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What They’re Not Telling You About Sugar

Fructose is a fruit sugar.

It is naturally found in fruit like melon and berries and also in honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup. It, along with glucose, makes up sucrose, or common table sugar.

What’s the main difference between fructose and glucose?

Fructose is metabolized only in the liver, so any excess gets converted into fat.

Glucose, on the other hand, is an energy source for every cell in the body. This means it is readily absorbed and easily used.

At the turn of the century, Americans consumed an average of 13 pounds of sugar a year. According to recent USDA reports, we now consume over 152 pounds of sugar a year, 64 pounds of which is HFCS. At this rate, we are consuming far more fructose than our bodies can handle.

Why is fructose is so dangerous?

Fructose, when eaten in extremely small quantities in the form of fruit or root vegetables, has an almost imperceptible affect on health. However, because fructose is found not only in sweet foods, but also in condiments, processed meats, breads, sport drinks, and other popular beverages, many people find it difficult to avoid.


Is eating berries really the best choice when it comes to your health? An overload of fructose will get converted into fat by your liver, contributing to obesity, hypertension, and even chronic inflammation.
  • Fructose does not stimulate insulin. Glucose does. Insulin is important because it does other things besides manage blood sugar. It also stimulates leptin, which makes you feel full and satiated after a meal. And it turns down ghrelin, also called the hunger hormone because it stimulates appetite. So what happens? You end up eating large quantities of fructose in a meal and still feel hungry. This contributes to obesity.
  • Fructose elevates uric acid and increases nitric oxide. This raises angiotensin and leads to hypertension. Hypertension is common, and many people take medication to control hypertension, sometimes unsuccessfully. Adjusting the diet and removing fructose is another option that may alleviate hypertension and will certainly benefit overall health.
  • Uric acid, which has a direct relationship to the amount of fructose that you consume, also contributes to low grade, chronic inflammation. This is especially noticeable around old injuries. Sustained high levels of uric acid and low grade inflammation weakens the immune system and makes you susceptible to degenerative conditions, including type II diabetes.
  • Fructose and ethanol, or alcohol, are metabolized in the liver. The process is similar for both. Excessive amounts of fructose have been shown to lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • The liver converts the majority of fructose into fat. Besides fatty liver, this leads to abdominal obesity and elevated triglycerides. (1)

 

Sugar in general contributes to advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

AGEs happen when sugars, like glucose, cross-link with proteins in the body. Fructose speeds this process up.

  • AGE’s are exactly as they sound, and an accumulation of them leads to visible signs of aging, like wrinkles and what are known as liver spots.
  • Inside the body, AGEs will lead to stiffness in the vasculature and contribute to the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. Oxidized LDLs are associated with heart disease. Many complications arising from diabetes involve excess AGEs.
  • AGEs age you both inside and out.

 

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Fructose is a natural fruit sugar metabolized by the liver, and any excess will be converted into fat by the body. According to the USDA, Americans now consume roughly 152 pounds of sugar per year, with 64 pounds from high fructose corn syrup. This is causing a fructose overload in our bodies.

Fructose in excess will still leave you feeling hungry after a meal, can contribute to hypertension, and can also trigger chronic inflammation in the body, making you susceptible to conditions like diabetes. The liver will convert the majority of fructose into fat, leading to abdominal obesity. But worst of all, sugar in general will contribute to advanced glycation end products, also called AGEs, that lead to premature aging and even heart disease.

REFERENCES:

  1. Lustig, Robert. Sugar: The Bitter Truth. UCSF Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. YouTube.Com. July, 2009.

 


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  • Jill Martinez

    Thank you for this information. Nothing confusing about it, I was searching for uric acid information...didn't know what it was..after looking in other places and not getting facts I turned to Body Ecology. This article is very powerful, as a Candida sufferer it has shown me to take another serious look at the foods I would cheat with. Very good, your articles tell it like it is.

  • John

    The point of the article is that fructose sugar in high levels is detrimental to the bodies system. Eating a balanced diet in moderation along with being aware of what you are eating makes the difference in how you feel and how well your digestive system is working. It takes time and effort to enact and maintain a healthy diet, the results are in how you feel everyday and how long you live. There are a multitude of so called food products out on the market these days and you have to be aware of what they are and how to avoid them. You can make a difference in your life with the right choices.

  • JASON

    Basically in terms of sugars, the more wild and the less ratio of (fructose to other sugars i.e. sucrose/glucose/polysaccharides) in fruit vs. hybridized/sugary/seedless varieties the better.

