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Fructose and Globesity

Obesity is not just an epidemic here in the States and in the UK, it’s also in other countries in the world where you wouldn’t think it would be an issue. So what’s the culprit? High Fructose Corn Syrup. It’s in just about every thing we consume.

Dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate, which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue. At the same time, this diet raises insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released.

This leads to a simple equation: dietary carbohydrates such as high fructose corn syrup lead to obesity, even if you are actually malnourished.

In countries around the world, waistlines are expanding so rapidly that health experts recently coined a term for the epidemic: globesity. One in three of the world’s adults is overweight and one in 10 is obese.

Much of this can be blamed on the simple theory that if you take in more calories than your burn, you will gain weight. But the issue is much more complex than that.

There are several more or less obvious reasons for the dramatic rise in obesity since the 1970s, including:
  • Increased consumption of highly processed food, especially fructose
  • Increased portion sizes of restaurant food and grocery products
  • Increased driving and computer use (sedentary activities)
  • Increased modernization
  • Certain medications
  • Endocrine disorders and genetics
  • Changing social perceptions of what is “normal” weight
There are also some not so obvious reasons why people are gaining weight at alarming rates. It may be that far more important than the number of calories you consume in a day may be the type of calories you consume.

And if you’re eating a lot of fructose (and there’s a good chance you are considering it’s the number one source of calories in the United States!), it could be programming your body to become fat.

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.

It’s Time to Cut Out the Fructose
Ideally I recommend that you avoid sugar, in all forms. This is especially important for people who are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

But if you are just starting out and looking to cut out fructose first, the largest contributor is easily soda, for which HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is the primary sweetener. But fructose 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.

Even natural sweeteners like agave syrup should be avoided, as it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose!

If you’re looking for the occasional sweet treat, Dr. Mercola recommends, in this order:
  1. The herb stevia
  2. Raw, organic honey
  3. Organic cane sugar
Small amounts of whole fruit, which do contain fructose, are not a problem. If you’re healthy, you can enjoy fruit in moderation.

The next time you’re in the supermarket, please be sure to check the ingredients. If High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the ingredients, put the item back on the shelf and look at other comparable products until you find one that doesn’t contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

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