I've also already covered that eating fat doesn't make you fat, and told you that sugar is the culprit. Do you find it at all ironic to think about what the food compaines do when they create low fat foods? When the fat is removed from food, it compromises the taste and no longer tastes as good - so to make things taste better when food companies remove fat, they add carbohydrates in the form of added sugar. They are removing fat, which people think makes them fat, and adding sugar which is what actually makes you fat. One of the most common and least expensive sugars to add is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) found in most processed foods today. It is actually sweeter than "sugar", regular table sugar (sucrose) has a sweetness value of 100 where HFCS has a sweetness value of 120. For comparison sake, glucose has a value of 74 and Lactose (milk sugar) has a value of 15 - its not sweet at all. You would think that food companies would use less HFCS since its sweeter, but instead they use the same amount since its so cheap and that leads to increased calories and increased sugar in your diet.
|Don't believe the hype - the marketing campaign created to make people think HFCS is safe|
So how has the American diet evolved to include so much fructose, here is the breakdown of fructose consumption reflected over the past few decades.
- Baseline: Naturally occuring fructose consumed through fruits and vegetables 15g/per day
- Prior to WWII average fructose consumption between 16 - 24g/per day
- Between 1977 and 1988 went up to 37g/per day (8% of total caloric intake)
*Note: 1975 HFCS was introduced into our food system
- 1994 Consumption is up to 54.7g/per day (10.2% of total caloric intake)
- Today's adolescents intake is 72.8g/per day (12.1% of caloric intake!)
*Note: Today 1 in 4 are of adolescents are overwight or obese
Ok so you can see the steady rise in fructose consumption, and you know that fructose can only be metabolized by the liver - and the larger the amount the more problems it creates. So what exactly happens when you consume fructose? Here's a little science on how your body breaks down gluose, ethanol and fructose - this is a recap from the detail in Dr. Robert Lustig's lecture on YouTube, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, and this is my attempt at a recap it so you can see the impact that fructose has on your body.
The point of this breakdown is to show that calories are not processed equally by the body and to show how fructose differs from glucose and what the rammificaitons are. So it matters what kind of calories you put in because your body breaks them down differently. Sorry to dissapoint all of you that thought calories in - calories out can equal weightloss without regarding what you are putting into your body. Reading this will definately make you think twice about both fructose and alocohol!
120 Caloires of sucrose (glass of orange juice) Sugar: The Bitter Truth 56:27 - 60 calories are glucose, so 20%, 12 calories go to the liver and the remaining 80%, 48 are used by the body.
60 calories are fructose, and all fructose calories (60) go right to the liver, giving the total load to the liver of 72 calroies.
The process of adding a phosphate in the liver causes more things going on, creates a waste product of uric acid (a waste product that is goes out in your urine) which causes gout and reduces the production of nitric acid in your arteries which is something that allows your blood to flow freely through your arteries and will cause high blood pressure. It also releases lots of fat storing enzymes and lots of citrate that is left over, which changes the fructose into lots of VLDL and directly into fat.
Fuctose also increases production of FFA - Free Fatty Acids that makes your muscles insulin resistance, which releases more insulin - and insulin is a storage hormone and its job is to take sugar and store it as fat. And causes many other problems, like type 2 diabetes.
In conculsion, eating large amounts of fructose leads to the following chronic diseases:
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
- Fatty Liver
- Insulin Resistance
- CardioVascular Disease
- Leptin resistence (no longer hear the "full" signal)
How much fructose should you be eating? Your best bet is keeping consumption at the naturally occuring level, what is found in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Lustig says that the correlation of fructose intake to declining health is 50g of fructose per day, once you exceed that limit fructose become toxic to your body because it overloads the liver. Two things you can do to help mitgate the fructose load in your body, is to eat fiber (e.g. eat the whole fruit not drinking juice) which helps give the liver a break in the breakdwon of fructose and to exercise. Exercising can metabolize fructose before it gets to your liver and is turned into fat.
How much is 50g/day, well its less than the amount of fructose in a 20oz soda. And you may want to reconsider using Agave too since agave is pure fructose, stick to honey when you need a sweetener and you and your waist line will be better off.
Now that you know where fructose is in food, how to avoid it, what does that mean to you and your food choices. First I hope it makes your rethink the juice, sodas, and other sugar sweetened beverages - there is no reason to put your liver though that just for a sweet drink. I know this has made me think twice about how my body processes alcohol, one drink is already a volume issue so imagine how that is exemplified by 2, 3, and 4. Stick to eating whole fruits and veggies and you'll mitigate your fructose intake, just don't eat nothing but fruit or you'll be back in the danger zone hitting over 50mg per day.
Where to go for more information and to hear how fructose is metabolized explained again, I highly recommend you watch the You Tube video.
Sugar the Bitter Truth lecture by Robert H. Lustig, MD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&feature=email
Noteable sections: Breakdown of Fructose in your body 45:00, Juice 27:00, 56:51 Baby Formula 1:19:00
Jimmy Moore Living La Vida Low Carb Interview with Dr Robert H. Lustig http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/2112/dr-robert-lustig-episode/