What is fructose?
Fructose is a fast carbohydrate found in fruits. In fact, fructose is similar to regular sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index , due to which it increases the level of insulin in the blood more slowly. That is why fructose is recommended for diabetics and is often found in dietary departments. However, it is erroneous to consider it safe and noticeable sugar for ordinary people.
Despite the fact that the use of fructose, the level of insulin in the blood really rises more slowly than with glucose, fructose can lead to the development of obesity. The reason is that the body can use its energy either for current metabolic needs, or as soon as possible convert it into fat reserves - especially if a person leads a sedentary lifestyle.
Modern nutritionists are unanimous in their opinion that the epidemic of obesity and overweight is closely related to the increase in the use of fructose corn syrup in the food industry. It is the presence of this syrup in the composition of various drinks that explains that you can drink a liter of Coca-Cola and not at all feel the calories obtained by the body.
Fructose and glucose: differences
Fructose (along with glucose) is the most common type of simple carbohydrate in nature. It is present in large quantities in almost all berries, fruits and fruit plants. Especially a lot of this fruit sugar in oranges, apples, bananas and peaches. Almost 80% of honey consists of fructose, while in ordinary table sugar it is up to 50%.
The traditional argument is, "Our grandmothers have eaten honey and fruits for centuries, why is fructose harmful?" completely ignores the fact of the widespread use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS, high-fructose corn syrup). It is this syrup, and not ordinary sugar, that is used in the manufacture of many carbonated drinks, industrial desserts and pastries.
Fructose or sugar:
- fructose from fruits has a lower glycemic index than sugar
- fructose in fructose syrup often causes obesity
- 50% table sugar consists of fructose
Fructose Syrup Products
Fructose syrup can be found not only in cola and other soda, but also in packaged juices, yoghurts, mayonnaise, ketchup, chocolate bars, sweets and bars (including “healthy” muesli bars). It is important to understand that the thoroughly whipped fructose syrup is responsible for the airy texture of most cakes, marshmallows, cookies and ice cream, and not ordinary sugar at all.
Moreover, on the labels as part of the product, this syrup is most often hidden behind many different names - from the honest “corn syrup” to the acronym HFC or even “natural honey” and “agave syrup”, which also consist of 80% fructose. Only a few countries require manufacturers to explicitly indicate the presence of HFCS syrup in the composition.
How does fructose harm metabolism?
The harm to fructose syrup for health lies in a complex metabolic disorder - from blocking saturation mechanisms leading to regular overeating and the development of obesity, ending with impaired brain function and an increased tendency to depression. Recall that sweet is one of the main sources of pleasure for the body.
Since fructose practically does not increase insulin levels and is permissible in the diet of diabetics , the body literally cannot understand that it receives large volumes of readily available energy. As a result, the brain does not send saturation signals and the person simply does not stop eating, experiencing a deceptive feeling of hunger. The situation is complicated by the fact that fructose is two times sweeter than glucose, and, therefore, "tastier."
Why is fructose syrup so popular?
The reasons that push food manufacturers to use fructose syrup are commonplace - such a syrup mixes more easily with other ingredients, has a sweeter taste, lasts longer and costs less than sugar. In addition, shoppers eat a lot more fructose syrup products for the aforementioned reason for disabling a sense of fullness in the brain.
Despite the fact that there is a lot of scientific evidence that the use of large doses of fructose leads to the deposition of fat in atypical places (for example, in the liver) and provokes the body's resistance to insulin (the first step towards diabetes), food companies stubbornly deny these facts, equating fructose with glucose or regular sugar.
What is glucose?
Glucose is the main and most universal source of energy in the human body. The brain and many other organs “work” on pure glucose, and the muscles on glycogen (long-chain glucose molecules). As a result of digestion, most carbohydrates that enter the human body are broken down to glucose.
In order for the energy of glucose to be absorbed, the body produces the hormone insulin. In simple words, insulin plays the role of a “key”, which opens up the possibility of storing calories in cells. Fructose, in turn, although it contains energy, but does not affect the increase in insulin levels - this, in the end, significantly complicates the process of its absorption.
Is fructose from fruits harmful?
Returning to the topic of the harm of natural fructose in fresh fruits, it is necessary to understand that along with such fructose the body receives other simple carbohydrates (for example, glucose), fiber , and a number of macro- and microelements. As a result, the mechanism of action of this fructose on metabolism is fundamentally different from the effect of pure fructose in powder.
Over the millennia of the existence of mankind, the body has adapted to receive an adequate amount of fructose from food. If you eat two apples daily, naturally nothing bad will happen to you. However, a glass of juice squeezed from five apples and drunk in a few seconds is a completely different story. Not to mention hydrolyzed fructose corn syrup.
Fructose, mistakenly considered a “safe” substitute for table sugar, is an extremely harmful substance for proper metabolism. Despite the fact that the human body can cope with fructose from fresh fruits, most fast foods contain fructose corn syrup, which leads to the development of obesity and other health problems.