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Eating Too Much? Blame Fructose

Jan 3rd, 2013

FructoseFor years, many experts and health advocates have been warning us about the probable dangers of having too much fructose in our diets. A new study from Yale University School of Medicine may have confirmed that fructose is indeed making us fat.

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple monosaccharide commonly added to foods and drinks. It can be found in almost everything we eat these days.

According to previous studies, lab animals who were given fructose demonstrated an increase in appetite. This time, researchers recruited 20 healthy adults to find out if the effects were the same. Volunteers were given beverages sweetened with either fructose or glucose and the changes were monitored using an MRI.

Scientists found that those who drank glucose showed reduced blood flow to the brain’s appetite, reward, and motivation centers – thereby decreasing hunger signals. They also had higher levels of insulin, which contributes to satiety.

This means that the brain has the ability suppress our glucose cravings after the energy source requirement has been met.

Fructose, on the other hand, did not have the same effect. In fact, it stimulated hunger signals in the brain and triggered less insulin production.

While the study may not show a cause-and-effect relationship between fructose and obesity, it suggests a strong link.

What can you do about it?

The following are simple tips to help you reduce your fructose sugar intake:

Avoid sodas, fruit drinks, and sports drinks. Choose water, tea, or low-fat milk instead.

Read the label and watch out for high-fructose corn syrup.

Avoid processed, sugary foods.

Eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

Eliminate or limit the added sugar in your coffee or tea.

Choose home baked foods over store bought pastries, which can be very rich in fructose.

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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