There’s lots of sugar out there. Some are just plain unhealthy to consume, others, like fructose, should have a place in your diet, even if sparingly. So what is fructose?
Fructose is one of the three foundation sugars that are found in our foods. Fructose combines with glucose and galactose to form the sugars that we see on the ingredient lists. When fructose is combined with glucose you get traditional sugar which means that sugar is 50% fructose.
Fructose, aka fruit sugar, is what makes fruit taste sweet and helps to intensify the flavor of the fruit. However, the fructose in fruit varies depending on the fruit. The fruit with the most fructose is the common apple, though some people mistakening believe it to be the banana.
Why is Fructose so Bad for Your Lean Mean Muscle Machine?
What is the difference between glucose and fructose? Fructose is usually combined with glucose when it enters the body and so in the digestive process this bond is broken and the sugar is stripped down. So when the sugars enter the body the glucose is processed with the assistance of insulin and is delivered around the body to help fuel the brain and muscles.
What Happens to Fructose In Your Body?
Well, the body does not have an equivalent substance/hormone to the insulin that works on fructose so the fructose then has to be processed by the liver. When the liver is overworked it is not able to process the fructose properly so turns it into fat, triglycerides (cholesterol) to be precise, that is then released into the blood and awaits a time when the body needs the energy.
So What Does This Mean?
Besides the obvious problems to do with high cholesterol, this means that you now have a stockpile of energy that the body is waiting to use to fuel the cells around the body. The problem is that like fat the energy is stored in the blood until the supply of readily available energy, such as glucose, is used.
Now the main problem here is that the energy from the fructose can sit there for as long as it takes for the body to need the energy and is then used before body fat as it is accessed more easily. So you go for your workout – pumping the iron, working out your biceps, triceps, pecs and of course your abs to get that perfect six pack you desire. Yeah, that’s right, we know you skipped leg day…
The problem is that you need to not only get through all of the energy from the glucose that is in the food that you are eating, but you also have to burn through all of the fat in your blood, that has been created by the fructose. You have to burn all that energy before you start to burn the body fat that you need to remove to show off your fabulous abs.
How Can You Avoid ‘Fructose Fat’?
Some fructose in your diet actually benefits your body as it helps you to better process the glucose. What you want to stay away from are the high concentrations of fructose that come from processed sugars. Processed sugars contain unnaturally high concentrations of fructose that the liver can have trouble processing.
Where Are The Highest Concentrations of Fructose?
The high concentrations of fructose are in sweet-tasting foods such as soft drinks, sauces, and syrups and are becoming more popular with food and drink manufacturing because we as a society have developed a sweet tooth.
Things to look out for on labels include:
• Agave nectar
• Dehydrated cane juice
• Fruit juice concentrate
• Inverted sugar
• Maple syrup
• Molasses or treacle
• Sorghum or sorghum syrup
• High fructose corn syrup or corn syrup
Be careful not to overconsume:
• Sugar, saccharose, or sucrose
What Else Can Lead to the Build-up of ’Fructose Fat’?
With the liver being responsible for the processing of fructose, you need to be aware that anything that will put pressure on your liver can lead to the development of triglycerides (cholesterol). This includes the consumption of artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors as these require the liver to process them. You also want to avoid the overconsumption of alcohol as alcohol can put the liver under intense pressure in order to remove it from the blood.
To find out more about fructose and the effect that it can have on the body take a look at David Gillespie’s book “Sweet Poison”