Uncover The Sneaky Sugar Making You Fat!
Do you ever grab a snack while you’re on the go, just to find yourself even hungrier shortly after you’ve eaten it?
I have heard friends and family jokingly refer to this as “jump-starting” their appetite, but new research indicates that depending on the snack, you may actually be doing just that.
The focus of this brand new research by Kathleen Page and her team at the University of Southern California is on fructose.
Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? You might rethink that after I tell you the facts.
Breaking It Down
Sugar as we most commonly know it is sucrose—a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose bonded together.
Separately, both of these molecules taste sweet, but they have dramatically different health implications.
Glucose is associated with a natural insulin response, giving us quick energy and a feeling of satisfaction after our meal. However, glucose feeds bacteria, yeast and other pathogens and is high on the glycemic index.
All Sugars Are Not Created Equal…
In contrast, Page and her team have confirmed that fructose intake does not illicit a “normal” insulin response.
And what’s more it even disrupts our hormonal appetite cues, leaving us hungrier and hungrier with each bite or sip because our normal satiety response is blocked.
Since 1970, the use of fructose as a sweetener has skyrocketed due to its inexpensive production and positive feedback in taste tests.
Glycemic index research showed that fructose did not register high on that scale, which mistakenly opened the door to using fructose in a myriad of packaged food and drink.
Data collected in 2008 reported that as much as 72.8 grams of fructose per day was a standard intake for teens, which is nearly double the amount considered average 10 years ago.
This not-so-sweet ingredient has received more negative attention in the past few years under the name “high fructose corn syrup,” but there are plenty of other ways it is sneaking into your diet—think agave (at 90% fructose), fruit juice sweetened yogurt and muffins, and even apple juice which has more fructose than soda!
Whole fruits are a natural source of fructose of course, but they also offer balancing fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonols that offset the negative effects of fructose alone.
You will certainly want to avoid any added sugars, though. Even marinara sauce and sun dried tomatoes pack a punch of unsuspected sugars. Sticking to whole, natural foods is always your best bet!
Face the Fructose Facts
- Increases ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone
- Activates enzymes that cause cells to accumulate fat
- Contributes to cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL particle size
- Speeds up aging by forming high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and by affecting wrinkle-preventing collagen in our skin
- Feeds cancer cells
- Increases uric acid levels—a major predictor of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and fatty liver disease
Surprising Sources of Fructose
Per 200-Calorie serving
- Unsweetened applesauce 28,007 mg
- Agave 26,028 mg
- Fat-Free Italian, French and thousand island salad dressings 23,790 mg
- Jars of baby food 22,174 mg
- Recovery sports beverages 20,124 mg
- Bread and butter pickles 19,362 mg
- Ketchup 19,152 mg
- Barbeque sauce 18,714 mg
- Tomato juice 18,118 mg
- Balsamic vinegar 16,773 mg
- Iceberg lettuce 14,289 mg
- Miso 6,029 mg
- Baked beans 3,319 mg
What You Can Do
- Select fresh, whole foods that are in season and avoid pre-packaged snacks and meals.
- Incorporate a powerful probiotic like Flora-Key to improve your body’s ability to metabolize natural sugars even when stress wipes out your immune system.
- Make water your number one thirst-quenching beverage. Add fresh-squeezed lemon or pure unsweetened cranberry juice to jazz it up.
- When recipes do call for a sweet flavor, try a natural option with other health benefits like raw local honey, grade B maple syrup, date sugar, stevia or monk fruit which contains fructose balanced with mogrosides, a powerful antioxidant that lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar while improving liver function and reducing histamines.
One thing is for sure…Don’t fool with fructose. In 2015, let’s all get lean!
I’ve been truly blessed to have all of you in my life this year. From my heart to yours, Happy New Year and best wishes for a fulfilling and magical 2015…may all your dreams come true!