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Should I be more concerned about fat or sugar in my diet?

Mar 18, 2014

SugarLogan George
FT Maple Grove


"Both fat and sugar in excessive amounts can cause some serious health problems, which we have seen more and more of in our modern age. A proper diet should include both fats and sugars in moderation and with selection of the right types of nutrient sources. Nuts, seeds, and fish are good examples of fats. For sugars you can never go wrong with fresh fruit."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"Everyone should think about what the food they are about to consume will do for their body.  If it contains added sugar, don't eat it. Fruit is something that should be consumed, however limited to one or two servings per day -- for example, a handful of berries for dessert or a ripe banana post-workout.

"Fat is a macronutrient that everyone's diet should consist of whether you are trying to lose weight, build muscle or both. Fat will help to balance out cholesterol and other hormonal levels and keep a lean muscular body ready for any activity. The best fats can be obtained from grass-fed beef and free-range poultry, nuts (limit to 10 almonds daily for fat loss), avocados, coconut milk and coconut oil."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media


"Fat has been demonized unfairly both in so-called scientific circles and the popular press. That's not to say you can eat unlimited amounts of fat because it is so calorically dense.  But healthy fats are necessary to proper health and function. Sugars, on the other hand, are more insidious and ubiquitous and though they are our primary energy source in the form of healthy carbs (think fruits and vegetables) most people get way too much sugar in the form of processed foods."

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist


"For fats, avoid the artery-clogging variety whenever possible -- saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and trans fat. Make extra virgin olive oil your main fat and add in the omega-3 fats from plants such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts and marine omega-3 fat from fish like salmon, halibut and tuna.

"There are two kinds of sugars. Sugars in your diet can be naturally occurring or added. Naturally occurring sugars are found in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugars are sugars and syrups put in foods during preparation or processing, or added at the table.

"It is the added sugars that we need to curb since overconsumption is linked to increased disease rates.  To tell if a processed food contains added sugars, you need to look at the list of ingredients.  Remember that sugar is disguised under lots of different names but still tastes as sweet.

"The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about six teaspoons of sugar. For men it’s 150 calories per day, or about nine teaspoons.

"The World Health Organization says your daily sugar intake should be just five percent of your total calories. Under this guideline, a person who takes in 2,000 calories a day should limit sugar to 25 grams -- about 100 calories or six teaspoons."