Although a high sugar diet is by no means going to be of BENEFIT to your health, within the fitness industry there’s still a myth that it is the main cause of fat gain however that isn’t the case. The main issues about the conclusions drawn about sugar are that they relate correlation to causation however, just because sugar may be correlated with obesity doesn’t imply that it IS the cause of it. In fact sugar consumption has actually decreased since the 1980’s yet obesity rates have still continued to increase suggesting that there must be other driving forces?
Yep, high sugar foods are often high in fat, salt, highly palatable & kcal dense thus the evidence doesn’t suggest that sugar in ISOLATION is the main cause of fat gain but that it’s the totality of the diet including increased kcal consumption from ALL sources that causes it. Also, those who consume more sugar are (usually) those who exercise less, smoke/drink more & just have a poorer diet overall so why not address these first?
Studies have shown that under ISOCALORIC conditions sugar intake doesn’t impede fat loss thus supporting the assumption that once total kcal intake is accounted for, per capita changes in kcal from sugar don’t explain increases in the rates of obesity .This is strongly confirmed by a HUGE systematic review looking at 68studied showing that isoenergetic replacement of sugar with other macros results in no change in weight suggesting that kcal imbalance is the major cause of fat gain with sugar just having the POTENTIAL to influence it
Conclusion: Yes sugar has a poor nutritional value & not very filling thus a poor choice for fat loss however, once ~80% of your diet is comprised of “clean” foods then there’s no evidence to show that you can’t meet micro needs to still be HEALTHY while consuming SOME sugar WHILE still losing fat . All that’s required is to CONTROL kcals & create a deficit.