How, when and why do carbohydrates turn into body fat?

How, when and why do carbohydrates turn into body fat?

How, when and why do carbohydrates turn into body fat?
How, when and why do carbohydrates turn into body fat?

Studies show that an extra serving of a sweet drink a day (such as cola or fruit juice) increases the risk of obesity by 60% - and the reason is not the high calorie content, but the effect of carbohydrates on metabolism.

Eating refined carbohydrates has been shown to lead to excess belly fat and affect the body's ability to properly produce and metabolize the hormone insulin. In addition, most types of such carbohydrates (mainly pizza and french fries) form a food addiction.

//  How do carbohydrates turn into fat?

How carbohydrates are converted into fat

From a physiological point of view, the conversion of carbohydrates into fats is a complex multi-stage process that takes several hours. During digestion, carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which enters the bloodstream - and the body produces the hormone insulin to use it.

In fact, insulin is the key that opens the body's cells to store energy - in the absence of this hormone, fat cells will not be able to absorb carbohydrate energy and blood glucose levels will rise, which is a risk to health (this happens in diabetes).

The mechanism of the effect of carbohydrates on the production of glucose (and insulin) basically depends on what product was eaten - high-fiber vegetables or refined carbohydrates containing mainly fructose.

Refined carbohydrates - what is it?

Refining is the removal of impurities. That is, refined carbohydrates are the most powerless form - for example, white table sugar (not in vain its cubes are called refined sugar), as well as fructose syrup.

Keep in mind that foods based on refined carbohydrates and refined oils are called "ultra-processed foods" - this category includes ice cream and mayonnaise, as well as pizza, chips and all kinds of fried foods.

Carbohydrates, calories and excess fat

Carbohydrates, calories and excess fat

Traditionally, people consider the harm of sweets only as a source of excess calories - believing that a tea candy can not lead to large-scale negative consequences. This is partly true. But on the other hand, addiction to carbohydrates is real.

As a result, the morning starts with white bread, sweet, sweet yogurt and juice, for lunch - french fries, for breakfast - a piece of cake, and for dinner - french fries or pasta. On average, Russians consume 2-3 times more sugar than required by the norm - in the form of ready meals.

Harmful fructose

To make matters worse, ultra-processed foods do not contain sugar, but fructose syrup. Although sugar itself is a mixture of glucose and fructose, the mechanism of their absorption is very different.

In the process of millennial evolution, people rarely consume large doses of fructose - in fact, without harm to health, the body can absorb no more than 25-50 g of fructose at a time. The dose contained in a glass of juice.

Excess fructose not only disrupts the work of the intestines, but also negatively affects the mood - forcing a person to reach for sweets again as a source of pleasure.

Which is worse - salt or sugar?

Which is worse - salt or sugar

Another myth about proper nutrition is that excess salt in the diet definitely leads to the development of hypertension. But in real life it all depends on the amount of sugar consumed (and carbohydrates in general), as well as the level of physical activity.

At the same time, an excess of carbohydrates (against the background of a sedentary lifestyle) increases fluid retention and in the long run provokes the development of hypertension through the effect on insulin production.

How many carbohydrates can you eat?

These guidelines suggest that the total amount of carbohydrates in the diet should be limited to 150 g of "net" carbohydrates per day. With this in mind, ultra-processed foods should be completely eliminated.

As for sugar, the maximum figure is 10% of the daily caloric intake - about 50 years. It has been proven that regular excess leads to the development of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.


The effect of carbohydrates on excess fat is determined by their type and amount. It has been proven that the consumption of more than 25 g of fructose per day (a glass of juice) and total sugars in the amount of more than 10% of the caloric norm (a piece of cake) leads to the development of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.

Data sources:

  1. Relationship between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis,  source
  2. High dietary fructose: direct or indirect hazards affecting tissue and organ function,  source