Sugar stay .... or sugar go!
There's a new kid on the block taking massive blame for the obesity epidemic. Fructose, a simple sugar once touted as a great substitute for table sugar is, according to nutritional experts now the major cause of obesity and many fatal diseases. Today, at least 10% of our modern diet comes in the form of fructose, whereas the diets of our ancestors was nowhere near this amount.
Consuming too much fructose at once will overwhelm the body's capacity to deal with it. An extremely unhappy liver will be unable to process this large amount of fructose and it will be sent off into the bloodstream as triglycerides (fats). This is not a good situation for the following reasons:
- High blood triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease.
- Fructose consumption leads to decreased signalling to the central nervous system from two hormones, leptin and insulin, both of which play key roles in hunger and satiety, as well as weight control.
- Leptin is responsible for controlling your appetite and fat storage, as well as telling your liver what to do with its stored glucose. When your body can no longer hear leptin's signals, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and a host of related conditions may occur.
- Insulin is also a potent regulator of fat accumulation.
According to recent research, to lose weight you must limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day. The research is quoted. "An important step in any weight loss and weight maintenance plan is to severely restrict or eliminate fructose from your diet. Consuming fructose and other sugars will cause you blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and crash. Equally, consuming fructose after your fitness workout will completely shut down your body's production of HGH (our lean hormone). This includes items that are typically viewed as healthy, such as fruit juice or even large amounts of high fructose fruits. Reading the labels of packaged foods will indicate sources of fructose".
The major sources of fructose are fruits and vegetables which have relatively small, "normal" amounts of fructose and most of us can handle this quite well. The real fructose culprit lies in almost all packaged foods and very often in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Lethal!
Here's a general guideline to give you an idea of the amount of fructose in most fruits;
Cranberries, passion fruit, lemons, apricot, guava, cantaloupe, raspberries, clementine, apples, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges and nectarines in moderate amounts are relatively low containing 6.1 g or less per serving. Peaches, papaya, honeydew, bananas, blueberries, and dates range between 6 -9 g per moderate serving. And did you know 1/16 of a medium slice of watermelon contains 11.3 grams of fructose, 1 medium pear 11.8 grams and 1/4 cup raisins 12.3 grams! Add to that a can of regular (non-diet) soda which supplies 23 grams and you have way exceeded the recommended 25 grams of fructose per day.
With this information in mind, you have the choice to control the amount of fructose you are consuming and it would make sense to eliminate packaged foods containing high fructose corn syrup.