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Eating and drinking fructose increases weight, glucose intolerance and risk for diabetes

Oct 09, 2016 by Dr. Ronald Auer

One of the goals of this blog is to allow people to hear about current literature and research studies that are being discussed in the medical community.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that an increased consumption of fructose may be linked to increased risk for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of medical problems including glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), obesity and fatty liver disease. These issues place a person at a huge risk for heart disease, cancer and early death.

What the study found was that humans and mice who consumed high levels of fructose seemed to develop the findings of metabolic syndrome especially glucose intolerance/pre-diabetes. This occurred even if they were not overweight! These people are at risk for diabetes despite being at a “normal BMI”.

Fructose is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in fruit. However, most Americans get their fructose in a most unnatural form, high fructose corn syrup. This form of fructose is put into a large number of the everyday foods we eat because it is over twice as sweet as pure glucose. It is found in the most unlikely of places ketchup, yogurt, bread, cereal bars, macaroni and cheese, salad dressing, some processed nuts, canned fruit, applesauce and obviously soft drinks and sweet tea.

Fructose has been labeled as a major dietary problem in the American diet for years. Fructose does not have the same effect on the body’s insulin levels as glucose. Therefore the high sugar levels will float around in our bloodstream wreaking havoc on our liver, nerves, eyes, blood vessels and brains.

Next time you pick up a can of anything or a bottle of anything, check the label. What’s the first ingredient? If high fructose corn syrup or anything that sounds like it is on the list, be aware. Try switching to natural sources of sweet treats like whole fruit and berries. Fruit juices and sweet tea are highly processed and usually contain high levels of high fructose corn syrup. These should be avoided.

Trying to kick the sweet tea? Start by ordering an unsweetened ice tea. Taste it. Add a sweetener like stevia to the tea until you can tolerate the flavor. Now make a note of how many packets, teaspoons or doses you use. Everyday try to take away a portion of that sweetener until you are used to plain unsweetened ice tea. You will be surprised at how awesome you feel and the weight you will be shedding.

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