Is High-fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Regular Sugar?
The claim: High-fructose corn syrup is worse for you than regular table sugar (sucrose). The facts: High-fructose corn syrup has been blamed for everything from obesity and dementia to heart attacks and strokes. But the truth is far more complicated, so some background is in order: Table sugar (sucrose, from sugar cane or sugar beets) is made up of fructose (also found in fruit and honey) and glucose (the simplest sugar, used for energy by the body). High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), on the other hand, is derived from cornstarch, which consists of a chain of only glucose molecules. To create HFCS, enzymes are added to cornstarch to convert much of the glucose to fructose. Food manufacturers favor HFCS because its cheaper than sucrose. The most common forms contain either 42 percent fructose (mainly used in processed foods) or 55 percent fructose (mainly used in soft drinks). So, sucrosewhich is about 50 percent fructoseis actually higher in fructose than some HFCS. While both glucose and fructose are simple sugars that provide 4 calories per gram, the body processes them differently . Glucose is metabolized by several organs (including the brain, liver, muscles, and fat tissue) and has a direct effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Fructose is metabolized primarily by the liver, and though it does not have a significant effect on blood sugar or insulin levels, it can have a more immediate effect on triglycerides (fats in the blood). Both human and animal studies show that when fructose is consumed in excess it can lead not only to higher triglycerides but also to a fatty liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased levels of uric acid (which causes gout ). The difference in how the body handles the two sugars has led to the belief that HFCS is much worse for Continue reading >>
Evidence Shows Some Sugars Are Worse Than Others; Fructose Tops The List
Evidence Shows Some Sugars Are Worse Than Others; Fructose Tops the List Written by Cameron Scott on January 29, 2015 Are all sugars created equal, or are some more likely to cause obesity and related diseases, including type 2 diabetes? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 proposed that the growing use of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in processed foods could be linked to ballooning rates of obesity. It launched a long, contentious scientific debate. A recently published paper in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings wont settle the issue, but it does pose a significant new challenge to those who believe that a sugar is a sugar is a sugar. The comprehensive literature review claims to show for the first time that, calorie for calorie, added sugars especially fructose are more damaging to the bodys metabolic systems than other carbohydrates and are more likely to lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Forty percent of all American adults have some sort of insulin resistance, said James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, an associate editor at BMJ Open Heart, who co-authored the paper with Dr. Sean Lucan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The paper argues that the most current guidelines for how much added sugar is safe to eat are grossly exaggerated. It suggests that just 5 to 10 percent of our total caloric intake should come from added sugar. That comes out to about 22 grams of sugar about half as much as a single can of soda. Related News: Soda Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic Why fructose, and why added sugar? All carbohydrates contain glucose. Some foods, notably fruits, also contain fructose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose, so its most often used as an added sugar in processed foods, whether in the form of high-fructose corn syr Continue reading >>
You've probably heard the terms fructose, glucose, lactose and sucrose before, and you may know that they're all types of sugar. But do you know how they differ from one another, or whether some are better for you than others? Use our handy guide to shed some light on the secrets of sugar... What are complex and simple carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are classified into two basic groups, complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates are composed of multiple simple sugars, joined together by chemical bonds. The more chains and branches of simple sugars, the more complex a carbohydrate is and in turn, the longer it takes to be broken down by the body and the less impact it has on blood sugar levels. Examples of complex carbohydrates include wholegrains such as jumbo oats, brown rice, spelt, rye and barley. Simple carbohydrates are either monosaccharides (one sugar molecule) or disaccharides (two sugar molecules). They are digested quickly and release sugars rapidly into the bloodstream. The two main monosaccharides are glucose and fructose. The two major disaccharides are sucrose (composed of glucose and fructose) and lactose (which is made up of galactose and glucose). Glucose What is glucose? Glucose is the primary source of energy your body uses and every cell relies on it to function. When we talk about blood sugar we are referring to glucose in the blood. When we eat carbohydrates, our body breaks them down into units of glucose. When blood glucose levels rise, cells in the pancreas release insulin, signalling cells to take up glucose from the blood. As the cells absorb sugar from the blood, levels start to drop. The nutritional profile of glucose The glycemic index is a ranking of how quickly foods make your blood sugar levels rise after eating them. High GI foods are very Continue reading >>
Which Is Worse: Glucose Or Fructose?
