Fructose

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Fructose, a type of sugar, has historically been granted a “get out of jail free” card due to its presence in fruit.  It’s the same sugar that’s in fruit, and fruit is healthy, so fructose must be healthy goes the story.  But is there such as thing as too much?  Without a doubt, yes.  Also, when it’s in the form of a refined sugar does it behave the same as the tiny amount of fructose found in natural fruit?

I’m sure you’ve guessed, as I dedicated a whole category solely to it, that the answer is “hell no!”

One of the biggest dietary departures if not the biggest dietary departure from traditional human diets is the massive increase in the consumption of fructose.  Whether one could ever consume too much fructose in the form of fruit is debatable, but the quantity of fructose consumed over the past century has skyrocketed worldwide.

Regular white table sugar consists of 50% fructose.  Since the invention of white sugar, its popularity has grown and grown and grown until it seemed to reach a peak of about 120 pounds per person per year (up from just 10 pounds in the late 1800’s).  That was the amount consumed several decades ago.  However, around 1980 the food industry began making a big shift, and so did our health problems and waistlines.  The use of white table sugar, which was 50% fructose, began getting replaced by high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and pure crystalline fructose in common food products.  In fact, use of crystalline fructose has increased by a factor of more than 100 since that time.  HFCS, as many of you know, is in practically everything.

Fructose is fed to rats in large quantities to induce hypertension, obesity, and other components of metabolic syndrome – characterized by the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin on the cellular level.  Fructose is different from any other type of carbohydrate in terms of how it is metabolized.  It passes through the liver where it is known to be converted to fat while increasing the type of cholesterol most associated with heart disease, VLDL – very low-density lipoprotein.

Also very leery of fructose’s close association with some of the most prominent diseases of civilization, journalist Gary Taubes states:

Regarding the potential dangers of sugar in the diet, it is important to keep in mind that fructose is converted more efficiently into glycerol phosphate (a molecule associated with the storage of body fat) than is glucose.  This is another reason why fructose stimulates the liver so readily to convert it to triglycerides, and why fructose is considered the most lipogenic carbohydrate.

By lipogenic, Taubes means fat-forming, and fructose’s correlation with the dramatic rise in obesity since the shift from white table sugar (which was fattening enough to begin with) to HFCS and crystalline fructose is hard to deny.  The rise in fructose consumption has been the greatest dietary change, without question, to take place since the rapid acceleration of obesity, type II diabetes, and other complications of the insulin resistance that refined fructose can cause.  There are other factors, but fructose appears to be the ring leader.

When considering fructose’s unique ability to cause digestive problems as well due to its difficulty of absorption, it becomes clear that minimizing it in the diet, if not removing it completely, has tremendous healing and preventative potential.  A large percentage, over half of children by the estimates of scientist Maximilion Ledochowski, do not absorb fructose properly.

In the first weight loss pamphlet ever circulated, the author, William Banting stated this emphatically:

“…I was experimenting to ascertain my own greatest dietetic enemy; and I have proved very satisfactorily that it is and was sugar…”

And after 150 years of study since that line was written, it appears that the fructose element of that refined sugar is the greatest component of that dietetic enemy – the one known to pack on body fat and rot out teeth (an illness and an extreme form of degeneration, not just a nuisance for your dentist to deal with).  The greater the amount of fructose, the more harmful the sugar, which is why HFCS, agave nectar, and crystalline fructose are the most dangerous substances in the human diet, uniquely capable of doing harm.

Follow along at www.180degreehealth.com and you, like myself, will be saying “Fruc Fructose” by the time you get through the giant mountain of evidence stacked against it.

 

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