Grains don't add fat

Eating more bread and other carbohydrates will not make you fat, a review of medical literature shows.

Fat makes you fat, because it’s the last major dietary component to be metabolised, and the body has virtually unlimited capacity to store it.

Obesity experts note that there has been a change in fat:carbohydrate ratios across entire nations, with a trend in some Western countries and in japan towards increased fat and decreased carbohydrate consumption.

Ian Caterson, from the Human Nutrition Unit at the University of Sydney, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital dietitian lanet Franklin report that studies of the diets of obese people showed that they prefer high-fat foods.

Fat stays with you longer

Over-eating high-fat foods leads to weight gain because energy needs are satisfied first by alcohol, carbohydrates and proteins, and only then is fat used, they said.

Over-eating carbohydrates actually leads to an increase in carbohydrate oxidation, or breakdown within the body, and a boost in energy expenditure which greatly outstrips the boost from over-eating fat.

Eating carbohydrates such as breads, cereals, pasta, noodles, rice, pulses, fruits and vegetables can assist in weight control, they concluded.

Even sweet treats are less likely to stack on the weight unless they are fat-laden too.

“No relationship has been found between per capita sugar consumption of a nation and the incidence of overweight and obesity in the population,” Professor Caterson points out.

He said it was important to counter the “continuing misconception”, especially among women, that eating highcarbohydrate food such as bread would make them fat.

However, it has to be remembered that, apart from our genes, the other major factor in whether or not we get fat is the amount of exercise we do: “energy consumed” must be matched by “energy expended” or the waistline begins to expand.

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