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For as long as we can remember, health experts have repeated time and again that sugar is terrible for health. But does that apply to refined sugar or do natural sugars also come under this ambit? The bone of contention here is fructose, which has been much debated for quite some time. Before we arrive at a conclusion if fructose is good or bad for you, let’s first know what fructose really is.
It is a natural sugar that is present in fruits, fruit juices, certain veggies and honey. But while these are all healthy foods, it is also a component of high-fructose corn syrup, which is made from corn starch, and is a part of sodas and candies. There are certain studies that also show a strong link between high-fructose foods and obesity, and other diseases such as diabetes and certain kinds of cancers.
It really depends on the way through which you are consuming fructose. For instance, if you get it through fresh fruit and vegetables, it is healthy. But processed forms of fructose are bad for health. There are certain studies that reveal that the body doesn’t process fructose like other sugars. In fact, if a person consumes fructose in large amounts, it stimulates the body to deposit additional fat, especially in the liver. This could also give rise to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
As per a 2017 literature review, consuming fructose in large amounts could trigger inflammation that could lead to insulin resistance, increased development of fat, higher risk of obesity, as well as more intake of food.
The issue here is that it is difficult for researchers to distinguish between the effects of fructose and glucose, because they are generally present together in certain foods. Moreover, some studies also argue that sugary drinks contain fructose, but they are also high in calories. This could also be a big reason for increasing obesity.
It is important to note that fructose does not trigger the release of insulin nor leptin, which tells a person when they are full. So, in certain cases, fructose could be more harmful than other sugars, because you just wouldn’t know when to stop!
So ladies, it’s not like you have to give up on fructose. Just make sure to go for natural sources like agave syrup, apple juice, apples, dry figs, honey, licorice, pears and prunes. There are certain veggies that contain fructose, including asparagus, chicory roots, leeks and onions. Limit your consumption of sodas and candies, and you’re good to go!