Fructose no bueno?
This post is going to be dedicated to our friend Mr fructose. He is generally seen as an acceptable choice because he is attained through the consumption of fruit, but he is also vilified for his evil form high fructose corn syrup. Now read on as I take you through the fructose adventure!
Fructose (fruit sugar) is a monosaccharide found in many different plants it is a combination of glucose and sucrose. In small amounts Fructose does not seem to pose significant problems, because our ancestors ate relatively small amounts of fructose, but the diet of today consists of much more fructose and thus can pose significant problems for overall health.
Fructose is processed in the liver and when too much is consumed it is no longer used as sugar and is converted to fats and is sent it into the bloodstream as triglycerides with uric acid and free radicals (reactive oxygen species) also being formed. With high triglycerides comes a host of other issues including: heart disease, issues relating to appetite hormone regulation (weight gain), insulin resistance and non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Triglycerides can build up and cause damage to liver function and when released into the bloodstream can contribute to the growth of plaque in the arterial walls.
Uric acid can turn off the production of nitric oxide, which helps protect the artery walls from damage.
Free radicals can damage cell structures and enzymes.
Basically with the new low fat craze and the increased fructose consumption we have reached a conundrum, which is the fact that with high levels of fructose consumed, we get higher levels of triglycerides produced and in essence this puts us on a high fat diet. Whoops!
We like to keep fructose consumption to a minimum. A small handful of fruit (mostly berries) is fine and absolutely zero high fructose corn syrup!