When it comes to unhealthy foods, we tend to clump everything in to one category: pizza, burgers, ice cream, brownies. While a recent study showed that pizza is one of the most addictive foods, it turns out that some junk food is way worse for your health than others. And sugar, it seems, is the worst culprit of them all.
A study from the University of California, San Francisco found that you can lose weight on a high-calorie diet — at least if it is low in sugar. The research looked at 43 obese kids with metabolic disease who typically ate foods like sugary cereal, soda and pastries. They swapped out these sugary foods and replaced them with other high-calorie options that are lower in sugar such as hot dogs, pizza and potato chips.
The goal was to restrict the children’s sugar intake but keep calorie intake consistent, and the results they found were surprising. The kids showed improved cholesterol, insulin levels, liver function, blood pressure and blood sugar—and they even lost weight, demonstrating that sugar is a significant contributor to metabolic disease and that all calories are not created equal.
Although no one is suggesting to eat pizza and hot dogs as a part of your daily diet, this study goes to show that if you’re deciding between french fries or a doughnut, you may be better off going for those fries.