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We've got to talk to you about fructose


Is the food you eat giving you the nutrients you need to give you the body you want?

It’s not always easy to avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar & sweeteners.  But even if you think you don’t eat or even like sweet things and don’t have a sweet tooth, you may be eating far more than you realise!  

Sugar is addictive – it has now been proven that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine!  Think you can use or should use your willpower to stop yourself from eating it? 

Apparently the craving for sugar is equivalent to the power of a 150 tonne truck traveling at 70 miles per hour – try stopping that with your mind alone...

Whether we want to believe it or not, sugar is not just ‘a lot of naughty empty calories...’ 

There are growing amounts of scientific research and clinical studies that are proving sugar is far from harmless, it is in fact the leading cause of some very nasty health issues.

  • Fructose is highly concentrated in honey & fruits, particularly dried fruits, and in high-fructose corn syrup  
  • There is currently a lot of interesting research on fructose, with studies showing that the body can use it without the need for releasing insulin (as glucose does)  
  • This reason suggests that it may be a more beneficial sweetener to choose for most people...However... this isn’t always a good thing, partly because insulin is an appetite controlling hormone.  Also it will elevate insulin later on.
  • It is the overconsumption of fructose that makes it so toxic to our bodies
  • Whereas glucose can be metabolised for energy by nearly every cell in the body, fructose is not used straight away for energy, but rapidly converted into triglycerides (fat) by your liver
  • Because of the increasing levels of fructose consumed, this affects your liver in the same way that alcohol does, causing a diseased fatty liver.  
  • This fat is then predominantly stored around your middle.  
  • This process also increases your risk of having a dysregulation of fats in your blood, reducing HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and increasing LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.  This is not what we want...
  • Fructose increases your dopamine levels making you want to eat more and more sugar for the same desired gratifying effect.  
  • Research is now suggesting that fructose can inhibit our immune system, affecting the way in which we fight off infections and viruses
  • It can interfere with mineral absorption, possibly leading to deficiencies
  • Is linked to the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Can cause indigestion, malabsorption and an increasingly acidic digestive tract
  • Can cause or increase risk of gout and hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and low testosterone, may lead to hyperactivity, anxiety and loss of concentration..
  • Keeping our intake of sugar down to 25g per day (15g per day if you need to lose weight) and it would not cause us so many issues...but many people are consuming around 150g (37 teaspoons!) and more a day..
  • Table sugar (aka refined sugar) is actually sucrose which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose... so consuming 150g of sugar a day means you are consuming 75g of glucose and 75g of fructose... It is these large amounts that trigger biochemical mayhem in your body. 

Fructose is metabolised like alcohol and is converted into fat... Which is why certain diets do not work...  

A calorie is not a calorie and fructose is not glucose

Eat less and exercise more?  Not necessarily...

You are not what you eat... 

You are what you do with what you eat...

Metabolism of vast quantities of fructose in your liver may lead to all the manifestations of the metabolic syndrome:  

  • Hypertension, fat making, dyslipidemia, inflammation, liver insulin resistance, obesity and brain leptin resistance – which promotes continuous eating, as your brain thinks it’s starving and makes you think you need to eat more!

Incidentally, sugar and vitamin C share the same absorption transport system – excess sugar can tie up these systems, preventing vitamin C from getting where it needs to...

We were only designed to be able to metabolise the equivalent amount of the sugar contained in about two pieces of fruit a day:

About 5 or 6 teaspoons...

So... a quick history

We've been using sucrose as a sweetener for thousands of years - from honey and that sort of thing - and so did the US, up until the '60s. They refined their sucrose from sugar cane, grown in places near the equator. However, in these places, quick-changing climates (both political and agricultural) meant that prices were unpredictable, and ultimately too expensive to maintain. After relatively little deliberation, cue HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), a cheap alternative so close to sucrose, you practically couldn't tell the difference. There was also an influx in straight-up fructose as well.

If you fancy a bit more of an in-depth read, head over to the article we've cited below (the one from White). It'll tell you, quite convincingly, that HFCS isn't responsible for obesity in and of itself, as a replacement for other types of sugar. It's also a great example of how far the food industry will go to keep their margins up.

Fructose today

We're here to talk about the fact that we're all consuming more fructose than ever in one way or another, and we don't know it. Did you know that 10,000 years ago, humans ate the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar a year? Today it's closer to 140 pounds. Is it a coincidence that the American Corn Refiners Association makes up 17% of the US economy? Or that they spend millions each year trying to debunk "myths" about corn syrup (Hyman, 2011)? We hate to think we're living in some kind of corporate dystopia, but it's propaganda, pure and simple.

We've got reams of material and research into the manipulations of the food industry, so let us know if you'd like to hear more from us on this later on. For now though, we're done being critical. Instead, here's what we'll be talking about for the next few weeks.

1) Foods you think might be good for you but aren't

2) Understanding the packaging

3) If not, then what?

References 

Hyman, Mark. (2011). 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You. Available: http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/. Last accessed 26th August 2016.

White, John S. (2008). Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: what it is and what it ain't. Available: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/6/1716S.full. Last accessed 26th August 2016.