David posted the following interesting question on the Nutrition Diva Facebook page : Your podcast on nutritional trade-offs made me think of the following question: I try very hard to limit my intake of sugar. But some foods do need some kind of sweetener, and so Im wondering about what alternatives to table sugar you recommend. Some are higher in glucose, and that brings with it a higher glycemic index. Others have a lower glycemic index, but are higher in fructose, which experts say to avoid. What do you think? Most sweeteners, including table sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar and so on, contain glucose and fructose in varying amounts. Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose. Agave nectar on the other hand is about 70% fructose and only 30% glucose. These two sugars are metabolized through different pathways. Glucose is absorbed into the blood stream and fructose is metabolized in the liver.So agave nectar is going to cause a lower rise in blood sugar than table sugar. On the other hand, studies in rats suggest that too much fructose can increase the amount of fat stored in the liver and thats not good. So are you better off with a sweetener thats higher in glucose or one thats higher in fructose? Heres the thing: Both the effects of glucose on blood sugar and the effect of fructose on liver function are highly dose dependent. When youre only consuming a small amount of added sugars, youre unlikely to get into trouble on either front. So, as long as youre keeping your consumption of added sugars to the suggested levels5 to 10% of caloriesit doesnt really matter that much which sweetener you choose. But manypeople consume large amounts of sugar. So which is the better choice for those who eat a lot of sugar? If your diet is high in sugar, this becomes a m Continue reading >>
All Sugars Aren't The Same: Glucose Is Better, Study Says
Correction Appended: April 21, 2009 Think that all sugars are the same? They may all taste sweet to the tongue, but it turns out your body can tell the difference between glucose, fructose and sucrose, and that one of these sugars is worse for your health than the others. In the first detailed analysis comparing how our systems respond to glucose (which is made when the body breaks down starches such as carbohydrates) and fructose, (the type of sugar found naturally in fruits), researchers at the University of California Davis report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that consuming too much fructose can actually put you at greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes than ingesting similar amounts of glucose. In the study, 32 overweight or obese men and women were randomly assigned to drink 25% of their daily energy requirements in either fructose- or glucose-sweetened drinks. The researchers took pains to eliminate as many intruding factors as possible by asking the volunteers to commit to a 12-week program; for the first and last two weeks of the study, each subject lived at UCD's Clinical and Translational Science Center, where they underwent rigorous blood tests to determine their insulin and lipid levels, among other metabolic measures. (Take a quiz on eating smart.) Both groups gained similar amounts of weight by the end of the 12 weeks, but only the people drinking fructose-sweetened beverages with each meal showed signs of unhealthy changes in their liver function and fat deposits. In this group, the liver churned out more fat, while the subjects consuming similar amounts of glucose-sweetened drinks showed no such change. The fructose-drinking volunteers also were not as sensitive to insulin, the hormone released by the pancreas to capture and br Continue reading >>
Fructose: The Worst Sugar Of Them All
Sugar is probably the most acidic food on the planet, and other than artificial sweeteners, theres nothing worse that you can eat. But did you know that not all sugars are created equal? Some forms of sugar are worse than others. And the worst sugar for a few different reasons is fructose. Does that surprise you? You might be thinking, Isnt fructose the sugar in fruit? Shouldnt it be less bad for you than other kinds? Well, well get to the science behind why fructose is the worst sugar for your body in a minute, but the most important thing for you to take away from this today is that sugar is sugar to your body in all forms, and your body hates sugar. First, lets talk about the different types of sugar you consume: Glucose = Sugar from carbohydrates, including all bread, pasta, pastries, fruit, and even whole grains like quinoa and vegetables. Your body needs glucose to function, but hardly any compared to what Americans eat these days. Sucrose = White sugar, brown sugar, etc. made of glucose and fructose combined, but rapidly broken down once consumed. Fructose = Fruit sugar, also found in honey, agave, coconut sugar/nectar and high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is 1 times sweeter than sucrose. Each of the following sweeteners combine some forms of the sugar types above, many including some amount of fructose: Honey (even raw manuka honey) also contains 52% fructose. Molasses does have trace minerals, but it has 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Agave is 90% fructose, which is even higher than high fructose corn syrup, and well explore why thats so bad next. High fructose corn syrup is 42-55% fructose, depending on the formula. So if youre like most Americans, you eat fructose every day in all kinds of foods, including: And yes, fruit Keep reading for why fruit is a litt Continue reading >>
Is Fructose Bad For You?
