Fix Your Love of FructoseFixing your “sweet tooth” may help save your life. Why fructose and most refined sugars should be public health enemy number one and why you should avoid them.
Research has confirmed that consuming the various forms of refined sugars is harmful to your health. The “bitter truth” however as explained by Dr. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, is that refined fructose is the deadliest
Fructose increases your risk for:
• Insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity
• Elevated blood pressure
• Elevated triglycerides and elevated LDL
• Depletion of vitamins and minerals
• Cardiovascular disease
• Fatty liver disease, cancer, arthritis, and gout
Why is fructose bad:
• The organ that metabolizes fructose is your liver which is a different process compared to glucose. This puts an unusually high burden on the liver leading to a fatty liver in many cases.
• Our consumption of refined fructose is high, allowing its negative metabolic effects to occur.
Fructose from fruit is good and refined fructose is bad:
• Fructose from fruits and vegetables is okay because it is eaten with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects. Refined fructose eaten in high doses causes negative metabolic effects.
When did we start eating fructose and why:
• Fructose was invented in 1966 in Japan and introduced to the American market in 1975.
• In 1972, Richard Nixon reduced food costs as part of his “war on poverty.” After partnering with USDA he subsidized the production corn resulting in its increased production and helped increase its export around the world. When corn prices fell and a surplus developed, Earl Lauer Butz (U.S. official under Nixon) championed the spread of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Due to the low costs of fructose, manufacturers switched from sucrose (table sugar) to fructose.
• In the mid 1970s, dietary fats were blamed for heart disease (thanks to researcher Ancel Keys as mentioned in my video: http://bit.ly/FixYourFearOfFat), resulting in a reduction of fat in our diet. Fructose was used to make fat-free products more palatable.
Why is fructose different as explained by Dr. Lustig:
• When you eat fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver leading to a fatty liver. The liver only has to break down 20% of the glucose you consume.
• Glucose is a more pure form of energy utilized by your cells. Fructose, however is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. Fructose makes you FAT!
• The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism causes fatty liver and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
• Fructose metabolism results in waste products that increase 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.
Alternatives to your sweet addition:
• First realize that you may have a sugar addition. So stand up, look at your audience, admit you have a problem, and start your journey fixing you “sweet tooth”. It’s hard to imagine but I promise your new life will be much better.
• If you must, use organic cane sugar or raw honey but only rarely and in moderation. They are less harmful than fructose.
• Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose. If you must a substitute, use Stevia or Xylitol.
• Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose.
• Avoid soda, natural juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks because they are loaded with sugar, sodium, and chemical additives. Better options are water first followed by teas and at times coffee. Try teas with a variety of flavors. Try coffee with non sugar creamers (I like coconut cream) and use vanilla flavor, nutmeg flavor, cinnamon flavor, and others.
About the Author
Dr. Tony Hampton has been treating patients with multiple chronic conditions for nearly two decades. In addition to his role as an Advocate Medical Group (AMG) family physician over the last nine years, Dr. Hampton currently holds multiple responsibilities within the Advocate Healthcare, including Medical Director of AMG Beverly, Vice-Chair of AMG’s Governing Council, Chair of Health Outcomes Committee and Co-Chair of Executive Diversity Council.
Over the last two years, Dr. Hampton has worked closely with AOS, successfully piloting advancements in AMG’s operations management systems. He is a champion for change that results in greater work-life balance for physicians and an enhanced patient experience. His interpersonal skills, clinical knowledge, and desire for strong patient/team engagement will continue to make Tony an asset to the AOS team.
A regular speaker for the American Diabetes Association and consultant for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Initiative to Improve Diabetes Care, Dr. Hampton is passionate about empowering patients by changing old beliefs to new ones which better serve them using evidence-based medicine. Educating them on the root cause of disease processes and the importance of diet provides the path to positive health outcomes for diabetics, borderline diabetics, and patients not at their ideal body weight.
He is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Tony authored the book Fix Your Diabetes, Fix Your Diet, Your Dietary Solution to Reversing Diabetes which was published in April 2017.