Anyone who moves in the fitness environment for a while has not only seen many trends come and go, but has also experienced first-hand that almost every macro- or micronutrient at a certain time has the goal of some years to go Has become demonization campaigns. It was that in the 1970s fat, in the late 1990s the carbohydrates and today, in addition to carbohydrates, it is also increasingly animal proteins, which allegedly found the root of all ill health and thus exposed to an unjustified hatred. These on-off relationships are the result of numerous scientific and social struggles that associate certain nutrients with various health benefits and disadvantages, bizarrely excluding all other external factors. However, what appears logical in the light of objective scientific evidence, at least in general terms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, can not hide the fact that the negative influence of the refined industrial sugar on the organism is unquestionably proven and this is accordingly consistently to avoid, right? Of course it is not that easy. And why this is so, you will learn in the context of this article.

What's so bad about sugar?

Well, to explain what is superficially so fatal in terms of sugar consumption, we should first open up the really great guns of the nutritional and health sciences in the form of numerous studies, the high sugar consumption in a clear causal relationship with obesity, cardiovascular Diseases and various cancers. So it is not surprising that most fitness experts attribute the nutritional elimination of sugar as the ultima ratio for improving health and body composition. However, this initially logical seeming knowledge is already jittering when we ask ourselves whether it is actually the sugar that causes the serious damage to the health of our organism, or whether these effects are not primarily on the long-term intake too large Calorie amounts are due.

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A little trip to the practice

Suppose someone has average eating habits, and his dietary intake of calories means that the person can keep their body weight constant. Now this person drinks daily, without much thought, two cans of a soft drink containing 40 to 50 grams of sugar and thus 300 to 400 kilocalories that are not actually planned in the diet. So who is to blame for the fact that this person has gained a lot over several months - the sugar or at least the blue-eyed handling of calories? Nonetheless, it should not be underestimated that sugar calories are by far not as valuable as those derived from wholesome foods due to their micronutrient deficiency. However, this is no reason to denounce sugar as harmful per se and even call it toxic, as it is sometimes fashionable in relevant media. Of course, sugar can be toxic, just like any other substance. As Paracelsus already knew, the dose alone makes the poison, and that applies to alcohol, vitamin C, water and even sugar.

Studies support criticism of the sugar myth

A study published in 2001 addressed the question of how sugar consumption affects fat production in the context of a calorie-restricted diet. In the course of this investigation, the fat loss was compared by two comparison groups, which were allowed to consume no more than 2,000 kilocalories over a period of six months. The only difference between the two groups was that the subjects of one group were allowed to consume 50 grams of sugar per day, while the comparison group had to content themselves with only 25 grams. Contrary to what the sugar prophets predicted, the six-month difference in the detectable amounts only amounted to a statistically non-relevant value of half a kilogram. A very similar result comes from a study by the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, which made significantly more extreme differences in terms of sugar consumption than the standard of investigation. While a group was allowed only four percent of the daily calorie requirement from sugar, the other subjects were told to cover 43 percent of their energy needs with sugar. And what should we say? Even the tenfold increase in sugar intake caused no significant difference in terms of fat loss under the influence of an otherwise identical diet. All in all, these serious scientific studies clearly support the thesis that, among other things, the increase in obesity is mainly due to the significantly too high calorie intake and not per se to the sugar.

The difference between athletes and normal consumers

Why a large part of the published studies again and again links between the consumption of sugar and the emergence of obesity, is, among other things, also that they are usually carried out with overweight people and not with active recreational athletes or a total of a representative test group. The influence of this one-sided design of test groups on study results can be recognized by the fact that it is clear that very overweight people have a significantly lower glucose tolerance than trained athletes, which of course also affects the type and effectiveness of the metabolism of sugar effect. So, all in all, this is another fact that points to the fact that for most people, sugar consumption has no significant effect on body composition on the condition of controlled caloric intake.

A little sweet science

Of course, body composition is not the only aspect that has been studied from the sugar intake point of view, because blood pressure, blood lipid levels, cholesterol levels, or the level of inflammatory markers are all too readily associated with sugar intake. In order to get to the bottom of these assumptions, investigations were carried out in the context of which test groups were again commissioned to carry out diets which, under the ceteris paribus assumption, should each have a high and low sugar content. And, what should we say? On the bottom line, no significant differences in the relevant health determinants were measurable. Another study with a similar structure even revealed the finding that in a six-week low-carb diet no more fat is burned, as in the case of a nutritionally balanced diet. And that's not all, because in addition the concentration of the inflammatory markers in the case of a well-balanced diet was significantly lower again, which should certainly shake the world view of some people.

Let's put the threads together

Not least because of the almost religious indoctrination that carbohydrates and sugars in particular strive for a healthy lifestyle and have only negative influences on the organism, it is only too understandable, if so many recreational athletes want to accuse us of the nutritional heresy. However, it is a fact that the objective data clearly weaken this myth, seemingly carved in stone, and clearly demonstrate that sugar can also be part of a healthy diet that supports both muscle building and fat loss in the best possible way. It is in the nature of the matter that high-fiber-rich foods, especially in the context of a very strong calorie restriction much better suited because they saturate much better and thus excrete highly sugary foods so already for this reason. In return, nothing bothers you if you use sugar-containing products during endurance sports or during the offseason, as long as you keep an eye on both your macronutrient distribution and the calorie balance. At the end of the day, there is no reason to avoid the sugar in principle like the devil does the holy water.

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