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Fat vs Sugar – Cholecystokinin tells all

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The Great Fat vs Sugar Debate and the secret that cholecystokinin has to reveal:

You’ve hopefully arrived at this page because you are interested in knowing more about the Fat vs Sugar debate, which seems to rage on and on, but never really gets anywhere. For years, we have been told that sugar is the way to go and that fat is bad, and now all of a sudden  a few old diets, one named after a guy called Banting, and the other based on our lives as Cavemen, called the Paleo diet, is all the rage and sugar is now out and fat is in – “fat is good for you”, or so we are now told and “sugar is bad” and so it goes – the Fat vs Sugar debate is suddenly in everyday conversation.  I have written this article , drawing on my own knowledge of biochemistry and applying some good ol’ common sense to the conflicting arguments that are out there – Sit back, grab yourself a cup of sugarless coffee and enjoy the read (don’t worry, this is not an article about the merits or demerits of coffee, so you can drink it and enjoy every sip – at least for now…)

Sugar Lips

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Cholecystokinin (CCK) may just be the most important hormone that you have never heard about. Cholecystokinin (CCK), according to Wikipedia, is a “peptide hormone of the gastrointestinal system responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein” and then, a bit further down the definition of functions, Wiki goes on to elaborate that “the presence of fatty acids and/or certain amino acids in the chyme entering the duodenum is the greatest stimulator of CCK release”.  But, that definition probably doesn’t help you much does it? So, let me put that into layman’s terms that you may actually care about – Cholecystokinin is YOUR body’s way of suppressing hunger by knowing when you have eaten enough and it is one of the primary control factors for driving or inhibiting the sensation of HUNGER.

If you are thinking that I am about to suggest that CCK gets released as the next health fad “miracle drug” to solve the world’s obesity problems, you would be wrong. Not at all!  What I AM suggesting though, is that it is about time that we start to pay some respect to our bodies and realise that it is our body that always knows what is best for us, so if we can just try to understand how our body is designed to function, then we may just have a shot at getting some control over it.  In this blog posting, I am on a mission to tell the world  the simplicity that is so easily hidden from our grasp within the complexity of the subject of diet, nutrition, and related biochemistry and how this relates to 2 key factors in particular : obesity (or simply being more fat that you would like to be); and the health of our hearts.

So, let me dig just one layer deeper into the detailed understanding of cholecystokinin and I will then draw some important links to how this relates to your body’s metabolism  – Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone released  in response to fat entering the small intestine. It decreases activation in the hunger centres of the hypothalamus (i.e. it makes you less hungry), and increases activation in the satiety centres (i.e. it makes you feel more full). In case that sentence was a mouthful, let me draw your attention to the part of the sentence that matters …” CCK is a hormone released in response to FAT and it is this that is the primary drive of making you feel full and no longer hungry“… (it really is as simple as that and that is the only bit that you need to remember).

Oops.. “but isn’t fat bad for you?” Well according to our body, at the very basic level implied by the way CCK works, apparently it is not!  In fact, if you eliminate fat in your diet, then CCK simply doesn’t get activated and you stay hungry. Fortunately, there are some other hormones involved like Peptide YY, Ghrelin , Insulin and Leptin which at least step in and make sure that we don’t eat until we explode, but it is the CKK that may just be hiding the biggest revelation of all.

Here’s the revelation:

Cholecystokinin (CCK) is our own body’s way of telling us if we have eaten enough, and it does this according to the presence, or absence of FAT in our diet, not SUGAR.

Let me now move on to the next part of this discussion then. At this point, all that I need you to have an open mind on is that FAT may in fact be good in our diet. Now, I have opened a minefield that already litters Google and the Internet as a whole – if you want to understand how on earth this can be true, you are going to get lost in all the detail, opinions and counter-opinions that are out there. So, I am going to take a slightly different approach, and as I have done for CCK above, I am going to bring the argument right back to the reality of our body and what it is trying to tell us.. if only we would start to listen…

Like a good meal, I am going to break this explanation down into some healthy “bite-sized chunks”.

