Fast Fact Friday: Let’s Talk About…Fats & Sugar with Dr Kelly Johnston, Head of Nutrition

 

Dr Kelly Johnston, Head of Nutrition

Q. Can you recommend some low fat/low sugar Easter treats?
It’s Easter – it’s ok to have a bit of chocolate and enjoy it!
Chocolate isn’t inherently bad for you but too much, poor quality chocolate simply isn’t worth it. Before cutting chocolate out completely, I would recommend thinking about its quality, and the amount. Allow yourself a small, good quality chocolate Easter egg and eat it over a longer period of time, rather than all at once.

If you are on plan, our bars and chocolate mug cake, make for a very nutritious, tasty substitute. Alternatively, if chocolate is a no-no for you or you just don’t like it, but you want something sweet – sugar free jelly with some fresh berries is a good, high-protein, very low-calorie choice, or some natural yoghurt with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey added. Both sweet, satisfying tasty alternatives which won’t break the calories bank.

Q. Does sugar turn to fat?
When eaten, sugar is broken down and converted into various different things, which ultimately end up being used as fuel, or stored in the body for later use. So ultimately, no, not all the sugar that we eat, or obtain from starchy foods, will turn to fat.

This issue is that sugar is easily over consumed very readily metabolised by the body. If we are eating as much as we burn (i.e. in energy balance) then we will not gain weight. However, any energy that we eat in excess of what we need on daily basis, will ultimately be stored by the body, and in almost all instances, yes this will be stored as fat.

Q. Is it better to cut sugar or fats from my diet?
Too much of either fat or sugar, especially together, is generally not considered healthy. What’s obviously better is to have a healthy balanced diet which contains no more than 5% added sugars and no more than 35% fat.
If you are actively trying to lose weight, then you would aim to cut down calories generally, which would mean targeting a reduction in both fats and sugar.

Q. How many Easter eggs can I eat before putting on weight!?
You can’t really quantify this, as it will depend on how big the eggs are and how much else you’re eating. If you are consistently eating a lot of chocolate over a long period of time, above and beyond your normal diet, you can expect to gain weight. If you are indulging in other Easter treat food (hot-cross buns, roast lamb dinners, Simnel cake etc), then you can expect to gain even more. It’s very difficult to specify an amount without knowing about the rest of the diet, but suffice to say, regular chocolate consumption is a very efficient at helping you gain weight. It’s high in calories, tasty and very easy to overeat. Just remember, all things in moderation.

For more information and to be inspired by our recipes see https://www.lighterlifefast.com/fast-philosophy/