A diet high
in fructose, a form of sugar found in sweetened soft drinks and
junk food, raises blood pressure in men.
studies provided the first evidence that fructose helps raise blood
pressure. One study further suggested that people who consume junk
foods and sweetened soft drinks at night could gain weight faster
than those who don’t.
for about half the sugar molecules in table sugar and in high-fructose
corn syrup, the sweetener used in many packaged foods.
Reuters September 23, 2009
American Journal of Nephrology August 21, 2009; 30 (5): 399–404
Experimental Physiology June 1, 2009; 94: 648–658
In some circles
these days, it’s becoming increasingly fashionable to claim
that the many ills attributed to fructose are overblown. After all,
you might hear, it’s just sugar, no better or worse than any
other sort of sugar, right? It’s a natural substance found
in fruit, after all, so how bad could it possibly be?
that fructose is an acceptable form of sugar is quite prevalent
even in many nutritional circles.
You can thank
the Corn Refiners Association for that line of thought. The CRA
has been pouring millions
of dollars into an ad campaign designed to create the notion
that fructose, and especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is
nothing more than a harmless snack.
not be farther from the truth.
no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and it leeches micronutrients
from your body. A mountain of evidence has accumulated demonstrating
that it is absolutely terrible for your health.
It is true
that fructose is found in fruit. However, eating small amounts of
whole fruit does NOT provide tremendous amounts of fructose and
is not be a problem for most people, unless diabetes or obesity
is an issue. Berries, especially blueberries, raspberries and cranberries,
are some of the healthiest fruits around, as they are loaded with
powerful antioxidants – and have relatively small amounts of
But in fact,
you can get too much fructose from fruit sources, especially if
you consume your fruit in the form of juice.
is intact and whole, its fiber will somewhat moderate the release
of fructose into your bloodstream, as well as somewhat moderate
insulin release. Fruit juice contains little to no fiber –
but it does contain about eight full teaspoons of sugar per eight-ounce
glass. This fructose is brought rapidly in your body, promoting
obesity and other problems. Humans were not meant to drink their
Than Table Sugar
(sucrose) is far from being a food I recommend; all sugar can cause
problems. But the fact is, fructose is the worst of the lot.
It is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any
other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form,
as fruit juice or
as soda, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.
- An increase
in triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
And now, according
to the research described above, it appears that fructose can lead
to high blood pressure as well. High blood pressure is a serious
health concern that can cause heart disease and increase your risk
of having a stroke. It’s especially dangerous because
it often has no warning signs or symptoms.
1970’s, most sugar was sucrose derived from sugar beets or
sugar cane. But sugar from corn, especially HFCS, is now more popular
because it is much less expensive to produce. As a result, the use
of HFCS in the U.S. diet increased
a staggering 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005! HFCS
also contains nearly twice the fructose of the sugars that came
HFCS is now
present in a dizzying array of products, especially processed foods,
and it is the sweetener used in most sodas. It is a prime factor
behind the current obesity epidemic, which is largely fueled by
sweet soft drinks.
are the leading
source for calories in America, and the major reason why about
9 percent of average dietary energy intake in the United States
now comes from fructose. Think about that – very nearly one
in ten calories! Would a meal look healthy to you sitting on your
plate if nearly 10 percent of it were pure sugar?
But HFCS isn’t
only a problem because it’s a nutrient-free source of endless
calories. It also harms organs like your liver
and pancreas, leading to bone loss, anemia and heart problems,
just to name a few. HFCS has been found to inhibit the action of
your immune system’s white blood cells. Unbound fructose, which
is found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere with your heart’s
use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.
fructose is harmless?
American drinks an estimated 60 GALLONS of soda every year,
and one extra can of the sweet stuff can add up to 15
extra pounds over the course of a year. Right off the bat, you
can greatly reduce your fructose intake by eliminating
all soda and sugary drinks from your life.
is present in many processed
foods, to avoid it completely you need to focus your diet on
whole foods. And if you do purchase any processed foods, make sure
you read the label – and put it back on the shelf if it lists
high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient.
most areas in life, you want to choose your poisons carefully. Even
though fructose is clearly something you want to avoid, except for
the small quantities obtained through the moderate consumption of
whole fruit, it is not as bad as artificial sweeteners. Artificial
sweeteners damage your health even more rapidly than HFCS. So ideally
avoid ALL sodas, even diet sodas.
One of the
best steps you can take to improve your health is to replace all
soda and sweet drinks with pure, clean water.