Bite-size Chunk #1 : Your body MUST store the majority of its energy requirements as FAT :

Did you know that a set quantity of energy stored in our bodies is 5 times lighter if stored as fat, than if it were to be stored as carbohydrate (sugar). What that means is that if you replaced your current fat store of energy with storage carbohydrate, your weight would actually go up (in fact, your current weight would double if you are a typical normal weight woman, perhaps slightly less than double if you are a typical male)!  It is with little wonder then, that Nature has declared that for a typical 70kg man, he should store the majority of his energy reserves as fat – roughly 7Kg or 10% (twice that for a typical woman of the same weight), but stores an absolute minimum, in fact <500g of carbohydrate stores.  That’s right, so our body chooses to store an absolute minimum of sugar and favours storing its reserve fuel supplies as fat, because doing anything else would make us so much heavier. And in case you want to understand why this is the case, here is the lowdown – (1) fat is more than 2.5 times more efficient than carbohydrate as a storage fuel on a weight basis; (2) fat is stored >90% “dry” in our bodies as it is hydrophobic (water-hating), whereas carbohydrates are stored at around 65%”wet”, because they are hydrophilic (water-loving).

Fat or Obese Graphitti

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Bite-size Chunk #2 : The catabolic (metabolic breakdown) pathways for the release of energy from fat and sugar overlap and hence, for the large part, are interchangeable  :

Did you know that when your body burns up fats and sugars, the catabolic (breakdown) pathways intersect at a compound called “Acetyl-CoA”.  The name really doesn’t matter, but what is important is that from this point onwards, the breakdown and release of energy follow the same pathway (called the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle if you really care to know). So, the points of metabolic differentiation happen earlier than this, in the run-up to the body’s presentation of the Acetyl-CoA for subsequent metabolism. For the large part, the early-stage metabolic differentiation between fats and sugars, involve 2 things (after absorption) – transport and speed.  Both are important and quite involved, but I only wish you to understand the very simple mechanics that matter here. Firstly, in relation to transport, the body has to perform some “magic” to transport fats effectively, as they are generally quite large and complex molecules and (mostly), they do not dissolve in our bloodstream.  Whilst this does create an exclusion barrier, where the complexity of most fats simply makes them inaccessible to certain areas of your body, including your brain, kidney medulla, erythrocytes (red blood cells), leucocytes (white blood cells), eye, skin, intestinal wall and neonatal tissue (placenta), it also has an “upside” in that the fat transport mechanisms provided by your body  actually shield and protect all regions of your body from direct exposure to fats, except those tissues that are ready and needing to receive these fats for energy release. Secondly, in relation to speed, sugars can broadly be thought of as a source of “fast energy release”, whereas the fats can be considered as a “slow energy release”.  There are moments where your body needs both, hence the reason that your body will always store at least some of each form of energy. Importantly, your body includes mechanisms that aim to preserve the extremely small quantity of  sugar stores, by preferentially drawing on fat reserves the moment that they have been mobilised to the target cells needing the energy. In short, fast energy (from sugars) “gets us going” and slow energy (from fats) “maintains our momentum”.  Most of the time, our bodies are in a state of maintaining momentum, hence for the most part, fats are more suitable for the provision of our energy needs, except for short durations where our body is in “start-up mode”. Disrupt this natural rhythm with excessive sugar intake in the diet and the inevitable result is peaks and valleys in supply, keeping your body on edge, rather than flowing on an even keel. But, that doesn’t exclude a need for sugar entirely, for certain parts of your body (already noted above) and in certain situations sugar is in fact the preferred source of energy, but in small (actually, tiny) amounts – I will elaborate more on this later, but for now I just wish to explain that even though some sugar (I believe) is desirable, your body has been smart enough to provide a very specific group of far simpler fats (known as ketone bodies) that can completely replace the need for sugar. But, I like simplicity and believe in the body’s inherent intelligence and thus it is my personal belief that whilst these ketone body alternatives may in fact exist in our body, they are a protective mechanism for starvation situations, and such systems shouldn’t be engaged as a primary mechanism of fuel supply – in other words, whilst we can do without it, I believe that some dietary intake of sugar (in small quantities) is in fact desirable. **Thank goodness, because I do love the colour and beauty that fruit brings to my table – which is also why I love juicing.(in moderation)**

