Why Avoid Foods With Added Fructose?

Fructose has been used as a sweetener in processed foods instead of sucrose because it doesn’t affect insulin. Fructose can replenish liver glycogen, but doesn’t cause an insulin release. On the surface that sounds pretty ideal, but research shows that when you consume food or beverages with added fructose, it will slow your metabolic rate, slows fat metabolizing in the body, and the liver will turn any excess fructose into fat very quickly.

A recent study in the compared the effects of eating a diet that was high in fructose-based carbohydrates with one that included mainly glucose-derived carbs on overall body composition in overweight individuals. Researchers had participants eat a diet that was 15 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 55 percent carbohydrate – 30 percent was complex carbs, and 25 percent was either fructose or glucose – for 10 weeks.

Both groups gained fat, but the fructose group gained more fat, most of which was visceral belly fat. They also decreased their resting metabolic rate, meaning they burned fewer calories at rest after the 10 weeks. This of course compounds an already bad situation because it will lead to an excess energy balance and fat gain. Fat burning was also decreased in the group that ate the fructose, which is a very unfavorable result because it leads to fat accumulation in the liver, as well as   decreased insulin sensitivity.

A Harvard review of 300,000 people found that for each 12-ounce serving of high-fructose corn syrup sweetened beverage ingested a day, diabetes risk was increased by 15 percent. A similar finding linked fructose sweetened beverages with greater visceral belly fat, and insulin resistance in teenagers. Aside from causing visceral belly fat gain, diabetes risk, and lower metabolic rate, fructose intake is thought to lead to elevated blood triglyceride levels, which is a primary indicator of heart disease risk.

All of these negative effects are set off by what happens with the liver when too much fructose enters the system. The liver can process a small amount of fructose efficiently, such as the amount found in a serving of blueberries or raspberries. But more than a few grams gets converted quickly by the liver into fat, and the liver appears to favor putting the fat into muscle, the abdominal cavity, and the liver itself. All this fat is called visceral fat and it is the worst kind for you to have because it sends out inflammatory factors that promote insulin resistance, raise triglycerides, and degrade muscle tissue.

Happy Lifting!

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