diet. However, experts say that there is no simple answer, and choosing an overall balanced diet is the key.

The National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH) recommends reducing both bad fat and sugar to get the most nutritious diet possible.

When it comes to weight loss, a calorie is the same whether it comes from fats or sugars (or sugars from carbohydrates), according to the NIH. Fat has twice as many calories per gram as carbs or proteins. Sugar occurs naturally in many foods, but some foods also have additional sugar added to them.

Solid fats and added sugars are often called empty calories, according to the U.S. Department of AgricultureOff Site Icon (USDA). Empty calories provide very little or no nutritional value.

Solid fats include butter, beef fat and shortening. Though they can be found naturally in foods, they are often added to processed foods, according to the USDA.

Added sugars are not naturally found in foods, but rather added to foods when they are processed and prepared, according to the USDA.

Foods that add the most empty calories with solid fats and added sugars, according to the USDA, include:

  • Cakes, cookies, pastries, and donuts
  • Fried foods
  • Ice cream
  • Pizza
  • Sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs
  • Soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks

Choosing foods that have some, few or no empty calories or added sugars is the best option, according to the USDA.

Foods with some empty calories: Sweetened applesauce, regular ground beef, fried chicken, sugar-sweetened cereals, whole milk.

Foods with few or no empty calories: unsweetened applesauce, extra lean ground beef, baked chicken breast without skin, unsweetened cereals.

In general, people feel fats are less harmful than sugar and end up eating far more fat than is healthy, according to the USDA. Because they both add calories to your diet, it is important to be aware of both and make an effort to limit solid fats and added sugars as often as possible.

For more information about weight loss surgery support, talk with your physician or visit https://www.premierphysiciannet.com/Premier-Metabolic-and-Bariatric-Associates/Home/ to find a physician.

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