Paleo Fruit Table

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Bite-size Chunk #3 : Dietary fat is absorbed slowly, but metabolised rapidly by YOUR body, exactly where it is needed :

As I have already explained earlier, there is always a need by your body for both the instantaneous and gradual provision of energy in-between meals. Your body has an inherent intelligence and if it has the choice, it would far rather meet these needs from exogenous fuel supplies (ingested food), than from the metabolically demanding need to mobilise fuel reserves to meet these needs.  And this is exactly where dietary fat intake comes in – the absorption of fats in your intestines is a slow process, in fact extending for many hours, compared to a very rapid absorption of ingested carbohydrates (<30 minutes for most, but up to 2 hours for the more complex carbohydrates).  What this means, is that injested fats have the ability to gradually feed the energy needs of your body over many hours between meals, whereas an intake that is devoid of fat would not be able to achieve this, forcing a more complicated regulation of your energy needs in-between feeds.  And, you will soon discover in my explanation below, that this complex regulation actually still relies on the circulation of fats (as this is quite simply the most efficient mechanism for energy provision in your body), only that these fats would then have to be either processed out of ingested sugar into fats (yes, even a sugar intake would be processed into fats by your body, unless used up in the immediacy of the need), or the required fats would be metabolised out of your body’s fat reserves. Once absorbed, dietary fats enter the blood stream via the lymphatic system – I find this fact very intriguing – why would the body do this; why does it treat fats so differently to everything else that we injest; why does it give fats such special treatment?  It is as if there is a deliberate intent by your body to transport the fats directly to their point of use, effectively bypassing the liver which is the organ that otherwise provides the lipid (fat) needs of your body…more of that later.

It is also very interesting to consider that when dietary fat enters the blood stream, it is very rapidly metabolised, but only by targeted areas in your body that need it at that particular time. The way that the body does this, is through a regulation mechanism involving an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. In a normal situation where there are many hours between meals, the tissues in the different regions of your body enter an area where energy is becoming depleted by the time that you take on your next meal. In this instance, the activity of lipoprotein lipase is “turned up” in those tissues that are requiring energy, whereas this activity of lipoprotein lipase is turned down in adipose tissue, which is the tissue that would otherwise take up this excess fat and turn it into storage fat (there is actually an interplay between 2 forms of lipase in adipose tissue, one that is concerned with fat storage and the other with fat mobilisation, but for the purpose of this article , the term “lipoprotein lipase” refers to both forms collectively).  This regulation mechanism therefore effectively ensures that the ingested fats go directly to those tissues that need it, whilst switching off the need to both mobilise and store fats in adipose tissue at this time.  Because the digestion and absorption of these dietary fats is so gradual, it can be many hours before the adipose tissue gets back up to full speed, first in securing some storage of excess circulating fats and then later, as the next meal starts approaching, once again mobilising these fats to serve the body’s needs until the next meal.

What is therefore so interesting in this, is that ingested fats get significantly depleted before they even start to get processed actively by both the liver and adipose tissue, which would otherwise need to collectively serve the needs of both storage and mobilisation of fats to serve your energy needs. In simple terms, this means that ingested fats must be taking some pressure off both the liver and adipose tissue in their respective roles – a basic fact of your body is that it’s fuel needs must be largely served by fats, so in the absence of fat ingestion, the mobilisation of these fats to serve your energy needs, from sugars and/or fat reserves places significantly more pressure on these tissues (adipose tissue and liver).

