Fat or Sugar which one should we avoid?

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Guest in Episode 4 of Wellevate Life Podcast writes about the Unknown facts about Sugar. Click here to listen the Podcast now.


· Dr Aseem Malhotra is a cardiologist and founder of Action on Sugar

· Says fat has been called evil when sugar is the real villain

· We were told that eating fat would lead us to early grave.

· while foods such as pasta were seen as healthy.


But research is increasingly disproving this theory - and sugar is now public enemy number one. In fact, fat is good for us and should be our medicine, claims cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra, has ingested a fair amount of fat and, as a cardiologist who has treated thousands of people with heart disease, this may seem a particularly peculiar way to behave. Our heart’s oldest enemy, fat, is the one that covers our arteries and adds weight to our heart. This is an ancient belief which has us spiraled in it till date and that has caused us go low fat, thinking it will keep us fitter.

After further research, Dr. Aseem has found enough information to able to disagree to the dying belief that fat coats up our arteries and piles on the weight. As a result, most of us have spent years dodging full fat foods for their ‘low fat’ equivalents, in the hope it will leave us fitter and healthier. These days he tells his patients who are struggling with debilitating heart problems, to cut down everything having the tag ‘low fat’. Instead, he suggests to go nuts on full fat dairy and other saturated fats within the idea of a healthy eating routine. In some cases, decreasing the cholesterol levels can actually increase cardiovascular deaths, while in healthy people over the age of 60 with higher cholesterol is associated with a lower risk of mortality.

With such information and understanding, his process of changing his own eating habits began in 2012, when he referred to a paper called ‘The toxic truth about Sugar’ by Robert Lustig, a Professor of Pediatrics in the science journal Nature. In it, it said that the biggest danger to human health is caused by added sugar and those products packed with it should carry the same warnings as alcohol. This made it bold and clear that, the consumption of sugar was a slow death.

On similar lines, lately Karen Thomson, granddaughter of pioneering heart transplant surgeon Christian Barnard has been found to be on another powder, one she labels ‘pure, white and

deadly’. This has resulted in her launching the world’s first carbohydrate and sugar addiction rehab clinic in Cape Town. Timothy Noakes, a highly-respected Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine has now said athletes (this also applies to those of us who jog in parks) get their energy from ketones, not glucose. That is, from fat not sugar.

Gary Taubes, a former Harvard physicist who says, ‘obesity is not about how many calories we eat, but what we eat’. Refined carbohydrates multiply the making of insulin, which significantly stimulates fat storage. In other words, it’s not calories from fat that are the problem, but the sugar that is consumed which is.

A statistic says, for the following 18 years for those aged over 50, who participated, for every 1mg/dl per year drop in cholesterol levels, there was an 11% rise in mortality and a 14% rise in cardiovascular death. Another study said that cardiac patients who replaced margarine in place of butter had an increased mortality, despite a 13% reduction in total cholesterol. In the age group above 60, a high total cholesterol is inversely associated with Mortality.

The unaware fact that people need to understand is that the polyphenols and omega 3 fatty acids (which are abundant in fatty fish, virgin olive oil, vegetables and nuts) help to quickly reduce thrombosis and inflammation and are independent of changes in cholesterol. The consumption of starch, sugar and alcohol encourages the production of fatty acids made by the liver that correlate with an increased risk of these deadly diseases.

Medications taken to control blood sugar might save you from the risk of neuropathy, eye disease and kidney disease. They don’t impact on or save you from cardiac attacks, strokes or reduce death rates. Dr. Aseem says he rarely feeds on bread, has avoided all added sugars and has switched to full fat, as part of his varied Mediterranean diet. He now feels more enthusiastic, has more resistance and even though he never planned to, he has lost that fatty tyre around his waist, even after reducing the amount of exercising.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra is a cardiologist and an advisor to the National Obesity Forum. He is currently preparing his documentary film “The Pioppi Protocol – 21 days to whole heart health.” With it, he will create a film free from commercial influence and financing that will navigate the mixed messages surrounding heart health and successfully communicate the key steps to reduce the risk of disease.