Sugars and Fats
Is sugar fat free and how can you add vitamins and
minerals to sugar?
It is a common idea that sugared foods are fat free and they
are. However, the body processes excess sugar into fat, so all the excess
sugars are converted into fat. You can eat fat free foods all day and
gain weight. Vitamins and minerals are simple chemical compounds and can
beadded to just about any food.
Sugar is fat free. Sugar is a carbohdrate and fat is a lipid. HOWEVER-if
you eat a high sugar diet, your body will convert excess calories INTO fat.
Many of the fat free foods you find at the grocery store don't necessarily
allow you to lose weight because they are still very high in sugar and though
you aren't eating fat directly, you will put on pounds by converting excess
sugar to fat anyway. So be careful.
Sugar(s) and fat(s) are classes of two types of distinct chemical
substances. Each class contains a large number of individual chemical
substances. So the short answer is: Yes, pure sugar is fat-free. But it's
not quite that simple:
Sugars belong to a class of chemical compounds called carbohydrates
because they all have the chemical formula C(H2O), although they have many
different chemical structures -- common table sugar, called sucrose,
lactose (found in milk), starch, and cellulose are a few examples of
carbohydrates. The proportion of C,H, and O in each case is C1(H2O)
although the molecular structure and properties of the molecules are
obviously very different.
Fats belong to a class of chemical compounds called triglycerides. Three
long chain organic acids each containing a string of from about 12 to
about 18 carbon atoms. These so-called "fatty acids" are chemically
attached to a molecule of glycerin, which is able to bind three fatty
acids per molecule of glycerin.
Food and beverage manufacturers can, and do, add vitamins and minerals to
various food stuffs containing either or both sugars and fats.
Sugar does not contain fat. But living on sugar is NOT the key to a
fat-free lifestyle. Your body uses sugar as fuel. The sugar you'd buy in
the grocery store is broken down into a couple of simpler sugars for use.
Likewise, the fat and carbohydrates (breads and cereals) you eat are also
broken down into simple sugars and used. Any fuel left over, no matter
whether it came originally from sugar or from breads or from fat (because
chemically it's now exactly the same thing) will be stored by your body. It
does that by building fatty acids out of the leftover sugars and storing
them in fat cells (called adipocytes).
You can get vitamins, minerals, and amino acids by eating all the things
that are supposed to be good for you -- meats, beans, fruits, vegetables,
etc. But keep in mind that fruit contains a lot of natural sugars as well.
So if you're looking for a diet, go easy on the fruit and breads and fill
yourself up on proteins.
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Update: June 2012