According to new research, people on low-carb diets lose weight in part because they get less fructose, a type of sugar that can quickly be made into body fat.
The study shows that the type of carbs someone eats can be as important as the amount. Although fructose is naturally found in high levels in fruit, it is also added to many processed foods, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.
Small amounts of whole fruit, which do contain fructose, are not a problem. The problem is processed foods that contain chemically altered HFCS.
If you need to lose weight avoid high-fructose-corn-syrup. Actually, even if you don’t need to lose weight, you should still avoid excess fructose if you want to stay healthy.
Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar. Whenever you buy a packaged product in the grocery store, check the ingredients for HFCS.
“Our study shows the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose,” said Dr. Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center and lead author of the study in Science Daily.
According to Dr. Mercola, ironically, the very products that most people rely on to lose weight — low-fat diet foods — are often those that contain the most fructose! Even “natural” diet foods often contain fructose as a sweetener.
Fat is Not the Only Downside to Fructose
In addition to weight gain, eating too much fructose can increases triglyceride levels. In one study, eating fructose raised triglyceride levels by 32% in men.
Triglycerides, the chemical form of fat found in foods and in your body, are not something you want in excess amounts. Intense research over the past 40 years has confirmed that elevated blood levels of triglycerides, known as hypertriglyceridemia, puts you at an increased risk of heart disease.
Are You Eating More Fructose Than You Realize?
Since the 1970s the consumption of HFCS in the United States has skyrocketed. The largest contributor is easily soda (The number one source of calories in America!), for which HFCS is the primary sweetener. But HFCS is not only in sugary drinks. It’s in the vast majority of processed foods, even those you wouldn’t think of as sweet, such as ketchup, soup, salad dressing, bread and crackers.
So even if you don’t drink soda, if you eat processed foods you’re likely consuming fructose — and a lot of it.
The Safest Sweeteners Around?
We recommend that you avoid sugar, in all forms. This is especially important for anyone who is overweight, has diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
But if you’re looking for the occasional sweet treat, we recommend, in this order:
- The herb stevia (this is the best and safest sweetener, although it’s illegal to say that it’s a sweetener according to the FDA)
- Raw, organic honey
- Organic cane sugar
Popularity: 1% [?]