Most people consider fat to be the Osama Bin Laden of macronutrients. So-called health foods and their marketing are to blame, only some fats are actually bad for you and others are actually beneficial. Just because you’re eating fat doesn’t mean it becomes fat in your body. Most people are still scared of this macronutrient, yet the majority of people do not consider the sugar content of foods they are eating.
“Unless ingested around exercise, where sugars are used for energy and to replace glycogen stores, simple sugars are converted straight to fat.”
Sugar is suicide! Ok that’s a bit melodramatic, but unless ingested around exercise, where sugars are used for energy and to replace glycogen stores, simple sugars are converted straight to fat. Eating sugar spikes your blood sugar level and your body responds by releasing insulin to bring your blood sugar back to a normal level. How is this done? Either by moving excess sugar into muscles (post workout) or moving excess sugar into fat cells (all other times!). Eating sugar at the wrong time guarantees that your body will store the food you have just eaten as fat.
That ultra low-fat milk, almost all breakfast cereals, and even those ‘healthy’ granola bars you are eating are packed with sugar and are adding fat to your physique – completely the opposite of what you’re aiming for. Many low-fat foods, especially dairy products, retain the flavour customers want by adding simple sugars. For example, ultra low-fat milk contains less of the goodness of whole fat milk, but with up to 10g of sugar per 100ml. Low fat usually means processed junk, stick to natural unprocessed foods and it’s hard to go wrong.
As an aside, whilst fruit is packed with sugar, fructose does not spike your insulin like simple sugars do. Fructose can’t be used by the body to directly replace muscle glycogen stores and is only used to replace liver glycogen (when the liver is full, fructose is stored as body fat too!). So fruit will not be as effective as a post-workout supplement since it contains both fructose and glucose, as opposed to pure glucose, but is far superior in terms of vitamin and mineral content.