Fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, dextrose, glucose; what’s the difference? Imitation sugars or sugar substitutes are continuing to gain popularity, but why? The world is still getting fatter even with new information and education, how can this be? Welcome to the sweet controversy of the decade.
Leading expert, Dr. Robert Lustig, specialist in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, presented a lecture titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” if your not into nutrition or health this may be considered devastatingly boring but for the raw, relentless, and unabashed information and research it provided it has been viewed upward of 1,569,363 times on Youtube alone.
Lustig describes fructose/sucrose as being bad because: they don’t suppress the chemical ghrelin, they do not stimulate insulin or leptin and because of their Hepatic effects which he liked unto ethanol consumption. During his 90 minute lecture he actually listed several points to consider when deciding on whether or not to consume these sugars. All good points but far too many to list here. His bottom line boils down to this: fructose is nothing short of a poison, period. Most of the research presented in the lecture was not new information. We all have heard that all artificial sweetners and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad and that sugars in general are not healthy, duh. However, I personally don’t think that people realize how bad it really is and how much of it your actually consuming. He really puts this into perspective, perhaps a bit over the top for some nutritionists, but I hope it terrifies some people into considering what they are stuffing in their faces.
It seems that there are far too many rules to consider when eating and exercising. I like to try and put things as simply as possible and provide easy references for people to think about when making those choices. That being said, I don’t feel that you, the average consumer, need to memorize all the sugars, how they are metabolized and stored, and what foods they are found in. I do however feel that the benefit of label reading is still going to do you some good. Take a moment and see if the ingredients contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn syrup, sugar, or artificial sweeteners anywhere in the ingredients. If one of those is listed in the first 8 ingredients I highly recommend that you put it back on the shelf. Read the nutritional facts and see how many grams of sugar there are per serving, think about how many servings your actually going to consume, and if that total sugar intake exceeds 20 grams and you plan to eat something else that day or have eaten already then I highly recommend that you put it back on the shelf. Or if you want to think for yourself a little, try keeping this on hand for reference: If what your about to eat does not occur naturally in nature without allot of chemical or molecular alteration consider not eating it. If what you would like to eat does grow naturally in nature and isn’t so processed that its no longer recognized by the liver then use common sense and a little research. And of course as I often tend to say, use moderation. Just because something is there and within reach doesn’t necessarily mean you “need” to eat it.
As a nation we are still eating ourselves into sickness and death. Anything can be used as an addictive substance; including food. It seems there is a negative spin on virtually EVERYTHING we have in our diet. “The war against sugar” being one of them. Perhaps this is a good time to consider all the things that are good for us, taste good and make us feel good. A juicy peach from the neighbors orchard, dripping with fructose, has enough fiber and vitamins in it to help things metabolize appropriately in the body. So indulge in one and enjoy the sweetness mother nature has to offer; and then allow someone else to finish eating the orchard. Be aware of what your fueling your body with and what that translates into over the long term.