  • wmiracle

    Thanks Body Ecology and all for your comments and efforts. The truth is, I was left with a confused state of mind as well! From the article, I understood that fruits aren't good for us. Although I understood the part where it said Fructose becomes dangerous "because fructose is found not only in sweet foods, but also in condiments, processed meats, breads, sport drinks, and other popular beverages"... So I realize this is what makes it dangerous however the article did not clarify that fruits are not dangerous. In addition, hence the article stated glucose is the better of the two, it did not give us any information on where it can be found in. Wish there can be a clarification or a follow up from Body Ecology. Thanks again to all.

  • Apple

    This was a confusing article. It tells us where fructose is naturally found, but why don't you also tell us where glucose is found? "Glucose, on the other hand, is an energy source for every cell in the body. This means it is readily absorbed and easily used." It leads us to think that we should avoid fruits. Fruits is understandably fine in moderation.

  • B

    This article makes me laugh a lot!
    c'mon now fruits…next time will be water and after even air will make you fat.

  • Alexia

    I agree with Nicola. The picture of strawberries along with the question about berries leads the reader to believe that the article is about fruit not the highly processed foods. Why didn't you put an image of the foods you were really criticising?

  • miss

    I think comming from an anti-candida diet perspective, with BED is designed for, fruits can lead to some of these problems. But I have noticed that wehn I am yeast clear tipping into bananas or other high sugar fruits can bring yeast imbalances back. Does not mean its true for everyone, esp those without candida issues.

  • http://www.thinkingoutsidethebreadbox.com Lolita Hanks

    There's a big difference between the metabolism of raw starches (fruit) and cooked starches with regard to blood sugar levels. A cooked starch keeps blood sugar elevated for much longer than a raw starch. Agave and HFCS are cooked and contain large amounts of fructose.

  • annika

    This article is very, very confusing I It is not at all clear that eating fruit is totally ok, but it is the fructose in other products that is bad. There needs to be clarity added to this, as most people do not eat eat enough fruit, and i am talking whole organic or biodynamic fruits. Some people could read this article and think they have to avoid eating fruit and instead have a low calorie bar or something like that. how incredibly confusing!

  • penelope

    I know that nutritional advice can often sound like a prescription for *everyone* while we all have different constitutions. But all you out there who are arguing how healthy fruit is and how fructose is only bad outside of fruit (eg HFCS) are ignorant (or ignoring) the science. Obesity is an endocrine problem and it is caused by the over consumption of sugar (sucrose and fructose). For some people that means loads of HFCS soft drinks and sugary foods all day, and for some, that can mean more than 25g of fructose found in a few figs or an apple or two per day.

    The Body Ecology article is based on the research of an exceptional endocrinologist Robert Lustig at UCSF and his video on Youtube " Sugar- The Bitter Truth". It is based on thorough scientific research not a personal sample eg @Nicola "There are no overweight long term high fruit eaters, ".

    You may be able to find many people who eat fruit and have no problems with their weight. That's not the point. The point is that the only way that the human body becomes obese is through a disruption to the endocrine system by the ingestion of sugars and a way to correct this is with the restriction of sugars (fructose and sucrose). Glucose follows a different pathway and does not contribute to fat storage.

  • Nicola

    "Is eating berries really the best choice when it comes to your health? An overload of fructose will get converted into fat by your liver, contributing to obesity, hypertension, and even chronic inflammation." from the above article.
    Totally seems an anti-fruit comment to me.

  • Esiole

    Hi Nicola,

    This article does not state that fruit leads to obesity. The quotation below (which is from the text) says that the fructose found in fruit and root vegetables is good for you and there is no negative effect on your health. It is only the fructose found in other items like condiments, sweets, sports drinks etc. that is bad for you. (Imperceptible is a synonym for unnoticeable, undetectable etc.) There are therefore no "negative comments about fruit".

    "Fructose, when eaten in extremely small quantities in the form of fruit or root vegetables, has an almost imperceptible affect on health. However, because fructose is found not only in sweet foods, but also in condiments, processed meats, breads, sport drinks, and other popular beverages, many people find it difficult to avoid."

    Hope this clears your misunderstanding:)

  • pheobe

    Actually, this article is pretty accurate and more people should embrace it. Ask any nutritionist. But the simple fact is, enjoy fruits, just don't overdo it and recognize that fructose, HFCS, isn't "healthy" food, it's more of a treat. Eat vegis.

  • Nicola

    I find the negative comments about fruit extremely hard to believe! There are many people thriving on a high fruit diet, and I know that personally I feel much more energetic and balanced nowthat I have switched from vegetarian body ecology diet to a low fat raw vegan diet. There are no overweight long term high fruit eaters, so the obesity comments are just not true. Fruit is so different from high fructose corn syrup - they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. Fruit is natural and good for you! And it tastes amazing!

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