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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Crystalline Fructose vs. Fructose

Sugar, and Corn sugar, and Fruit sugar, Oh My! It's such a confusing world.  What is good, and what is bad, these days?

So recently I dissed fructose.  Leslie checked me on it, which I appreciate.  More specifically I should have labeled my rant against crystalline fructose. I have some more work to do on this topic, clearly. So the question here today is, is it really bad news? What's the deal? Is it as bad as HFCS?  And while I'm at it, is HFCS really all that bad?

What I've found is, once again, that everything consumed in excess is bad.  Some things are better than others.  And everything artificial is just garbage for the system.

Let's start with Fructose.  Aside from the potential of causing gas or diarrhea, fructose is not sounding so bad when compared to other alternatives.  Cane sugar breaks down into glucose and fructose during digestion. Fructose is fruit sugar, found in fruits and veggies, and it's also in honey. However excess fructose consumption has been hypothesized to be a cause of insulin resistance, obesity (especially central obesity, the most dangerous kind), and elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome. 

Fructose is diabetic-friendly as far as insulin, but great care should be taken on the moderation. "Every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic." [link]

Another theory against diving headlong into Fructose is it doesn't trigger insulin secretion, so the body doesn't register that its energy needs have been met, and this leads the body to crave more and more food."

It may be a lot to "stomach" -- study has shown that consuming more than 25 grams of fructose a day often causes gastrointestinal distress, including stomach pain and diarrhea.

It has been suggested in a recent British Medical Journal study that high consumption of fructose is linked to gout. The liver has to process fructose out and it yields uric acid, which is what uric acid is formed from (crystallized deposits in the joints or kidneys as stones).

Crystalline fructose seems to be considered safe by the general masses, but concerns have been raised about health effects, particularly hepatotoxicity. "As of January 2010, the FDA has not designated crystalline fructose to be generally recognized as safe."

HFCS advertisements are misleading in how they state it is made from corn. So are some glues, paints, and cosmetics, but you don't go around ingesting those, now do you?  It begins with corn but the resulting product is processed and contorted into something that simply just doesn't exist in nature.

"HFCS contains more fructose than sugar and this fructose is more immediately available because it is not bound up in sucrose. Since the effects of fructose are most severe in the growing organism, we need to think carefully about what kind of sweeteners we give to our children. Fruit juices should be strictly avoided--they are very high in fructose--but so should anything with HFCS." [link]


Mermaiden says:
at: November 11, 2010 at 5:20 PM said...

I have one better reference source here about Fructose and why some people should beware.


So are Fruits Good or Bad for You?

This recommendation has created much controversy among many who regularly consume fruit and believe this recommendation does not apply to them.

Many who eat large amounts of fruit have no symptoms, just as those with high blood pressure may not have any symptoms. However lack of symptoms is no assurance you are not exposing yourself to some danger.

Please remember that over three-quarters of the population has insulin resistance.

How do you know if you have insulin resistance? If you have any of the following conditions it is a safe bet you have it:

* Diabetes
* High blood pressure
* Overweight
* High Cholesterol
* Cancer

If you have insulin resistance it would be strongly recommended to limit your total grams of fructose from fruit to below 15 grams per day (see the table below). If you believe you are very healthy and are an exception to this recommendation, then you can easily confirm if this is true for you by measuring your uric acid level.

If your uric acid level is greater than 5.5 than you have a risk factor and should limit your fructose consumption. The higher over 5.5, the stronger the risk factor is.

Keep in mind that fruits also contain fructose, although an ameliorating factor is that whole fruits also contain vitamins and other antioxidants that reduce the hazardous effects of fructose.

Juices, on the other hand, are nearly as detrimental as soda, because a glass of juice is loaded with fructose, and a lot of the antioxidants are lost.

It is important to remember that fructose alone isn't evil as fruits are certainly beneficial. But when you consume high levels of fructose it will absolutely devastate your biochemistry and physiology. Remember the AVERAGE fructose dose is 70 grams per day which exceeds the recommend limit by 300 percent.