Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, plays an overlooked role in the obesity epidemic, in elevated cholesterol, and in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Fructose is a carbohydrate that is found in fruit, honey, white sugar, cane sugar, and wine.
HFCS (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup) has a very sweet flavor and is found in soft drinks, lemonade, breakfast cereals, ready meals, bread, cold cuts, ketchup, dressing, pizza, candy, cakes, coffee creamers etc. It pays off to read the food labels carefully to avoid this type of sugar.
Fructose does not provide fast energy and is easily converted into fat
Fructose in food is bound to glucose, which in the intestine is absorbed directly in the blood. However, fructose continues to the liver where most of it is stored with limited capacity. Unlike glucose, fructose does not provide fast energy, and fructose has a low GI value.
If you consume too much fructose, your liver cells are flooded with the risk of excess fructose being stored as fat. The liver turns into a “fat factory”, and its lipid metabolism is thrown off balance (lipogenesis). Large quantities of fructose may lead to metabolic syndrome – or syndrome X – that is characterized by insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, hypertension, and overweight – typically in the form of an apple-shaped body. Metabolic syndrome is an early stage of type 2 diabetes.
Fructose gives poor satiety and it deceives the brain
With fructose, you do not get the same feeling of satiety as with other carbohydrates because the body absorbs and utilizes it differently. Moreover, the extremely sweet fructose deceives the brain, and the satiety hormone called leptin fails to work properly.
If you consume foods that do not make you feel full, it can easily cause you to consume more and more fast carbohydrates, and you eventually lose control of the situation. Researchers actually compare fructose abuse with overconsumption of alcohol, which can also damage the liver and the metabolism.
It hardly comes as a surprise that the obesity epidemic has increased during the same period where people have been worried about cholesterol and fat in the diet, and where calories from fat have been replaced by carbohydrates – including fructose and HFCS. The tendency is that widespread, it even affects the market for organic foods.
Eat fruit in moderation and choose other sweet alternatives
Fruit contains vitamins and minerals. If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to limit your intake of fruit (and avoid juice) and focus on vegetables, instead. There are also sweet alternatives such as Stevia and Sukrin that do not contain any calories. Link: Fats for better or for worse