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Fructose Sugar

I'd like to analyze with you the problems with fructose in your diet. First in order to get a grip on how bad fructose is on your health let's start with what it is exactly. Here's some common facts from wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide found in many foods. It is one of the three important dietary monosaccharides along with glucose and galactose. The organic fructose molecule was first discovered by Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut in 1847.

Honey, tree fruits, berries, melons, and some root vegetables contain significant amounts of molecular fructose, usually in combination with glucose, stored in the form of sucrose.

Crystalline fructose and high-fructose corn syrup are often confused as the same product. Crystalline fructose, which is often produced from a fructose-enriched corn syrup, is indeed the monosaccharide. High-fructose corn syrup, however, refers to a family of mixtures of varying amounts of fructose and glucose.

The primary reason that fructose is used commercially in foods and beverages, besides its low cost, is its high relative sweetness. It is the sweetest of all naturally occurring carbohydrates. Fructose is generally regarded as being 1.73 times as sweet as sucrose.

The sweetness of fructose is perceived earlier than that of sucrose or dextrose, and the taste sensation reaches a peak (higher than sucrose) and diminishes more quickly than sucrose. Fructose can also enhance other flavors in the system.

Fructose, glucose, and sucrose may all be present in a food; however, different foods will have varying levels of each of these three sugars.

Apple and pear juices are of particular interest to pediatricians because the high concentrations of free fructose in these juices can cause diarrhea in children. The cells (enterocytes) that line children's small intestines have less affinity for fructose absorption than for glucose and sucrose.

Fructose Effect on the Body

Again this is more info from the above listed wiki page.

"When fructose reaches the liver," says Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, "the liver goes bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the fructose." Eating fructose instead of glucose results in lower circulating insulin and leptin levels, and higher of ghrelin levels after the meal. Since leptin and insulin decrease appetite and ghrelin increases appetite, some researchers suspect that eating large amounts of fructose increases the likelihood of weight gain.

You think. Just a bit more from that page.

Excessive fructose consumption is also believed to contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It has been suggested in a recent British Medical Journal study that high consumption of fructose is linked to gout. Cases of gout have risen in recent years, despite commonly being thought of as a Victorian disease, and it is suspected that the fructose found in soft drinks (e.g., carbonated beverages) and other sweetened drinks is the reason for this.

Now at the Scientific American it says that insulin resistance can affect the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for learning and remem­bering facts and events. Insulin resistance being a product of fructose sugar.

And from reuters.com.  Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate.

 "These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation," Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

"They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth."
 
Too much sugar of any kind not only adds pounds, but is also a key culprit in diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

U.S. consumption of high fructose corn syrup went up 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990, researchers reported in 2004 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

From timesonline.co.uk  Fructose, a sweetener 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.

Why Fruits are ok

Now from Doctor Mercola - Fruits containing fructose may not be as bad for us as fructose added to processed foods and fruit drinks because his site says -

 So it appears as though whole fruits, even though they contain fructose, may not be nearly as problematic as fructose from added sugars. One of the reasons for this is believed to be because whole fruits contain high amounts of natural antioxidants, as well as other synergistic compounds that may help counter the detrimental effects of fructose.

Still Doctor Mercola's site recommends that one limit the amount of fruit ate on a daily basis. Also he points out that Agave is 55 to 90 percent fructose which makes it not an healthy alternative to sugar.

Here's a couple of tables that might be of help to you from wiki.

Table 1. Sugar content of selected common plant foods (g/100g)
Food Item Total
Carbohydrate
 
Total
Sugars
Free
Fructose
Free
Glucose
Sucrose Fructose/
Glucose
Ratio
Sucrose
as a % of
Total Sugars
Fruits              
Apple 13.8 10.4 5.9 2.4 2.1 2.0 19.9
Apricot 11.1 9.2 0.9 2.4 5.9 0.7 63.5
Banana 22.8 12.2 4.9 5.0 2.4 1.0 20.0
Grapes 18.1 15.5 8.1 7.2 0.2 1.1 1.0
Peach 9.5 8.4 1.5 2.0 4.8 0.9 56.7
Pineapple 13.1 9.9 2.1 1.7 6.0 1.1 60.8
Pear 15.5 9.8 6.2 2.8 0.8 2.1 8.0
Vegetables              
Beet, Red 9.6 6.8 0.1 0.1 6.5 1.0 96.2
Carrot 9.6 4.7 0.6 0.6 3.6 1.0 70.0
Corn, Sweet 19.0 3.2 0.5 0.5 2.1 1.0 64.0
Red Pepper, Sweet 6.0 4.2 2.3 1.9 0.0 1.2 0.0
Onion, Sweet 7.6 5.0 2.0 2.3 0.7 0.9 14.3
Sweet Potato 20.1 4.2 0.7 1.0 2.5 0.9 60.3
Yam 27.9 0.5 tr tr tr na tr
Sugar Cane   13 - 18 0.2 – 1.0 0.2 – 1.0 11 - 16 1.0 100
Sugar Beet   17 - 18 0.1 – 0.5 0.1 – 0.5 16 - 17 1.0 100

Commercial sweeteners (carbohydrate content)

Sugar Fructose Glucose Sucrose (Fructose-Glucose) Other Sugars
Granulated Sugar (50) (50) 100 0
Brown Sugar 1 1 97 1
HFCS-42 42 53 0 5
HFCS-55 55 41 0 4
HFCS-90 90 5 0 5
Honey 50 44 1 5
Maple Syrup 1 4 95 0
Molasses 23 21 53 3
Corn Syrup 0 35 0 0

Books on Fructose

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