If you think you need to lose weight and reduce risks for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, the best way out is to cut sugar, not fat. Carbohydrates, including sugar, are the new bad guys on the block. Not your meat and cheese and butter.
The myth about fat and cholesterol playing a key role in heart diseases was part of a scheme employed by the sugar industry to fool the world.
Turns out the sugar industry paid researchers to underplay the link between sugar and heart, propping saturated fat as the fall guy! It was a researcher at University of California, San Francisco who discovered the documents revealing the conspiracy and published them in JAMA Internal Medicine recently.
Out of a number of studies, the three Harvard scientists picked a few to highlight the role of fat while minimising the role of sugar. They were paid the equivalent of today’s $50,000.
To make it worse, apparently the influence of the sugar industry continues even today as shown in various studies funded by soft drink companies and candy makers, reports the New York Times.
The Sugar Association even to this day denies any link between sugar and heart diseases, a fact well established of late by the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and others.
Adding weight to the discovery, a review by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology in 2013 showed that there was no significant link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Avoiding saturated fat like eggs, butter and meat has no direct impact on lowering blood cholesterol, leading to the US FDA to remove cholesterol from the list of nutrients of concern, and place sugar there, along with other carbs.
Cholesterol in blood is required by every cell membrane and is processed and recycled by the liver. It helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help digest fat. Cholesterol is also vital for neurological function.
However, this is not to suggest that one goes hogging fat as the kind of fat is also very important for overall health. Moderation would be the best bet with fats. But with carbs, it is safe to keep them in limit, especially the simple ones like sugar and refined cereals.