Fructose: Nutritional Bombshell

Dr. William Davis Health Pro
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    In a previous post, I discussed how the common sugar, fructose, exerts unique and undesirable effects on health distinct from other sugars, like glucose. Fructose is commonly found in sucrose (table sugar¾half glucose, half fructose), the widely used sweetener high-fructose corn syrup, and sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices.

     

    Compared to glucose, fructose has been shown to trigger:

     

    • Greater abdominal fat accumulation
    • Increased LDL cholesterol
    • Marked increase in small LDL (the worst kind of LDL particles)
    • Increased triglycerides

     

    The effect is "dose-dependent," meaning the more you ingest every day, the greater the effects. Clear-cut effects on triglycerides, in particular, become substantial starting at 50 grams of fructose intake per day.

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    Avoiding sucrose is easy: Don't add table sugar to your coffee or tea (try artificial sweeteners like sucralose); avoid candies and other obviously sweet snacks made with sucrose.

     

    Avoiding high-fructose corn syrup is a little trickier, since food manufacturers have added it to nearly all processed foods, such as ketchup, beer, breads, fruit drinks, energy drinks, spaghetti sauce, low-fat salad dressings, sodas, breakfast cereals, etc. One easy rule: minimize your exposure to processed foods. (In fact, is the protuberant abdomen I call "wheat belly" really a combination of "wheat belly" and "fructose belly"? I believe it is.)

     

    Just avoiding sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup-containing products will dramatically reduce your fructose exposure. But if you are really interested in further reducing your exposure to this unhealthy sweetener, consider the fructose content of some foods: 

     

    (Fructose content of corn syrup is shown for comparison; data from the USDA Nutrient Database. Remember that sucrose is approximately half fructose; dates, listed below, for example, contain a total of 23 grams fructose from sucrose and fructose.)

     
     

    Corn syrup, 100 grams (approx. 1/3 cup HFCS-55)

      

    Carbohydrates

    77.0 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    0.0 g

    Sugars, total

    77.0 g

    Sucrose

    0.0 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    30.8 g

    Fructose

    42.4 g

      

      

    Dates, ½ cup, chopped

      

    Carbohydrates

    55.15 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    5.9 g

    Sugars, total

    46.56 g

    Sucrose

    17.52 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    14.60 g

    Fructose

    14.38 g

      

       

    Honey, 2 tablespoons

      

    Carbohydrates

    34.61 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    0.1 g

    Sugars, total

    34.49 g

    Sucrose

    0.37 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    15.02 g

    Fructose

    17.19 g

      

      

    Honeydew melon (1/2 melon, 6-7" diameter)

     

    Carbohydrates

    58.18 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    5.1 g

    Sugars, total

    51.97 g

    Sucrose

    15.87 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    17.15 g

    Fructose

    18.94 g

     

      

    Pear, 1 medium

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    Carbohydrates

    27.52 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    5.5 g

    Sugars, total

    17.44 g

    Sucrose

    1.39 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    4.91 g

    Fructose

    11.09 g

     

      

    Raisins, 1 cup seedless

      

    Carbohydrates

    130.65 g

    Fiber, total dietary

    6.1 g

    Sugars, total

    97.66 g

    Sucrose

    0.74 g

    Glucose (dextrose)

    45.79 g

    Fructose

    48.97 g

     

     

Published On: July 30, 2009