Bite-size Chunk #4 : If you do not have fat in your diet, YOUR body will create fat from dietary carbohydrates/sugar :

In my discussions above, I have already started to introduce the concept that fat is the preferred mechanism for our bodies to provide the “maintenance” level of energy needs – specific areas in your body do prefer the supply of energy via sugar and in certain timeframes, you do require the immediacy of energy supply through sugars, but quantitatively the provision of energy via fat wins hands down!  So, quite-plain-and-simply this means that if you exclude fat from your diet, your body is going to have to work pretty hard to transform the energy with which you have supplied it (most likely carbohydrates/sugar) into fat.  Why on earth would you want to give your body all this extra work to do?

I am always struck at how amazed people are to learn that fat exclusion in the diet does not mean fat exclusion in the body. Your body needs fat and Nature has chosen this as the preferred form for both the storage and provision of the vast majority of the energy needs of your body. You can perhaps fight that reality in your mind, and convince yourself backed by media dogma and poorly informed medical opinions against fats that are out there, but THE FACT REMAINS and only the exercise of Darwin’s theory of evolution can change that, but none of us are going to be able to hang around and wait for that to happen!

So, how does sugar become fat in our bodies? Well, as I have already explained, sugar has an immediacy attached to it in the metabolic processes that happen in your body and if it is not used up quickly, it is going to be transformed to fat. How?  Well, remember earlier where I mentioned that the pathways for the release of energy from fat and sugar overlap at a compound called Acetyl-CoA.  Well, here-we-go-again because it is at this same intercept of Acetyl CoA, that a waning demand for energy switches the catabolic route for energy generation into the anabolic route of energy preservation in the form of body fat synthesis. For interest, the storage fat involved is known as triacylglycerol.

Banting Fat is good breakfast

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Bite-size Chunk #5 : Dietary fat is BETTER for you than fat produced in your liver :

OK, so if you are still reading this article and following my train of thought, perhaps I have you convinced that our bodies do in fact need and appreciate a dietary intake of fat, in preference to sugars. But, my next suggestion that dietary fat is BETTER for you than fat produced in your your own body (liver) might just send you packing, with the thought that I have lost my mind. But, hang in there – let me explain my seeming madness…

So, here it is… the major form of fat stored and transported around your body, is a compound called triacylglycerol.  You may recall that I earlier mentioned that fat (predominately triacylglycerol) is stored “dry”in your body, without the association of water or protein. But, I also mentioned that fats are not soluble in your bloodstream and as such, they simply cannot be transported in the exact same form that they are stored. The “magic” that I earlier referred to that facilitates transport of these fats is really the combination of triacylglycerol with protein, and usually a combination of some other lipids that half scare us to death even though they are functionally critical to the body, like cholesterol.  The “magic” complex structure is referred to as a lipoprotein in recognition of the combination of both the lipid and the protein.  The significance of this is that the protein inclusion confers a stability to the moeity that facilitates its transport in your blood. What is even more important to understand though, is that as the lipoprotein passes through your system, it is progressively and selectively depleted of its triacylglycerol component and this has 3 particularly relevant impacts : (1) the moeity gets progressively smaller ; (2) the proportion of protein and cholesterol get progressively larger (at least to a point at which cholesterol is finally consumed in its functional role); (3) the stability of the lipoprotein moeity is dynamically changing with the progressive loss of triacylglycerol, and hence necessitating an esterification of cholseterol to cholesterol ester to maintain the overall lipoprotein stability  in the bloodstream.

Ouch“, you say “cholesterol? that’s got to be bad!” Not entirely so (in my opinion), but certainly worthy of note that the cholesterol level is progressively elevated as the fat gets consumed in its epic journey around the body via your bloodstream, served by your heart. The final predominance of cholesterol ester in a depleted lipoprotein moeity, presents this important compound in an ideal state for incorporation into the base structure of  membranes, bile acids and steroid hormones including vitamin D (YES, cholesterol is a basic necessity in the formation of vitamin D and many other good things that keep us alive, including oestrogen in women and testosterone in men). So amongst other things, cholesterol is of foundational importance for all of us to live healthy lives, and is integrally linked to our hormones and even our SEX drive.  Suddenly, I seem to have your attention!  OK, hands up now for those of you who still think that cholesterol is all bad.  Any takers?  Don’t get me wrong : I am not implying that cholesterol is not linked to things like atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease – but I am also far from convinced that it is causative; more likely protective – in my view, everything should be thought of in moderation, so please stop contributing to giving cholesterol such a bad rap. Also, there is no getting away from cholesterol entirely – it is so critical to our survival that even if you ingested no cholesterol in your diet, your body will still manufacture what it needs anyway. The ideal state for transport of cholesterol into cells and hence facilitating its physiological inclusion is, quite usefully, cholesterol ester.  This final reduction of cholesterol (via cholesterol ester), particularly in the high density lipid protein (HDL) moeity  is what has earned HDL a reputation of “good cholesterol”. Here’s a link to a great article if you want to learn more about the workings of cholesterol.

