There is a lot of evidence that refined carbs (like sugar, flour and white rice) are worse for us than dietary fats (including saturated fats), and that regularly eating refined carbs makes us accumulate body fat unlike anything else we eat. Along the same lines, Dr. Frank Hu, a physician-turned-nutrition researcher at Harvard wrote in a 2010 editorial article
: "refined carbohydrates are likely to cause even greater metabolic damage than saturated fat."
Dr. Hu does in that article what I do with my friends: Friends, I say, be careful of foods labeled "low-fat." Avoid them in fact. Why? Because in almost every case, a food labeled "low-fat" has a lot of refined carbs. Why is that? Well, because food makers have to replace the tasty dietary fats in their products with something that gets us hooked. Don't believe me? See the photos.
In the photo to the right is half-and-half made from the same company, except that the one on the left is labeled "low fat." Don't think low-fat milk/cream has added sugar? Well, look below.
On the right is the half-and-half I use everyday for my coffee. It is almost completely what half-and-half is supposed to be: milk and cream. Now on the left is the "low-fat" half-and-half, which is made of "skim milk" and "corn syrup." What is corn syrup? Sugar. It's from corn starch, or the endosperm part of the corn grain, and this stuff is refined by mechanical processes until it can be used to replace cream. I surprise people when I tell them that their low-fat half-and-half has sugar, but the proof is in the pudding, or as it were on the Nutrition Facts label.