One of many controversies mixing up the field of nutrition is whether the use of high-fructose corn syrup in soft drinks and other foods is causing the paired epidemics of obesity and diabetes that are sweeping the United States and the world. I’ve ignored this debate because it never made sense to me—high-fructose corn syrup is virtually identical to the refined sugar it replaces. A presentation I heard yesterday warns that the real villain may be fructose—a form of sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey. It may not matter whether it’s in high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, or any other sweetener. Sounding the alarm is Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a professor of pediatrics and an obesity specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a key figure in a recent New York Times article called “Is Sugar Toxic?” Here’s some background and the gist of the presentation Lustig gave as part of a weekly seminar sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. (You can watch Lustig’s entire talk or a view a similar version on YouTube.) When fructose is joined to glucose, it makes sucrose. Sucrose is abundant in sugar cane, sugar beets, corn, and other plants. When extracted and refined, sucrose makes table sugar. In the 1800s and early 1900s, the average American took in about 15 grams of fructose (about half an ounce), mostly from eating fruits and vegetables. Today we average 55 grams per day (73 grams for adolescents). The increase in fructose intake is worrisome, says Lustig, because it suspiciously parallels increases in obesity, diabetes, and a new condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that now affects up to one-third of Americans. (You can read more about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in a Harvard Continue reading >>
The Difference In How Fructose And Glucose Affect Your Body
My regular readers know that I consider agave to be a BIG enemy to health and beauty- which is very high in fructose (up to 97% fructose). It truly irks me that sly marketing makes the general public think agave is a “healthy” sweetener, and that it continues to be used in “health” products purported to be better than regular baked or other goods, as well as in many restaurants. It is not. There is a myth that exists that fructose is a “healthy” sugar while glucose is bad stuff. In fact, in recent years, there has been a rise in sweeteners that contain this “healthy” sugar, such as the dreaded agave nectar. I sincerely hope that this information (please help spread it!) makes more people aware of the differences in sugar types, and makes more people know to avoid agave at all costs. S.O.S: Save Our Skin!!! Fructose Fructose is one type of sugar molecule. It occurs naturally in fresh fruits, giving them their sweetness. Because of this, many people consider fructose “natural,” and assume that all fructose products are healthier than other types of sugar. Likewise, fructose has a low glycemic index, meaning it has minimal impact on blood glucose levels. This has made it a popular sweetener with people on low-carbohydrate and low-glycemic diets, which aim to minimize blood glucose levels in order to minimize insulin release. But the glycemic index is not the sole determining factor in whether a sweetener is “healthy” or desirable to use. Because fructose is very sweet, fruit contains relatively small amounts, providing your body with just a little bit of the sugar, which is very easily handled. If people continued to eat fructose only in fruit and occasionally honey as our ancestors did, the body would easily process it without any problems. Unfortu Continue reading >>
Is Sugar From Fruit Better For You Than White Sugar?
Shutterstock By YouBeauty.com We Asked: Joy Dubost, R.D., is a nutritionist, food scientist and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Answer: Whether it’s in a piece of fruit, your soda or a pastry, sugar is made up of the same two components: fructose and glucose. The molecular structure and composition of sugar molecules is the same no matter where they come from. The ratios of fructose and glucose are pretty much the same in both fruit and table sugar. Most fruits are 40 to 55 percent fructose (there’s some variation: 65 percent in apples and pears; 20 percent in cranberries), and table sugar (aka sucrose) is 50/50. Neither type of sugar is better or worse for you, but your body processes them differently. Fructose breaks down in your liver and doesn’t provoke an insulin response. Glucose starts to break down in the stomach and requires the release of insulin into the bloodstream to be metabolized completely. More from YouBeauty: The Lower Sugar, Younger Skin Diet Fructose, Glucose and Weight Gain Top 10 Sugar Foods (And Secret Sugar Foods) Don’t get the idea that because the sugar composition is the same in fruit and cake, they’re interchangeable. (Seriously, they’re not.) For one thing, fruit offers good stuff like vitamins, antioxidants and water, while candy and desserts are nutritionally void. Fruit also tends to have less sugar by volume. Half a cup of strawberries: 3.5 grams of sugar. Half a cup of strawberry ice cream: 15 grams. Plus, whole fruit has a lot of fiber, which actually slows down your body’s digestion of glucose, so you don’t get the crazy insulin spike (and subsequent crash) that candy causes. That also means your body has more time to use up glucose as fuel before storing it — as fat. Even dried fruit, Continue reading >>
Which Sugar Is Worse: Glucose Or Fructose?