See, your body knows what it is doing…

Now, let’s simplify and expand on what I have just said. Triacylglyerol (fat) is transported around the body in 4 main classes of lipoproteins :

  • Chylomicrons; VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoproteins); LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins; HDL (High Density Lipoproteins).
  • Dietary fats enter your body and are quickly re-packaged in your  intestines as chylomicrons which are very large, with up to 90% triacylglycerol  and <3% cholesterol and very little protein (<2%).
  • Chylomicrons are the near-perfect energy vehicle – almost all fat; carrying just about nothing else.
  • Once chylomicrons have done their first pass through your body and dropped off some useful energy in the form of triacyclglyerol, they enter your liver as remnant chylomicron particle s.
  • Your liver then starts it all over, completely unpacking all fat forms that it receives and “re-packaging” its best attempt at a chylomicron “look alike”, known as VLDL.  But, VLDL is not a chylomicron – it is smaller, with less triacylglycerol (50-55%) and significantly more cholesterol (nearly 25% by mass if you include the cholesterol ester fraction).  Your liver must have another intent in doing this, that extends beyond the provision of energy alone and whilst conventional wisdom tells us that cholesterol is all bad, I find that difficult to swallow.  Your body needs the cholesterol and VLDL is the most efficient way of discharging this from your liver. But, that said, I cannot prove my common logic thoughts so for now (just for the argument) let’s accept the conventional wisdom that “cholesterol is bad” – if that is true, then indeed it must also follow that VLDL, or liver produced fat is WORSE for our health than chylomicrons, or dietary fat, because it is packed with more cholesterol by design.
  • VLDL gives up some triacylglycerol to become LDL, and the sceptics of cholesterol go wild, because all of a sudden we have a cholesterol and cholesterol ester combination that may be 25-35% of the mass of the LDL particle . In my opinion, this is the perfect and intended design made real by the FACT that target cells in your body are equipped with LDL receptors that are designed to take in LDL and strip it of its cholesterol, because the cholesterol is desperately needed for growth and cell maintenance!  How can any sane person see that as bad?
  • HDL is interesting. An initial presumption may be that it is a remnant of LDL, but it is NOT. HDL arises, generally from your liver, but also as a kind of “split-off fraction” of lipoprotein as either chylomicrons or VLDL break down. HDL has very ilttle triacylglycerol (<6%) and is predominantly protein (around 50%), with around 20% combined cholesterol and cholesterol ester. HDL is like a magnet for free cholesterol, sweeping it up if it happens to be floating around in your bloodstream or elsewhere, yet the HDL will also freely transfer cholesterol ester to chylomicron and VLDL particle s to restore their stability as they lose triacyclglyerol in the provision of energy.  So, what an interesting particle it is, seemingly deserving of its “good cholesterol” stamp.


