Excessive fructose intake can cause diabetes
Too much fructose is unhealthy
Hidden sugars in food are a problem, doctors and nutritionists agree. In particular, foods fortified with fructose (fruit sugar) are unhealthy in quantities and are responsible for obesity, fatty liver and elevated blood lipid levels.
Contrary to popular belief, fructose is no healthier than table sugar. On the contrary, it makes you fat in three ways:
- Fructose is converted directly into fat and stored in the fat deposits
- Fructose prevents fat burning while increasing fat build-up at the same time
- Fructose blocks the feeling of fullness.
Why we eat more and more fructose
What is sugar made of?
Simple sugars are single sugar molecules. In nature, sugar molecules often exist as pairs or longer chains: This is called double or multiple sugars. Conventional household sugar, which is made from sugar beet and sugar cane (sucrose), is a double sugar: It consists of the two single sugars fructose and glucose. Milk sugar (lactose) consists of one molecule of glucose plus one molecule of galactose. Our digestive system breaks down all double and multiple sugars into individual molecules, which are then metabolized.
Fructose belongs to the group of carbohydrates and, like grape sugar (glucose), belongs to the so-called simple sugars (monosaccharides). With regard to the amount of calories, fructose and glucose do not differ from each other: They both provide four kilocalories per gram.
However, pure fructose is twice as sweet as pure glucose. This is why the food industry particularly likes to use it for sweetening - often in the form of fructose-enriched corn starch syrup. Fruit sugar is also cheaper to produce than household sugar and has a flavor enhancing effect.
Fructose in fruits and vegetables is better for the body
Fruits also contain fructose, and it is also found in almost all types of vegetables - but in much smaller quantities than fruit. Examples of the fructose content per 100 grams of fruit / vegetables:
- Apple: 6 grams
- Grapes: about 8 grams
- Raisins: 33 grams
- Broccoli: about 1 gram.
However, not all fruit sugar is created equal. It is crucial for the human body whether it is delivered in the form of a fruit or as part of a chocolate bar, ready-made meal or a sweetened drink.
The fructose content of fruit juices is significantly higher than that of unprocessed fruits because they lack fiber. In general, fresh and natural foods are preferable to industrially produced foods, as they also contain valuable components such as fiber, secondary plant substances, vitamins and minerals. Particular caution is required with sweetened drinks. So-called functional food, for example wellness drinks, contains up to 40 grams per liter in some cases very large amounts of fructose.
How fructose works in the body
Sugar is the most important fuel in our cells. However, the body's cells prefer glucose for energy production. Glucose gets quickly from the blood to the cells with the help of the hormone insulin. It becomes active there, i.e. with energy consumption. Fructose, on the other hand, can only be used for energy production via detours. Even in the intestine, it is absorbed differently by people and, above all, more slowly than glucose: It flows passively and without energy consumption from the intestine into the cells of the intestinal mucosa along a concentration gradient in order to get into the blood from there. It reaches the liver with the blood and is converted into fat there. Much of the fat created in this way gets back into the bloodstream. It increases the blood lipid levels and is stored in the fat deposits. A part is also stored directly in the liver.
Excessive fructose consumption and the consequences
Studies have confirmed that an increased fructose intake has an unfavorable effect on the metabolism and promotes the development of overweight and obesity as well as lipid metabolism disorders and type 2 diabetes. In addition, the increased intake of fructose increases the risk of high blood pressure. A study by the German Institute for Nutritional Research, which was carried out on mice, has also shown the connection between fructose consumption and obesity. It is based on influencing the fat and carbohydrate metabolism. In a study on humans it was shown that fructose is converted into body fat by the body much faster than glucose.
Feeling of satiety decreases
Fructose also leads to a lower feeling of satiety. The hormone leptin is normally responsible for telling the brain whether the fat deposits are adequately filled. Leptin is produced in fat cells. If there are sufficient fat reserves, leptin inhibits the feeling of hunger. However, excessive fructose consumption leads to leptin resistance. This means that the signal transmission of the feeling of satiety no longer works and the feeling of satiety does not occur.
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The Nutritional Docs | 04/02/2019 | 9:00 p.m.
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