Every cell in your body, every bacterium, and in fact, every living thing on the Earth, can use glucose for energy.
If your diet was like that of people a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day—a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical person gets from sweetened drinks. In vegetables and fruits, it’s mixed in with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate the negative metabolic effects. Amazingly, 25 percent of people actually consume more than 130 grams of fructose per day.
Making matters worse, all of the fiber has been removed from processed foods, so there is essentially no nutritive value at all. And the very products most people rely on to lose weight—the low-fat diet foods—are often the ones highest in fructose.
It isn’t that fructose itself is bad—it is the MASSIVE DOSES you’re exposed to that make it dangerous.
There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.
People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.
The explosion of soda consumption is the major cause of this.
Today, 55 percent of sweeteners used in food and beverage manufacturing are made from corn, and the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, it’s about 20 percent sweeter than conventional table sugar that has sucrose.
HFCS contains the same two sugars as sucrose but is more metabolically risky to you, due to its chemical form.
The fructose and the glucose are not bound together in HFCS, as they are in table sugar, so your body doesn’t have to break it down. Therefore, the fructose is absorbed immediately, going straight to your liver. This is NOT the case with glucose, of which your liver breaks down only 20 percent. Nearly every cell in your body utilizes glucose, so it’s normally “burned up” immediately after consumption. But glucose accelerates fructose absorption, making the potential health risks from HFCS even more profound.
So where does all of this fructose go, once you consume it? It is turned into FAT (VLDL and triglycerides), which means more fat deposits throughout your body. Fructose tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism: It turns off your body’s appetite-control system, does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
These changes are not seen when humans or animals eat starch (or glucose), suggesting that fructose is a “bad carbohydrate” when consumed in excess of 25 grams per day. It is probably the one factor responsible for the partial success of many “low-carb” diets..
Fructose is the number one contributing factor to the current obesity epidemic.