Bite-size Chunk #6:  It is the formation of fat from sugar, not the utilisation thereof from the diet, that holds the biggest health risks :

The point that I want to make here is in a way a simple re-inforcement of the distinction that I have already made between chylomicrons (dietary fat) and VLDL/LDL fats that are formed by your liver from sugar. OK, OK, I know that VLDL and LDL are also formed by your liver from chylomicron remnants (which are also dietary) and they will also be formed when stored fat is mobilised out of adipose tissue via your liver, but the point that I want to make is to urge you to think about this in proportions. Obviously, your body is only going to deliver VLDL and LDL ex the liver in the quantity that is required to serve the fuel demands of your body.  So, it stands to reason then that if dietary fat in the form of chylomicrons are present to directly and preferentially serve many of your energy needs, then it must follow that the proportional requirement for VLDL and LDL must be scaled back by your liver. And, if you ignore my personal view that VLDL and LDL and the associated cholesterol fractions are not in fact harmful, but rather choose to accept the generally-accepted medical dogma that “cholesterol is bad”, then it must follow that a dietary intake of fats would serve to suppress VLDL/LDL levels, which by implication would also drop circulating cholesterol levels – remember that there is next to no cholesterol evident in the chylomicrons although this would obviously differ if you really went out of your way to ingest heaps of unneeded cholesterol, but that wouldn’t be very clever, would it..?

So, in summary, conventional wisdom would seem to inform a view that dietary fat must reduce circulating levels of cholesterol naturally resident in VLDL and LDL lipoproteins and that this must therefore be good for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and resultant heart disease. Yet, for some unknown reason, this is not exactly what conventional wisdom goes on to say. I have given you my view, so YOU can be the judge of your own destiny from there…

But, before leaving that contentious issue completely alone, I want to drop in one final intriguing observation: There is a very unfortunate medical condition that exists, termed hyperchylomicronaemia – it is not a very pleasant condition and I intend no disrespect to anyone that may be suffering from it.  However, I do believe that there is an aspect of this condition that is very relevant to this debate.  In very basic terms, the condition relates to an absence (or very low activity) of lipoprotein lipase (the enzyme that I have described earlier that breaks down chylomicrons to release their energy reserves to the body).  As such, dietary fat is not metabolised by the body and simply circulates and accumulates in the body.  This is clearly not a good thing, as the fats will deposit in odd places and create discomfort for the patient.  However, the intriguing bit that this condition teaches us, is that despite high circulating levels of chylomicrons (which can be seen as dietary fat) in the lymphatic system and the bloodstream, people that suffer from this condition DO NOT have any elevated risk of developing atherosclerosis (thickening of the walls of blood vessels that is often seen as a risk for developing cardiac disease).  This is a medical fact and surely it must be relevant, as evidence that our bodies are not at any specific risk from the ingestion of dietary fats, at least not as far as the development of atherosclerosis is concerned.

Bite-size Chunk#7 : The human dietary requirement for sugar is ZERO:

In this article , I have gone to great lengths to inform a view that FATs in your diet are good for you, in fact essential. At the same time though, I have expounded a personal view that this doesn’t necessarily imply that sugar must be eradicated from your diet – rather, I have gone on to say that my personal view is that some sugar in your diet is actually good, based on the fact that certain areas of your body (outlined above) have a physiological preference for sugar, and that certain moments in your metabolism can benefit greatly from the instantaneous “kick-start” that sugar can provide. In high impact sports that rely on anaerobic exercise, such as short distance sprinting, this requirement for an instantaneous energy delivery, can in fact be life threatening if not served adequately.  I have therefore stated that I am not in favour of a complete eradication of sugar from our diet, both for health reasons and also for the simple enjoyment of the bounty that Nature provides us in the colour and flavour of fruits – why would anyone of sound mind want to do away with that enjoyment of life completely? That said though, we definately do not need much sugar intake and it is imperative for our health (I believe) that sugar should never replace the need for fat in our diet.

That all said though, it is in fact true that a requirement for sugar in your diet is not absolutely essential due to the wonderful ability of your body to produce compounds known as “ketone bodies”, from fats. Ketone bodies are not like normal fats in that they are small and readily dissolve in your bloodstream.  This means that they can readily flow to and access regions of your body, from which other more complex fats are excluded and once there, ketone bodies can serve the energy needs that would otherwise have been restricted to sugar.  So yes, it is possible to survive with no sugar intake at all, but what a miserable existence! (never mind that too many ketones in your body will make your breath stink). Also, as I have stated before, it is my view that ketone bodies are Nature’s protective mechanism, designed to ensure your survival in periods of starvation – so, these ketone bodies are (in my opinion), your body’s “emergency survival kit” and you need to ask yourself whether or not it is logical to go about your day-to-day life living on the edge. Remember, that there is only one emergency kit, and if that fails for some unknown reason, there can only be one outcome.

