Is Sugar The Devil?

It seems that sugar is the devil in society. People think sugar turns into belly, thigh or hip fat. But is added and refined sugar as bad as that very unqualified, very illogical Australian celebrity Paleo chef claims?

What increases 'body fatness' is not actually sugar itself. It's excessive calories compared to energy requirements or calorie (energy) expenditure over time [1]. This is also called an energy (calorie) surplus. This 'calorie surplus' is a major risk factor that leads to the development of many common diseases and poor health outcomes. Whilst it has not been conclusively proven that sugar directly does.[1]

So, sugar itself is not bad, nor does it directly make you fat. 

However, it's important to note foods with added sugar can indirectly lead to increased 'fatness' through increases in CALORIE consumption. So if a diet is high in refined sugar, its likely also high in Calories. 

This is because adding sugar to foods and beverages during processing, cooking etc. Both increase calorie density and enhances the taste. Both of which create a scenario that encourages far higher consumption of calories. 

But this isn't exclusively the case for sugar, more so any 'tasty, high calorie, lower fiber' foods and drinks. Many of which are high in fats. [2]

So despite sugar not directly leading to increased 'body fatness', and poor health outcomes. The diet recommendations of reducing or eliminating refined sugar holds great value, as it's reduction can lead to lower calorie consumption, keeping energy balance in check. 

It's also important to note that not all situations are looking to reduce caloric intake. This is where context and situation plays a role. Situations that involve the need to shuttle high amounts of glucose into the blood as soon as possible, or situations that involve consuming more calories than what an individual would feel comfortable with from 'healthy foods'.  Requires the use of foods and drinks that can be defined as 'unhealthy, or sugary' due to a high amount of refined sugar, a high-calorie density, and an appealing taste. 

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-019-0407-z?fbclid=IwAR2CipHPICtRz-46cRMf9JJRcYPMWrhE0_8NPmeoP-cKarWPlrMm7_hIjC4#ref-CR25

[2] https://www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de/fileadmin/Ernaehrungs-Umschau/pdfs/pdf_2014/01_14/EU01_2014_M014_M023_-_002e_01_engl.pdf