Too many processed foods and sodas today contain fructose, the so-called natural sweetener that is now being linked to high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Here’s what you need to know…and what you can do to safely satisfy your sweet tooth.
While most people agree that sugar and artificial sweeteners are bad for you, a recent study showed that a so-called “natural sweetener” can actually increase insulin resistance and belly fat in overweight people.
The sweetener, fructose, has long been touted as a natural sweetener because fructose is found naturally in fruits. A monosaccharide or simple sugar, fructose was used as a substitute for sucrose (white sugar) because it did not raise blood sugar.
Unfortunately, researchers have found that fructose has a whole host of other issues that can damage your health.
Here are some dangers of high consumption of fructose:
- Fructose is processed in the liver. When you eat too much of it, your liver can’t process it fast enough, turning it into fats, which go into your bloodstream in the form of triglycerides. High blood triglycerides are a risk factor in heart disease.
- Too much fructose “causes uric acid levels to spike, which can block the ability of insulin to regulate how body cells use and store sugar and other nutrients for energy, leading to obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, said Johnson, the division chief of nephrology and the J. Robert Cade professor of nephrology in the University of Florida College of Medicine.”
- Too much fructose can promote weight gain by disrupting your appetite signaling system, making you feel unsatisfied after eating and causing the potential to want to eat more.
A recent study on the affect of fructose on humans, conducted at Department of Nutrition at the University of California at Davis, found that fructose – as opposed to glucose – “leads to increased insulin resistance plus higher levels of blood cholesterol and fats.”
Where is Fructose Found?
Fructose is found mainly in processed foods and sodas. So just about any packaged food may have fructose or its more harmful derivative, high fructose corn syrup. Because fructose and high fructose corn syrup are very inexpensive, they used widely to sweeten foods. This is where the danger of over-consumption comes in.
Which Sweeteners Are Healthy?
Each time new sweeteners come out, it seems later research finds health dangers associated with them. Artificial sweeteners are a good example. NutraSweet, Splenda, saccharin and other artificial sweeteners were once thought to be excellent alternatives for high calorie sugar.
However, today we know the truth: artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer, obesity, skin rashes, headaches, dizziness, mood disturbances and seizures.
Going back to plain old table sugar, honey, agave or molasses is not the answer either. They have their own health dangers, including raising blood sugar and feeding candida, the systemic fungal infection that affects too many Americans today.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Safely
Let’s face it, the sweet tooth is part of the human experience and we all want to satisfy our desire for sweets occasionally.
In fact, Ayurvedic medicine says that in order to achieve balance, we must experience all six of the tastes: salty, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent.
The good news is that you CAN eat sweets safely! Stevia is a long-time favorite here at Body Ecology.
Years ago when the Body Ecology Diet book was first published, Donna Gates, had included an entire chapter devoted to this then unknown natural sweetener. She knew that to overcome systemic yeast infections, we would need a safe, but delicious, substitute for sugar. Even though the FDA banned stevia from coming into the US, Donna had a large supply of stevia powder here in the US already.
Naturally she began teaching people about its benefits, created new recipes and even sold it in small vials. In fact, it was the sales of stevia that funded the beginning of the Body Ecology movement.
Thanks to Donna’s efforts and those of Dr. Robert Atkins, Dr.Julian Whittaker and Dr. Andrew Weil, who promoted it to their followers, tens of thousands of people began using it. Soon it became very clear to many that indeed stevia WAS safe.
Donna also encouraged people to contact the FDA and ask that the ban on importation be lifted. Inundated with calls and after a formal petition from the Sunrider Company, stevia was finally approved as a “dietary supplement.”
Recently when the Coke and Pepsi petitioned the FDA to approve stevia gained full approval as a “sweetener”.
With a long history of safe use, stevia sweetens your food and beverages without spiking your blood sugar so it is great for anyone with diabetes, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.
Want to satisfy the sweet tooth of even the most picky eater? Lakanto is your best bet! All natural, zero-calorie, zero-glycemic index Lakanto is the only natural sweetener approved and recommended by the Japanese Ministry of Health for weight loss, obesity and blood sugar issues like diabetes. Try Lakanto today and see how sweet good health can be! Or carry our convenient Lakanto sachets when you are on the go.
Lakanto is another great find by Donna Gates, who discovered this zero-calorie natural sweetener in Japan and obtained exclusive rights to sell it here in the United States.
Lakanto has been used safely in Japan for over a decade and is even recommended by the Japanese Ministry of Health for weight loss, obesity and blood sugar problems like diabetes . Lakanto also has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status here in the US.
For some people, stevia is not the be-all end-all sweetener.
This is because while it is a wonderful sweetener for beverages ( and is very complimentary with dairy and fruits) , stevia tends to be a bit trickier to work with in flour products and baked goods.
Lakanto solves this problem and we feel it is our most versatile find so far for sweeteners.
You can use Lakanto one-to-one just like sugar in your beverages, food and baked goods. With a taste a bit like brown sugar, Lakanto is the number one choice when moving a picky eater away from sugar and toward a healthy, natural sweetener.
If you are not sure how to use Lakanto, the Lakanto Cookbook is a perfect transitional recipe book to get you started.
How Sweet It Is
When you follow a healthy Body Ecology diet, with our special focus on fermented foods and drinks, you will find that you become more attuned to the natural sweetness in foods like the Body Ecology grain-like seeds (amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa) and sweet vegetables like carrots and onions.
Many people feel like their desire for sweets decreases when their body becomes so well nourished. Also fermented foods are sour and sour “dampens” the desire for the sweet taste.
And for those occasional bouts of your sweet tooth, you can count on healthy natural sugar substitutes like Stevia and Lakanto to satisfy that craving and still maintain your good health.
At Body Ecology we truly believe that eating healthy is a delicious experience!
- Dolson, Laura. Fructose: Sweet But Dangerous. About.com. October 9, 2008.
- Birdwell, April Frawley. Too much fructose could leave dieters sugar shocked. December 12, 2007.
- Dolson, Laura.
- Paddock, Catharine, PhD. Fructose But Not Glucose-Sweetened Beverages Increased Insulin Resistance And Belly Fat In Overweight And Obese People, Study. Medical News Today. April 22, 2009.
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