Fat vs Sugar- Which One Causes Weight Gain?

By Rebecca Carden — August 06, 2015

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Fat vs sugar- Which one causes weight gain?

Actually neither on it’s own is the key cause for weight gain. Together though, well that’s a whole different story. Let’s just say they make beautiful music together.

Did you know that fat and sugar in one food is not found anywhere in nature as a naturally occurring pair of ingredients?

It’s a deadly combination as well because in a 50:50 ratio it is highly addictive.

The diet industry is polarised around simple debates such as fat vs sugar because there are huge amounts of money at stake.

Farmers, food manufacturers, lobbyists, scientists and authors of diet books need to defend one or other side. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about any of that. The real reason we’re all getting fatter isn’t fat or sugar.

Sugar alone isn’t very addictive – only horses snack on sugar cubes and very few people gorge on boiled sweets. 

Fat isn’t really addictive either: when did you last sneak a spoonful of butter from the fridge late at night? Unless it’s coconut butter mmmm…..

The modern processed food industry knows this and that’s why you’re rarely sold the two separately – what is addictive is the combination of fat and sugar together. 

A combination of fat and sugar (such as in milk chocolate or ice cream) has a similar effect on your brain to cocaine. Remove either and your tub of ice cream will be a lot less appetising and a lot less addictive. It’ll have fewer calories, too.

What we relish is fat/sugar combinations – chocolate, ice cream, french fries. Research on these combinations using brain scans, effectively detect dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the reward centres of the brain. Those that eat high fat/ sugar foods show a huge surge in dopamine release which…… surprise.. makes us want more and more and more. Hello food addiction.



If you want to lose weight, it will be much easier if you avoid processed foods made with sugar and fat. Heck processed foods in general should obviously be avoided as well but you guys already know that.

These foods affect your brain chemistry in a completely different way compared to natural foods thanks to their artificial compounds, chemicals and secret ratios of ingredients. It’s hard for anyone to resist eating too much.

Any diet that eliminates fat or sugar completely will be unpalatable, hard to sustain and probably be bad for your health too in the long run. Extremism isn’t good for anybody. The stress of avoiding a certain food can often be worse than the actual food itself!

Don’t get us wrong, we adore a serve of cheesecake or chocolate pudding as much as the rest of you. Monks we are not! BUT, we always choose whole food, paleo versions and we don’t go overboard on them.

If you want to catch the interesting documentary on this topic that featured on SBS last night, you can watch it here.

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