Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 20, 2016
Ken Fujioka, MD Director, Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center, Scripps Clinic
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: There’s actually some foods that probably make it more difficult to lose weight. And it’s because of what we call signaling in the brain, in the body, intestines. That get turned on by different types of foods. So as you get more processed foods, particularly high fructose corn syrup types of foods, you actually may produce signaling that tells the body to actually save fat. Now, this is all theory, but the data looks pretty strong, in the sense that humans weren’t meant to eat this very, concentrated, calorie bites. So, back in the day, 20,000 years ago say, when we ran around, we hunted and foraged for food, the food we ate didn’t have a lot of calories per bite. If we ate plant based foods, it was very low. You’re talking, 3 or 400 calories per bite, maybe. Maybe a little bit more. But even when you move to meat, it goes up a little bit more. But when you get to the concentrated syrups, high fructose syrup. Now you’re getting a lot of calories per bite that changes how many calories you get. So one is, you get a lot more calories per bite. But two, there is some signaling that goes on. So, in other words, when you have this high fructose corn syrup type of meal, you actually raise a hormone called insulin. Insulin we think of as a hormone for putting sugar into cells, but it also stores fat. So you start to signal fat storage. So again, all of this happens and if you want to go again to the kind of the fascinating part about all of this is that, if you look at humans, we were very much affected by seasons. And so if you look at say, fruit. In the season, in the beginning, it’s not as sweet, it’s actually a little less concentrated. It tastes good and you want to eat it, but as you get later into the season, the fall getting into the winter, it turns out that fructose gets very concentrated. And now all of a sudden, you start signaling saying, I better hang on to fat, because I’m getting ready for a long, tough winter. So again, this high fructose, if there’s one thingl we can change personally, as a physician, I recommend that my patients really cut that down. The worst, obviously being sodas or any of these juices that are fruitened with high fructose syrup, clearly not a good thing.