All sugar is not created equal! For the longest time health and wellness gurus have used the mantra: Weight loss is simple math…referring to the “calories in calories out theory”. The theory states that if you reduce your calories of any quality, at the end of the day it does not matter what those calories consist of as long as you burned off more during the day than you took in. However, new research suggests this is definitely not the case and it is extremely important where those calories come from.
Many health professionals that are up to date on the latest science will tell you that carbohydrates and sugar are the least beneficial type of energy source or fuel for the body. However, even the type of sugar source is important because some are much more destructive than others. As you may have noticed more and more labels are promoting the fact that they do not have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and this is very important because fructose is getting graded as an “F” as far as nutrition and health benefits are concerned. We tell our clients that it is important to have an “A” average as far as eating is concerned and a single “F” food can really bring your eating grade down.
Fructose is a very damaging type of sugar because it is digested and metabolized differently than other sugars giving it a grade “C-“ (meaning that they should be used in moderation). Research shows that if you consume 120 calories of Glucose (a better sugar) your body only stores 1 calorie as fat. Fructose on the other hand with 120 calories consumed stores 40 of them as fat. To clarify… if you consume calories from fructose then 1/3 of what you eat will be stored as fat. Get the picture?
Another major problem with fructose is that it is not immediately metabolized as energy like other sugars such as glucose. The metabolic process is completely different where it is not immediately metabolized and it has to be processed in the liver. Not only does fructose put stress on the liver, when fructose is metabolized it lets off destructive toxins in your body promoting the aging process and storing fat around the organs of the body (visceral fat=very dangerous). When you have a high amount of visceral fat your health plummets and all the health risks of obesity are magnified.
Diabetes is another significant health risk associated with fructose because it actually shuts off leptin your ‘fullness” hormone and blocks your body’s natural ability to tell you to when to stop eating. Also, when your body stores fat it has to raise your insuilin levels. When you are eating a lot of fructose it forces your insulin levels to stay elevated.
Again, if you are trying to eat healthy in general it is always best to limit sugar and carbohydrates, but definitely stay away from fructose. It is best to stay away from packaged and processed foods and eat whole, organic, and closer to nature foods for 90% of your daily intake. However, knowing the damaging effects of fructose that is in over 80% of our foods is extremely important. The obesity epidemic is rising because more and more since this extremely addictive sugar is added to our foods: Marketers know that the more sugar there is in the products then the more people will buy them. It is literally SAD (Standard American Diet) how our health is being exchanged for a bigger paycheck. In 2001, 6 million children were obese now it is over 23 million are obese. While we cannot keep our children and loved ones away from all processed foods we are doing them a great service to at least do what we can to keep fructose out of our homes.
Fructose is largely found in sweetened beverages and boxed and processed foods (but look for it everywhere). An “F” graded food has no place on our shelves or in our children’s mouths. As for our families having older children as well, we want them to grow up knowing the facts! If we do not take fructose seriously and attempt to reduce sugar in our diet, it is projected that 42% of Americans will be obese by 2050 and have metabolic dysfunction. Whether you are an addict or not, start making baby steps now towards building a healthier you and positively influencing your family and friends!