Health alert: Why you shouldn’t combine sugar sweetened drinks with a high fat diet
(NaturalHealth365) Fructose, glucose, and sucrose are carbohydrates, often called simple sugars, and we find sugar naturally in a variety of foods. But, when combined with a high fat diet, that’s when the risk to your health goes way up.
To be clear, heavily processed foods – which millions of people eat (every day) – often contain simple sugars that have been added to “improve flavor” and add sweetness. Although the tongue isn’t able to differentiate between these sugars, the body can tell the difference, and these sugars are processed in very different ways.
As you probably know, glucose is the primary energy source of the body, and most carbs you eat get processed into glucose to be used as energy or stored in the liver or muscle cells as glycogen. But, fructose is not a preferred energy source for your brain or muscles, it’s metabolized by the liver, and it’s more fat-producing. In other words, the more fructose you eat, the greater your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Now, new research finds that these differences in how the body processes various sugars may be significant. In fact, a recent paper published in Cell Metabolism described how adding fructose and glucose to high fat diets affects mechanisms within the liver in different ways, bringing to light why it’s so dangerous to combine sugar sweetened drinks with a high fat diet.
New research discovers combining fructose and a high fat diet fuels obesity
Researchers took a closer look at both glucose and fructose in combination with a high fat diet. They found that high levels of fructose seem to disrupt fat metabolism within the liver with adverse health consequences. On the other hand, high levels of glucose actually improved fat metabolism.
According to the senior study author, fructose results in the liver accumulating more fat, nearly acting as if you’re adding more fat to your diet. In contrast, adding more glucose to the diet promotes fat burning, resulting in a healthier metabolism. But, keep in mind, this is not to suggest that you should just load up on a sugar-rich diet.
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Simply put, the research was suggesting that fructose tends to turn on fat storage, while glucose results in improved fat burning.
The problem with sugar-sweetened drinks
Authors of the paper noted that not only is the Western diet high in fat, but many people in the Western world consume a significant amount of sugar sweetened drinks regularly. Just like regular intake of high fat foods can increase the risk of obesity, consuming more sugar sweetened beverages also increases obesity risk and the complications that come with it, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
When you combine a high fat diet and fructose, that’s when things really become problematic. A study done in 2017 found that the addition of fructose to a high fat diet significantly increases the risk of developing an enlarged liver, glucose intolerance, and obesity.
Of course, the researchers expressed their belief that the ability to find a drug that will block these undesirable effects associated with fructose consumption could result in a treatment that prevents diabetes, glucose intolerance, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. But, we would like to suggest the obvious, how about simply changing our eating habits and avoid the problem all together.
Bottom line, we must ask ourselves: what’s the key to preventing obesity and its associated complications? Stay physically active, eat organic, fresh (unprocessed) food – as much as possible, minimize our exposure to environmental toxins – which damage metabolic function, manage stress well and get a good night’s sleep – on a regular basis.
After all, our health is worth the effort.
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