Which Sugar Is Worse: Glucose Or Fructose? A recent article published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that Australian and European soft drinks contained higher concentrations of glucose, and less fructose, than soft drinks in the United States. The total glucose concentration of Australian soft drinks was on average 22% higher than in US formulations. We know too much sugar is bad for us, but do different sugars have different health effects? Let's take a look at the science. We compared the composition of sugars in four popular, globally marketed brands Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Pepsi using samples from Australia, Europe and the US. While the total sugar concentration did not differ significantly between brands or geographical location, there were differences between countries in the concentrations of particular sugars, even when drinks were marketed under the same trade name. Whether these differences have distinct effects on long-term health is currently unclear. Certainly, over-consumption of either glucose or fructose will contribute to weight gain , which is associated with a host of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease . And because the body metabolises glucose and fructose in different ways, their effects may differ. Soft drinks, as they are referred to in Australia, or sodas in the US and fizzy drinks in the UK, are non-alcoholic, carbonated, sugar-sweetened beverages. Australia ranks seventh out of the top ten countries for soft drink sales per capita. Sugars are the chief ingredient in soft drinks and include glucose, fructose and sucrose. The source of sugars in popular soft drinks varies between global regions. This is because sugars are sourced from different crops in different areas of the world. Soft drinks in Austral Continue reading >>
Is High Fructose Corn Syrup (hfcs) Worse Than Sugar?
Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) worse than sugar? Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) worse than sugar? There is currently no evidence to suggest that HFCS is any worse than sugar. Both high fructose corn syrup and sugar are essentially the same; the difference between them is too small to matter in moderate consumption, and in excess both are harmful to health. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Structure High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquid blend of both glucose and fructose, where both molecules float in solution (as monosaccharides or lone sugar molecules) rather than being bound to each other. It is commonly used in food products due to being cheap to produce and having a slightly sweeter perception than a similar dose of sucrose. The fructose content, which generates most of the sweetness, varies between 42-55% in liquid solutions (with a more rare form of HFCS used in hard candies being up to 90% fructose). Sucrose is known as a disaccharide (two sugar) of glucose and fructose, it is essentially glucose connected to fructose in a 1:1 ratio. Because of this ratio, sucrose can be seen as 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Due to the presence of the sucrase (invertase) enzyme in the intestines, sucrose is broken apart into free glucose and fructose prior to intestinal absorption; this results in both glucose and fructose being detectable in the blood after sucrose ingestion, and no differences between sugars aside from the relative amounts of fructose (which are minor).  Structurally speaking, table sugar (sucrose) and HFCS are very similar and confer both of the same sugars in somewhat similar ratios. The difference between sucrose and the higher end of HFCS fructose content (55%) is practically insignificant with moderate or moderately high consumption. Assum Continue reading >>
Dont Believe The Hype Fructose Truly Is Much Worse Than Glucose
Smear Campaign Aimed Against Anti-Aging Proponents New research shows that there are big differences in how the sugars fructose and glucose are metabolized by your body. Overweight study participants showed more evidence of insulin resistance and other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes when 25 percent of their calories came from fructose-sweetened beverages instead of glucose-sweetened beverages. A study looked at 32 overweight or obese men and women. Over a 10-week period, they drank either glucose or fructose sweetened beverages totaling 25 percent of their daily calorie intake. Both the groups gained weight during the trial, but imaging studies revealed that the fructose-consuming group gained more of the dangerous belly fat that has been linked to a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. The fructose group also had higher total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and greater insulin resistance. This is not the first study showing that fructose harms your body in ways glucose does not. Two years ago, another study concluded that drinking high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- the main ingredient in most soft drinks throughout the world -- increases your triglyceride levels and your LDL (bad) cholesterol. And, just like this latest study, these harmful effects only occurred in the participants who drank fructose -- not glucose. Today, 55 percent of sweeteners used in food and beverage manufacturing are made from corn, and the number one source of calories in America is soda , in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, its also about 20 percent sweeter than table sugar. HFCS i Continue reading >>
Sugar Vs. High-fructose Corn Syrup: Is One Sweetener Worse For Your Health?
