More and more studies are saying that eating fat won't make you fat, but sugar will

More and more studies are saying that eating fat won't make you fat, but sugar will

Losing weight is so tough, isn't it?

At face value - in terms of cold, hard numbers - losing weight is a matter of making sure the calories you intake are smaller than the calories you consume. But in reality, that means plenty of exercise, careful planning, and eating at the right time. Oh, and don't forget eating the right types of food in the right blend of nutrients.

All in all, it's a pain in the neck. But rather than thinking about moderation or a healthy lifestyle, most people prefer to think of eating right in terms of 'not making you fat'. I mean, I guess fatphobia is one way to motivate yourself , and studies all over the place are suggesting that there's one food group in particular responsible for your extra jiggle.

Belly fat

Credit: GettyFor the longest time, we've believed that you are what you eat; specifically, that if you eat a lot of fatty food, you in effect make yourself a fatty food for whatever sabre-toothed tiger or other animal wants to eat you. But that's a simplistic view of the entire thing, and science is beginning to show there's another target in this war against fat.

Aaron Carroll, professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is just one of the many scientific minds out there who are looking at the different reasons we gain weight, and he's got some pretty interesting things to say about the role of fat in weight gain.

"There is one thing we know about fats," he wrote in his book, titled The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully. "Fat consumption does not cause weight gain. To the contrary, it might actually help us shed a few pounds." So, feel free to chow down on salmon, avocado and other fatty foods, because they're not to blame for your belly.

Instead, studies suggest that maybe it's time to take a closer look at your sugar intake. While fatty foods might've gotten some bad PR for those trying to lose weight, studies have shown time and again that your intake of refined carbs and sugar have a direct effect on how many pounds you put on.

In a review of 50 studies carried out on the effects of refined carbs and sugar on weight gain, they found that on average, people who consumed more sugary foods tended to gain more weight. In fact, people on low-fat diets tended to eat more sugary foods, which only exacerbated the problem.

"Suggestive evidence was found for high intake of refined grains, and sweets and desserts in predicting more weight gain, and for refined (white) bread and high energy density in predicting larger increases in WC [waist circumference]."

The review, posted in the Food and Nutrition Research journal, shows that if you're struggling to shed those pounds, it's time to double down on the bacon, and maybe skip the granola bar.