Fructose May Make You Fatter
Study: Simple Sugar Turns to Fat With “Surprising Speed”
WebMD News Archive
Fruit OK, Added Sugars Aren't
Although it would be almost impossible to avoid fructose without eliminating
all sweet and sweetened foods from your diet, it is clear that not all
foods containing fructose are equal, says nutritionist Lona Sandon, RD, who is
with UTSW but did not work on the study.
Fruit has fructose, but it also has fiber and nutrients, which makes it an
important part of the diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not, she says.
"The health benefits of eating fruit far outweigh the slight increase in
fat production that might occur as the result of eating something with fructose
in it," Sandon says.
She points out that the breakfast drinks served to the study participants
had as much as 65 grams of fructose.
"By comparison, a cup of strawberries has 4 grams of fructose and an
apple has about 11," she says.
And what about high-fructose corn syrup?
Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, sees no need to
"Like sugar, honey and some fruit juices, high fructose corn syrup
contains almost equal portions of fructose and glucose. Glucose has been shown
to have a tempering effect on specific metabolic effects of fructose,"
Erickson says in a statement.
"New research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is no
different from other sweeteners. It has the same number of calories as sugar
and is handled similarly by the body."
But Sandon says there is some evidence that high fructose corn syrup breaks
down differently in the body than other sugars.
She adds that people who want to lose weight should limit all added sugars,
not just one kind.
"That's really a no-brainer," she says. "I've never had a client
who has become overweight eating too much
fruit or too many vegetables, but I have had plenty who ate too many foods with
added sugar and fat."
Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, agrees that demonizing one type of sugar misses
"Everything in moderation," she says. "We are blaming individual
sugars or individual fats when we should be focusing on calories. If someone
drinks a 64-ounce soda, who cares if it is high-fructose corn syrup or cane
sugar? It's still about 800 calories."
The study was partially funded by unrestricted research funds from the Sugar
Association and the Cargill Higher Education Fund (Cargill is a manufacturer of
high-fructose corn syrup).