High-fructose corn syrup has long been portrayed as a major villain in the American diet. But a new school of thought contends that plain old table sugar or even all-natural honey can be just as harmful to a person's health. Any source of excess sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes, and singling out high-fructose corn syrup might distract consumers from the real health hazards posed by any and all added sugars, many dietitians now say. For example, people swigging all-natural sodas sweetened with pure cane sugar are still doing themselves harm, just as if the sodas had been loaded instead with high-fructose corn syrup, said Mario Kratz, a research associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. "The science is pretty clear that normal household sugar doesn't differ from high-fructose corn syrup," said Kratz, who specializes in nutrition and metabolism. "They are equally bad when consumed in sugar-sweetened beverages." Some researchers, such as Shreela Sharma, maintain that high-fructose corn syrup poses a unique health threat. They are concerned that the human body may process high-fructose corn syrup differently than regular sugar, in a way that contributes to obesity and its attendant problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. "In the end, sugar is sugar when it comes to calories, but it's not the same when your body is metabolizing these different sugars," said Sharma, a registered dietitian and associate professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. "To me, these small differences ultimately do end up making a big difference." But such views are now being challenged by other researchers and nutritionists who say that all sugars used in food are pretty much the same. High-fructose corn syrup i Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between Sucrose, Glucose & Fructose?
Sucrose, glucose and fructose are important carbohydrates, commonly referred to as simple sugars. Sugar is found naturally in whole foods and is often added to processed foods to sweeten them and increase flavor. Your tongue can't quite distinguish between these sugars, but your body can tell the difference. They all provide the same amount of energy per gram, but are processed and used differently throughout the body. Structure Simple carbohydrates are classified as either monosaccharides or disaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest, most basic units of carbohydrates and are made up of only one sugar unit. Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides and are the building blocks of sucrose, a disaccharide. Thus, disaccharides are just a pair of linked sugar molecules. They are formed when two monosaccharides are joined together and a molecule of water is removed -- a dehydration reaction. The most important monosaccharide is glucose, the body’s preferred energy source. Glucose is also called blood sugar, as it circulates in the blood, and relies on the enzymes glucokinase or hexokinase to initiate metabolism. Your body processes most carbohydrates you eat into glucose, either to be used immediately for energy or to be stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen for later use. Unlike fructose, insulin is secreted primarily in response to elevated blood concentrations of glucose, and insulin facilitates the entry of glucose into cells. Fructose is a sugar found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and added to various beverages such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. However, it is very different from other sugars because it has a different metabolic pathway and is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain. Fructose is only metabolized in the li Continue reading >>
Fructose Is Not The Worst Type Of Sugar, Researchers Say
Fructose is not the worst type of sugar, researchers say Fructose is not the worst type of sugar, researchers say Considered by many to be the worst of the worst, fructose is the fall guy of sugar. Anti-sugar campaigners focus on fructose because it is metabolised differently to sucrose (table sugar) and glucose; fructose is broken down by the liver and, the theory goes , overloads it leading to a plethora of health conditions including diabetes, cancer, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Not so sweet: Our level of sugar consumption is harming us. But new research out of the University of Canberra suggests it is precisely the fact that fructose is processed by the liver that makes it a healthier option. "Conflicting evidence exists on the effects of fructose consumption in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus," said the authors of the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . Dr Kerry Mills, the lead author, and her team examined the existing research to see if they could distinguish between the effects of fructose, glucose and sucrose. Many studies were of rats, whose metabolism is very different to humans. "The researchers often extrapolate the results erroneously from animals to humans," she said. Additionally, many studies on fructose were "poorly designed", Mills said, and didn't control for differences in the type of sugar. Instead, many gave one group fructose and the other no sugar. "That would mean that the second group were consuming more calories and more carbohydrate than the first group," she explained. "The researchers often attribute things like weight gain or raised triglycerides to the fructose, but it could have been the extra calories or the extra carbohydrate." For their study, Dr Mills and her team analy Continue reading >>