Fructose, more bad news!

LindseyBerkson1-200x3003Fructose consumption has more than doubled in the US in the last several decades. Fructose, a simple sugar, is found in table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and anything that says “sugars” on nutrition facts labels, but it also naturally occurs in fruits. Too many Americans are getting roughly 55 grams of fructose daily, way too much, and it is estimated that 25 % of people get up to 130 grams daily, most of it coming from sodas and fruit juices.

So, why should we care?

Duke researchers have now shown that high fructose consumption doesn’t play nice with energy metabolism. Normally, cells move ATP (adenosine triphosphate) around, causing healthy cellular events to unfold and for you to feel energetic. When ATP traffic is gridlocked due to too much fructose within your body, your liver gets exhausted and you do too.

This study looked at fructose and liver energy depletion in overweight diabetics.  But research like this has an important take-home message for us all: Too many sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, deplete the critical ATP in the liver, draining energy out of this vital detoxification organ, and contributing to a higher incidence of liver disease. It also appears to wreak havoc with metabolism along with causing insulin and other hormonal dysregulation, which has been well established in the literature.

If you drink a soda a day, eat a few bakery goods, have a glass of fruit juice, especially sweetened with more fructose, suddenly it’s easier to put on weight and you’re too exhausted to go exercise to try to take it off.

Be good to yourself: avoid high fructose corn syrup, take sodas and fruit juice (including natural fruit juice) out of your diet, and even reduce how much fruit you consume to 1-2 servings daily. The goal is to consume less than 25 grams of sugar a day. Be smart, be fit, and feel more energetic!

This article was written by Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson at Wiseman Family Practice.