Well, fructose is in the news again. The findings from this latest preliminary research suggest that fructose does not send signals to our brain to tell us that we are full or satiated. I find it interesting that they are reporting this as new information when I remember learning this 2 years ago in my college nutrition class. Is this really new information? Or just the media generating hype because “new and exciting discoveries” will get a larger audience than “we have known this for a while but we decided to tell all of you about it again”? I digress…
Here are my thoughts on sugar in general: We all know we shouldn’t eat the cookie, but we like cookies, so we are going to eat it anyway. Why everyone is so captivated by this research on sugar is beyond me. To explain it in the simplest way possible, sugar breaks down into starch in our body, which is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. If you eat a ton of sugar and don’t burn the energy, it is going to be stored as fat. Since fructose doesn’t tell your brain you are full the way glucose does, when we eat something with fructose in it we tend to eat more.
So, what has fructose in it? HFCS often receives the most blame when it comes to fructose issues, but the truth is that fructose is present at comparable levels in lots of other foods, so we can’t focus on that one sweetener. Table sugar is 50/50 fructose/glucose whereas HFCS is most commonly 55/45 fructose and glucose respectively. Fruit is a healthy choice right? Not if you don’t want to eat any fructose, it is the naturally occurring sugar in fruit. Have you heard of agave nectar? It is a popular sweetener in health food circles; but guess what, it has one of the highest levels of fructose among all sweeteners! The list goes on.
Fructose is in a lot of different things that we all eat, and you know what? That’s OK! It’s just like our parents used to tell us: “Everything in moderation.” The fact of the matter is that this preliminary research finding isn’t news. If nothing else, it is a reminder to do your research on these things so you can make an informed decision that is right for you. Don’t wait for the news casters to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat.
Membership Administrative Assistant