Is Fructose The Healthy Sugar?
Fructose is the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit. Because of this it is often thought to be healthier than other sugars and is used as a sweetener in many foods. It doesn?t raise the blood sugar levels as much as table sugar (sucrose) and so it was recommended to those with diabetes and blood sugar problems. Many people are aware of the problems of having too much sucrose in their diet but think that fructose is better for them because it comes from fruit and we are lead to believe that fruit is good for us. Fruit is good for us in reasonably quantities, but concentrated use of fructose is not.
However, recent research has indicated that it is not as healthy as people thought. It is estimated that 10% – 20% of our diets these days comes from fructose and this is just too much for our bodies to process. Fructose is processed by the liver rather than controlled by insulin which glucose is. It seems that those given fructose are more likely to put on weight around the stomach than those given glucose. It may lead to water retention, gas in the intestines and gout as well as fatigue, dizziness and behavioral changes. There are also possible links to diabetes and heart disease. In addition they had higher levels of cholesterol. There are also suggestions of links between fructose and hyperactivity and tooth decay in children.
Fructose is the sweetest of all the naturally occurring carbohydrates and is 1.73 times as sweet as sucrose. It has no nutrients in itself and can remove the levels of micronutrients in the body. The fruits with the highest levels of fructose are dates, grapes, pears and apples, it is also found in corn syrup, which is a synthetically produced sweetener, because it is very cheap to produce its use is now very wide spread. Sucrose is half glucose and half fructose.
There is no problem in consuming fructose in its natural form in fruit, fruit juice, jam and the like since it is relatively small quantities and there are enzymes in the fruit that help it to be processed naturally.