by Dr. Jonny Bowden
From 1977 to 2001, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages containing fructose increased 135 percent. In 2006 five different publications came out showing that adolescents, college students and adults under 50 were consuming as much as 20 percent of their calories from sugar-sweetened beverages — and that doesn’t include the sugar calories from cakes and desserts. Most of this sugar comes from fructose and “fructose on steroids,” also known as high-fructose corn syrup.
These sugars are everywhere. We consume them in insanely high amounts, and the health costs are just beginning to be recognized. New research points to some of the possible consequences.
In one study, overweight and obese adults were instructed to eat their usual diet along with sugar-sweetened beverages. One group was asked to consume 25 percent of the day’s calorie requirement as a specially made beverage sweetened with glucose (a simpler form of sugar). The other group was given an identical beverage sweetened with fructose. Both groups were allowed to eat as little or as much of their usual diet as they wanted, but were required to drink the sugar beverages.
Not surprisingly, all subjects gained weight. But the fructose-consuming subjects gained intra-abdominal fat, whereas the glucose subjects did not.
Why does this matter? Because intra-abdominal fat — the kind that makes you more of an apple than a pear — is the most dangerous kind of fat to carry around. It puts you at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease and a constellation of symptoms called Metabolic Syndrome, which itself is an almost certain path to either heart disease or diabetes. The fructose-consuming subjects also had increases in fasting insulin and in fasting glucose, both of which are associated with a greater risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Triglycerides have long been recognized as an independent risk factor for heart disease. In this study, researchers measured triglycerides after eating. In the fructose group, postprandial triglycerides more than doubled. In addition, the overweight men and women assigned to drink the fructose-sweetened beverages developed a more atherogenic lipid profile in just two weeks, meaning they may have been on their way to atherosclerosis.
The message is clear. Read food labels carefully. Cut fructose and its steroidal cousin from your diet.
[Note: Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He's a board certified nutrition specialist with a Master's degree in psychology. Dr. Bowden is also a life coach, motivational speaker, former personal trainer and author of the award-winning book, Living the Low Carb Life: Controlled Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss.]
This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs which offers alternative health solutions for mind, body and soul.