Want Fructose? Have Some Fruit.

January 4, 2010 in Diabetes, Nutrition, Weight Management by Joyce Bunderson

If you’re cutting back on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) beware of letting the beverage industry switch you over to sugar-sweetened soda to take it’s place. The beverage industry is listening to you.  Last year we consumers rejected a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to “prove” that HFCS is an “all natural sweetener”. The result is that we will be seeing a bit less of it in drinks.  Let’s face it, it all they do is go back to sugar, little will change. To begin with sugar is half fructose and half glucose. There are no fewer calories in the table sugar (sucrose) than in the High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). If you consume drinks (tea, soda, juice and energy drinks) sweetened with calorie containing sweeteners, those calories are still involved with giving you energy (calories) that can help keep you plump.

Part of the problem with HFCS is that is so cheap. That’s part of the reason that people increased their intake of soda – cheaper ingredients, more money to advertise the drinks. Who can deny that we are bombarded with clever, seductive ads designed to stir up our desire for these unhealthy drinks.  Just since 1980 to the early part of this decade (about 20 years) Americans more than doubled their intake of calories from soft drinks.

An appalling fact is that during that same time, obesity has increased from 15 percent of the population to 34 percent this year; and an additional 33 percent are overweight.  It has now been identified as the number one public health problem of our country.

In an interview, Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the director of UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center, and author of The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race, Barry Popkin Ph.D. says that it’s a sugar problem – any sugar. Popkin says that there is an extremely clear link between consumption of beverages sweetened with nutritive sweeteners, like HFCS and sugar, and health problems – including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
“The idea is very simple,” says Popkin.  “that … when you consume any caloric beverage, particularly sugar-sweetened beverage, [including corn-based sugar] you don’t reduce your food intake.”

Popkin says that sugar-sweetened beverages “are one of the only foods and beverages with no health benefits and clearly defined health cost.”

On top of the overweight, obesity, heart disease and diabetes problems, problems of fructose continue to pile up. Research at Georgia State University regarding the impairment of spatial memory with fructose was published in May 2009. One of the researchers, said, “The bottom line is that we were meant to have an apple a day as our source of fructose, and now, we have fructose in almost everything.” The point is that, while fructose is not toxic, when you’re consuming too many processed products it is as though it is toxic to a healthy life.

In another study published during this past year, researchers found the gene that explains why high-fructose diets may develop insulin resistance. It explains the link between fructose intake and metabolic disorders, which can be the precursors to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Want fructose? Have some fruit. Good Health Can Be Yummy.™

Fructose in Still Life.

Fructose in Still Life.