What happens when you replace fat with sugar or starch?
We’re told that sugars and starches are bad for us.
How much of your diet should be sugar and starch for metabolism?
How much should you count on fat for most of your calories?
Remember that the dietary macros consist of protein, fat, and starch or sugar.
You can’t get many calories from protein.
So you have to get the bulk of your calories from either fat or starch and sugar.
All starch turns into sugar in the body.
That’s because starch consists of long chains of glucose molecules like this:
When you digest your food, the starch breaks down into glucose.
Glucose is just one type of sugar.
There’s also lactose, which is found in milk and therefore called milk sugar.
And then there is fructose, which is the sugar found in fruit.
So in this study, they decided to try a diet of nothing but sugar and starch.
They took real people and fed them a diet where all of the calories came from starch and sugar for 14 days.
I wish they had done this longer than 14 days, but we can benefit from this important study.
They broke the people up into three groups.
One group was the “sugar group.”
The second group was the “starch group.”
And the third group was a group of similar people who acted as the “control.”
The control group didn’t have any changes in their diet.
This is normal practice in a quality experiment.
It’s done so that researchers can compare the effects of a change by comparing it to people who did not have that change.
In this case, they compared people eating more sugar or more starch with similar people who were not.
So as far as the “starch group” goes, something interesting happened.
They lost some weight.
In both post-obese and normal-weight subjects, body weight and fat mass decreased on the starch diet.
I’m not sure that this is truly significant because the total weight loss was just 1 pound.
But something more interesting happened with the “sugar group.”
The most important finding is that metabolism speeded up in the “sugar group.”
Their metabolism rose quite rapidly during the 14 days.
Energy expenditures were significantly increased compared with the other two diets.
This is similar to the study where they gave rats Coca-Cola.
The rats that consumed the high fructose syrup Cokes were the thinnest rats of all.
The key finding is that sugar raises metabolism.
So you are healthier and eat more, but still lose weight.
You can get sugar one of two ways.
If you get it as starch, then your body breaks the molecules into sugar.
But starch breaks down into only glucose.
Sugar breaks down into both glucose and fructose.
Also, starch can be difficult to digest in many cases.
This means that a lot of starch ends up making its way into your large intestine, or your colon.
There, bacteria feast on the starch and create endotoxins.
Your body then has more work to do because it must detoxify the endotoxins.
However, if you just use plain sugar, the body absorbs the sugar very rapidly.
The sugar doesn’t get a chance to result in endotoxins.
But aren’t complex carbohydrates “lower glycemic index?”
The glycemic index is a measurement of the speed of absorption into your body.
And it turns out that many starches have a higher glycemic index than sugar.
I personally don’t believe that the glycemic index has any meaning at all.
That’s because you’re always eating food in combination with other foods.
For example, if you eat a starchy plain bagel, you’re also going to have some cream cheese or butter.
The fat from the spread will slow down the absorption of the starch and lower the glycemic index of the meal.
But I can hear you asking, “Doesn’t sugar consumption increase your chances of heart disease and diabetes?”
There are many studies that show sugar is innocent of these claims.
Sugar consumption does not increase your chances of heart disease, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.
In fact, the connection is between metabolism and diabetes, not diabetes and sugar.
It’s the same for the relationship between sugar and obesity.
In this study, they took hamsters that had heart disease, and give them large amounts of sugar.
The researchers intended to prove that sugar caused heart problems even in animals that already had heart disease.
However, they concluded:
A sugar-enriched diet did not exacerbate ventricular function, metabolic abnormalities, or survival in heart failure.
Despite the truth, today there is nothing seen as more evil than white sugar.
The point is that people thrive on sugar instead of starch.
And often they’re healthier on sugar instead of fat.
There is a mania for high-fat these days.
It’s seen with the variety of low-carb diets with the virtue being that they “cut down white sugar.”
But this is a very mistaken direction, and metabolically speaking, it’s nothing but a way to gain weight.
If you’re wondering is sugar good for you then, the answer appears to be yes.
It’s better to focus on the easier to metabolize sugars and starches to avoid weight gain.
You might find that you do okay focusing on foods with starch.
Or you may do better by minimizing starch and substituting quality fruit sugars.
You can get the best fructose from ripe fruits, orange and guava juice, plenty of milk, and a bit of honey or maple syrup.
And yes, a few Cokes now and then won’t hurt you.
Just skip the diet soda!
It seems that you need both the glucose and fructose to speed your metabolism.
effects on 14 d ad libitum energy intake, energy expenditure and body weight in formerly obese and never-obese subjects
High-sugar intake does not exacerbate metabolic abnormalities or cardiac dysfunction in genetic cardiomyopathy