glucose

  1. High fructose leads to overeating

    Foods that make you hungrier

    Ever notice how your sweet tooth is never quite satisfied? Give in to the desire for a sweet treat, and the craving doesn't go away.

    Instead, you're hungry for more sugar and high fructose.

    That's how a full tub of Ben & Jerry's becomes an empty one in a matter of minutes -- and if that's happened to you (and of course it has), you can take at least some comfort in the fact that it's not entirely your fault.

    It's the sugar itself. Specifically, the high fructose in sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup and even plain old sugar.

    In a new study, 20 healthy adults were given a sweet drink of either pure glucose or pure fructose, and then hooked up to an MRI so researchers could watch the changes in the brain.

    When the volunteers drank glucose, there was plenty to see. All the right signals were sent out -- the signals that show the brain acknowledging the drink, decreasing appetite as a result. That, in turn, leads to a rise in levels of the hormone that tell you to stop eating.

    So far, so good.

    But when the volunteers drank fructose, the MRIs didn't show any of this. In fact, the MRIs barely showed anything at all. It was as if the brain had no idea the body was being fed.

    As a result, the levels of satiety hormones barely budged. In the real world, that's what leads you to eat your way to the bottom of that ice cream tub -- and probably wondering why you're still hungry, too.

    The study of course confirms what we've already known about high fructose, and how the high levels in high-fructose corn syrup contribute to overeating, obesity, and diabetes.

    But it's not just the fructose in HFCS you need to watch out for.

    All sugar-sweetened products -- including the ones made with "real" sugar instead of HFCS -- contain high  fructose levels. Even popular "natural" sweeteners such as agave contain excessive levels of fructose, which is why I don't recommend them.

    Instead, limit consumption of all sweetened foods -- and when you do need to add a little sweetener, stick to natural calorie-free options such as stevia and lo han.

    And whatever you do, don't swap sugar-sweetened drinks for their "diet" versions -- because the common sweeteners used in those can be even worse for you than sugar.

    Keep reading to learn more.

  2. Government guidelines lead to heart disease

    The U.S. government's dietary guidelines released last year allow people to get as much as 25 percent of their calories from added sugars. If it's not immediately obvious why that's a bad idea, a new study spells it out.

    All that sugar is the fastest way to put yourself at risk for heart disease -- and you can see the damage in just two weeks.

    Forty-eight volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40 were asked to spend five weeks limiting added sugars to a single eight-ounce cup of fruit juice a day, bringing them all down to an equal level, sugar-wise.

    Then, they were divided into three groups and given 25 percent of their daily calories from one of three types of sugar: glucose, fructose, or high-fructose corn syrup.

    For the HFCS group, that's the equivalent of 3.7 cans of soda a day for women and 4.4 cans for men -- a lot of soda (and a lot of sugar), but still less than what you'll find in a "Double Gulp" at your local 7-11.

    After two weeks on this government-approved sugar high, the volunteers who had been getting their calories from fructose and high-fructose corn syrup had significant bumps in their levels of deadly triglycerides as well as a rise in LDL cholesterol.

    They even had more apolipoprotein-B, a protein linked to plaque in the arteries, according to the study that will appear this fall in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

    If that's what two weeks of all that sugar will do to you, imagine what'll happen to your body in two months, two years or two decades -- if you even make it that far.

    The study also offers more proof that you don't have to eat fat to send your cholesterol levels through the roof. Sugar will do that for you all by itself. Natural fats, on the other hand, can actually help keep cholesterol levels under control as well as lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

    Yet the same government that wants you to eat more sugar is constantly urging you to avoid fat -- putting you on a collision course with diabetes, heart disease, and a premature demise.

    The lesson here: No matter what Uncle Sam says, no amount of added sugars are an acceptable part of the diet.

    I know, you can't always avoid them… and everyone is going to indulge here and there.

    But as a daily ration? Forget it.

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