In short, in my view is : stick to some intake of sugar via fruits, but avoid all processed sugar forms which are completely unnecessary.

Paleo vs Banting

That brings me near the end of what I wanted to say on the ubiquitous subject of “Fat vs Sugar – Cholecystokinin (CCK) tells all”.  We haven’t spoken much of the Banting or Paleo diets as yet, but that is now a worthy debate made more meaningful given the foundation of knowledge that I have laid down in this article . I cover The Great Paleo vs Banting Debate at the other side of this link.

But, I do have one more departing thought that Mother Nature has left us…

Don’t you think that Mother Nature would take special care when elucidating the optimal composition of mother’s breast milk as the food to be fed to our most precious gift of all – our babies?  

Surely, if all the media hype and misinformed medical opinion about how bad dietary fat is for us were to be true, then mother’s milk would be devoid of this awful substance – would it not?

Consider that for a moment and then consider the reality which is this :

By weight, fat makes up only a small portion of human milk, yet fat is responsible for the majority of the calories in breast milk – 56% in fact! Surely that is a significant fact. Interestingly, breast milk does also contain a significant portion of sugar, making up 38% of the calorie count, so perhaps that also implies that sugar cannot be all bad.  Naturally, the needs of an adult will differ substantially from those of a growing baby, but can we really declare either fat or sugar as “bad” if Mother Nature has chosen to feed both of these to her beautiful babies? We can at least explain a large potion of the sugar supply in breast milk, in that much of this 38% is in fact lactose which contains both glucose and galactose and it is the galactose that is critical to the synthesis of the myelin sheath (which serves as nerve insulation), with most of the glucose important for brain development. One other factor that it is important to recognise in relation to fat in our diet, is the function that fat performs as a carrier of vitamins – basically, fat is necessary for our body to be able to absorb and transport vitamins in our dietthis is as relevant in adults as it is in babies and too little dietary fat can indeed be associated with vitamin deficiencies, whether your are a pill popping vitamin freak or not!

OK, but I hear you calling out that “babies are fat”.  Yes, that is true, but I would argue that this is as much a result of excess sugar supply in their diet, as it is an excess fat supply. So, if you want to be as healthy as a baby, make sure that you include sufficient fat in your diet; if you want to be fat like a baby, make sure that you include sufficient sugar in your diet… Which type of baby are you?


Click on the link if you are looking for the full Paleo vs Banting article


Footnote to this article :

Readers are advised to consider the views, reflect on other opinions and medical advice, then make their own decisions – it is your body, so please make decisions regarding your nutrition with which you yourself can feel accountable. If you have anything to say about this article , please DO post a comment – I have an “open book” philosophy and I am always willing to learn and also happy to admit when I am wrong.  What I have posted here are largely my own opinions, based on my own established understanding and research.  If you agree with what I have to say, please say so and feel free to share this article link with your friends on social media.  If you disagree with what I have to say, please also feel equally free to say so in your comments such that readers can hear your alternative views and then decide for themselves.  Please just keep your comments polite and civil, as profanity and slanderous comments have no place on this site.

Medical opinion on fat vs sugar debate is slowly starting to change, but it will be some time before the full significance to obesity, atherosclerosis and heart disease is understood and scientifically established.

Good luck on your Fitness and Nutrition objectives!  

Article Name
Fat vs Sugar Banting Review – CTJ |Optimal Nutrition
Understand the real biochemistry behind the Fat vs Sugar Banting debate; laid out plain and simply


Conclusion Rating
Understand your body's truth about the Fat vs Sugar debate; spoken through the hormone Cholecystokinin
5 stars

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