My Findings on Sugar and Fat with Respect to Cardiovascular Disease


Fat! Carbohydrate!! these class of food has been the topic of a lot of arguments and while people are saying one is bad while the other is better. Some are even looking to understand which is worse of the two classes of food. We have always heard people say fat is very bad for our body. I remember my mum engaging in a fight with someone who sold fat for her in the market instead of red meat. It was a very bad experience, as she maintained that it was very bad for our health and the man was intentionally giving her something bad for her health and that of her family. I guess she had every right to feel bad but then she would always make us take carbohydrates, and rarely complained about sugar. Before I continue, let me ask you the question Fat or Sugar, which is not good health-wise?


I remember that my mum was very concerned about having a heart attack or stroke as a result of taking fat but then where do we put sugar? Sugar is completely bad but it is part of our daily lives and we cannot do without it. It has been proven to be responsible for Diabetes, Obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. This does not mean that saturated fat is a saint, it shouldn't be exonerated. Both of them should be reduced (i mean saturated fat and refined sugar) for a start to a better life.

Let us look into how it began as we go back to Ancel Keys and his hypothesis (diet-health hypothesis) which said that the amount of fat eating (saturated fat where its fatty carbon chain is connected by single bonds and saturated with hydrogen) leads to a high level of fats in the blood which then gloms onto the blood vessel wall causing coronary artery disease. His study was done in seven countries which include the U.S., Japan, Finland, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands. When the results were out, the total amount of dietary fat didn't matter but people with high amounts of saturated fat intake had heart attack ad died from the attack. Also, the blood cholesterol level in the world correlated with the amount of saturated fat consumed. Framingham's heart Study also supported blood cholesterol and heart disease and showed correlations with Ancel Keys's hypothesis. While the spread of Saturated sugar harm was going like wildfire and people were changing diets, some researchers were concerned about the neglect of sugar which was also consumed in high amounts in those countries where the study was carried out.

Over the years, researchers begin to come out with analysis and observations that the past study which talked about heart risk was more associated with quickly digestible carbohydrates and added sugar rather than saturated fat. While cholesterol was still a thing of debate, Sugar harm was starting to come to light. Triglycerides are used to identify fat levels in the blood which is the total amount of fat and cholesterol (which can be low-density lipoproteins (bad fat) or high-density lipoproteins (good fat)). So if there are two types of cholesterol, who can we say that the study from Ancel Keys was studying bad or good cholesterol? I guess I should ask you that question.

Even with people quitting the intake of saturated fat, Obesity, and diabetes were on the increase, and both are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases I thought people who were obese were believed to be eating saturated fat. If people were cutting down on saturated fat, what was going on with obesity? High sugar will raise triglyceride level and low-density cholesterol and excess sugar is associated with elevated blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Sugar in recent time has become the scapegoat for a lot of nutritional deficiencies. It only provides calories when consumed but it, so people can attribute diseases that even doesn't have anything to do with it, to it. Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity and it is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease bu it is important to know that we breakdown sugar differently and use it differently. For instance, i take a lot of sugar, and I am not anywhere close to obesity or diabetes while some people would not eve take much added sugar and will suffer from obesity. With this, I do not think it is wrong to say that Sugar cannot be seen basically as a cause of heart attack, but can affect the risk factors that can lead to obesity. What do you think about Fat and sugar, as well as their involvement in cardiovascular diseases.

References for Further Reading

Can you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?

Fat or fiction: the diet-heart hypothesis

The Diet-Heart Hypothesis: Changing Perspectives

LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Obesity and overweight

Cholesterol and Sugar: Is Something Sweet Turning Your Cholesterol Sour?

Why Sugar Can Wreak Havoc on Your Cholesterol Levels


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