The dangers of fructose in the diet

The dangers of fructose in the diet

Can fructose cause obesity, diabetes, dependency, and more?

happy Latin female child eating dish full of candy and gummies with fork and knife and big cola bottle in sugar abuse and sweet nutrition excess isolated on white background

Surprisingly (or maybe not), most of the fructose in American diets doesn't come from fruit. Yes, it's plentiful in apples, grapes, blueberries, figs, raisins and dates; but most comes from the sugars that are added to drinks, desserts and sweets to add to their sweet taste. In fact, the amount of fructose (in the form of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) has gone up over 25% over the last decades–and it's been linked to the increase of obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Is it any wonder? There's 10 teaspoons of sugar in sodas (or even apple juice)–that's about 120 calories that don't come with any real nutritional value other than some Vitamin C in the juice. So drink just a can of soda daily and you've enough extra calories to put on a pound a month. 

That's because  fructose is easily absorbed from the intestinal tract — and goes straight to the liver. It doesn't stimulate insulin the way glucose does, so instead it gets converted to fat and the fat gets stored. But it doesn't just do that. 

According to Dr. RH Lustig at the University of California, San Francisco, (J American Dietetic Assoc 2010 pages 1307-21) fructose can also cause inflammation in the liver the same way that alcohol does. And like alcohol, it can get people habituated (used to it) and even possibly make them dependent. And that can lead to more fructose consumption and obesity that's severe enough to be associated with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Interestingly, patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been shown to improve with a diet that that is low in fermentable sugars (including fructose and fructans which are short chain fructose molecules) suggesting that some patients with IBS may be sensitive to foods containing these sugars.      

And fortunately, Dr Lustig and his colleagues are now reporting that decreasing the amount of fructose in the diet can reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes.  the tendency to obesity and diabetes may also be quickly lessened with a lower fructose diet. <<link- reducing sugar lowers obesity>>.