This article was sent to us by a reader. We have searched the internet to find the original, and now we have. It was posted here: Child diabetes blamed on food sweetener. We found she’d lifted all of this from Mercola. So we are posting a little note at the end of this article about fair use for educational purposes.
Scientists have proved for the first time that fructose, a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can damage human metabolism and is fueling the obesity crisis.
Fructose, a sweetener usually derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.
Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems.
This study takes its place in a growing lineup of scientific studies demonstrating that consuming high-fructose corn syrup is the fastest way to trash your health. It is now known without a doubt that sugar in your food, in all it’s myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll.
And fructose in any form — including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose — is the worst of the worst!
Fructose is a major contributor to:
Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium — and in fact, every living thing on the Earth–uses glucose for energy.
If you received your fructose only from vegetables and fruits (where it originates) as most people did a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day — a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical adolescent gets from sweetened drinks. In vegetables and fruits, it’s mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects.
It isn’t that fructose itself is bad — it is the MASSIVE DOSES you’re exposed to that make it dangerous.
There are two reasons fructose is so damaging:
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 HFCS.
Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, it’s about 20% sweeter than table sugar.
HFCS is either 42% or 55% fructose, and sucrose is 50% fructose, so it’s really a wash in terms of sweetness.
Still, this switch drastically altered the average American diet.
By USDA estimates, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars, and most of that is HFCS. The average Westerner consumes a staggering 152 pounds a year of sugar (that’s nearly 3 pounds per week). And the very products most people rely on to lose weight — the low-fat diet foods — are often the ones highest in fructose.
Making matters worse, all of the fiber has been removed from these processed foods, so there is essentially no nutritive value at all.
Without getting into the very complex biochemistry of carbohydrate metabolism, it is important to understand some differences about how your body handles glucose versus fructose. I will be publishing a major article about this in the next couple of months, which will get much more into the details, but for our purpose here, I will just summarize the main points.
Dr. Robert Lustig[i] Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used:
If anyone tries to tell you “sugar is sugar,” they are way behind the times. As you can see, there are major differences in how your body processes each one.
The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome — not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that directly result.
As the truth comes out about HFCS, the Corn Refiners Association is scrambling to convince you that their product is equal to table sugar, that it is “natural” and safe.
Of course, many things are “natural” — cocaine is natural, but you wouldn’t want to use 142 pounds of it each year.
The food and beverage industry doesn’t want you to realize how truly pervasive HFCS is in your diet — not just from soft drinks and juices, but also in salad dressings and condiments and virtually every processed food. The introduction of HFCS into the Western diet in 1975 has been a multi-billion dollar boon for the corn industry.
The FDA classifies fructose as GRAS: Generally Regarded As Safe. Which pretty much means nothing and is based on nothing.
There is plenty of data showing that fructose is not safe — but the effects on the nation’s health have not been immediate. That is why we are just now realizing the effects of the last three decades of nutritional misinformation.
As if the negative metabolic effects are not enough, there are other issues with fructose that disprove its safety:
The FDA isn’t going to touch sugar, so it’s up to you to be proactive about your own dietary choices.
Ideally, I recommend that you avoid as much sugar as possible. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
I also realize we don’t live in a perfect world, and following rigid dietary guidelines is not always practical or even possible.
If you want to use a sweetener occasionally, this is what I recommend:
If you or your child is involved in athletics, I recommend you read my article Energy Rules for some great tips on how to optimize your child’s energy levels and physical performance through good nutrition.
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