Fructose called "major driver" of diabetes epidemic
A new report from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has identified fructose added to food and drinks as one of the main causes of the rapid increase in type 2 diabetes in the U.S. Currently, 29 million Americans--or one out of every 11 adults--has type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute analyzed several observational studies and clinical trials for their findings. They concluded that fructose triggers insulin resistance and disrupts the metabolism. In fact, compared to glucose and starch, fructose or sucrose caused an increase in fasting glucose and insulin levels.
While fructose can be found in some vegetables and fruits, it is in much lower concentrations that what's found in processed foods or sodas. The researchers estimated that 75 percent of packaged foods and beverages in the U.S. contain added sugars. They calculated the average daily consumption of fructose is 83.1 g per person in the U.S. although this is believed this is an underestimation.
At present, the dietary guidelines of the American Diabetes Association do not recommend limiting the consumption of fructose-containing added sugars. The researchers, however, concluded that limiting consumption of foods and beverages that contain added sugars, particularly fructose, could one of the more effective ways for people to help themselves maintain good health.