Friday, October 14, 2011

For my dad

When i was in college i took a nutrition class. I aced it and loved it! It was too late to change my major and i was afraid i would fail miserably at the chemistry classes it required. I now regret that descision. Because of that class and learning i was good at understanding nutrition i took other classes. My dad and i are famous for our fast-paced-discussions and nutrition chats naturally fell into our repertoire. One question we have always had is all sugar created equal?
i am beginning to research more about food, chemicals and man-made alterations to our food and i received a perfectly timed email from Dr. Mercola this morning. I will only include the following tidbits. If you want to read the whole article go here

A Calorie is Not a Calorie...

Dr. Lustig, a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at UC San Francisco, has been on the forefront of the movement to educate people about the health hazards of sugar, and I highly recommend viewing his presentation, The Trouble with Fructose, above. He's a compelling speaker and does an excellent job of laying down the facts in an easy to understand manner.
One of the primary problems with fructose is that it is isocaloric but not isometabolic, meaning that while you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or any other nutrient, including glucose, the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. This explains why calorie counting doesn't work. You simply have to take the quality or source of the calories into account in order to successfully lose weight.
Fructose metabolism is quite different from glucose (dextrose) metabolism in that it places the entire burden on your liver, and this accounts for many of its devastating health effects. Furthermore, people consume fructose in enormous quantities these days, which has made the negative effects that much more profound. Without getting into the very complex biochemistry of carbohydrate metabolism, it is important to have a general understanding of how your body handles these sugars.
Below is a summary of the main differences between glucose and fructose metabolism, which explains why I keep repeating that fructose is by far the worst type of sugar there is:
  • After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
  • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
  • When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!
  • The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
  • Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
Interestingly enough, glucose has been found to further accelerate fructose absorption, so when you MIX glucose and fructose together, you absorb more fructose than if you consumed fructose alone! This is yet another important piece of information for those who want to make a better effort at controlling their weight.
Anyone who still tries to tell you that "sugar is sugar" in an effort to defend high fructose corn syrup is seriously unaware of the current research, which clearly demonstrates that there are major differences in how your body processes these sugars. The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, along with a long list of associated chronic diseases.

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