Monday, July 11, 2011

The Battle of Fructose vs. Your Dream Bod

If you've been trying to trim down, shape up, or simply ban the dreaded 'muffin top,' and can't figure out why your body is just refusing to cooperate, you might be battling an un suspected apponent- drum role- Fruit. You might also be consuming too much fructose in processed foods.

I have personally eliminated all processed fructose (table sugar) for almost a year now, and now stick to appropriate amounts of fresh organic fruit. Don't be fooled though, switching to fresh fruit doesn't mean you get to eat as much as you want all throughout the day. Fruit is full of vitamins and minerals, but it is still fructose and that sugar will cause you to gain fat if it is not used. People looking to lose weight, including body builders, eliminate all fruit to reach their goals for their physique. Think of fruit as a great alternative to a candy bar.

I believe that fruit plays a great role in supplying wonderful nutrients to our bodies, but it must be in moderation. You do NOT want to juice up a whole glass of fruit and expect to lose weight or even be healthy. However, I do believe that juicing and drinking veggies and greens can restore and heal our bodies from many illnesses, including helping us to shave off pounds of "lubber". When I juice I limit the fruit I use to very little just to sweeten up my veggie/green cocktail of the day. Often times I don't even need fruit if I am juicing veggies like carrots, which contain higher sugar than most other vegetables.

For more information on processed and natural fructose take a peek at Dr. Mercola's article below.

For the full article visit:: The Worst Thing You Can Eat if You Want to Drop Pounds

At the heart of the low-carb theory is this: You don't get fat simply because you overeat—you overeat because your fat tissue is accumulating excess fat.
But why would your fat tissue continuously accumulate fat if you're not simply "eating too much and exercising too little"? Because:
  1. Dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate (g-3-p), which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue, and
  2. At the same time, high carb intake raises your insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released
The resulting equation is simple: fructose and dietary carbohydrates (grains, which break down into sugar) lead to obesity and related health issues...

Conventional wisdom tells you that if you consume more calories than your burn, you will gain weight. But as you can see, the issue is more complex than that. It's really important to understand that the type of calories you consume is far more important than the number of calories.
If you eat a lot of fructose (and there's a good chance you are, considering it's the number one source of calories in the United States), it could be "programming" your body to become fat.
Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. Here are a few important facts about fructose:
  • After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. With glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent. The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
  • Fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn free fatty acids (FFAs) into triglycerides that get stored as fat. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this. When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose, however, results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat
  • The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
  • Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating. For further confirmation on this, check out this 2008 study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The researchers concluded that fructose turned into body fat much quicker than glucose, and that having fructose for breakfast changed how the body handled fats at lunch.
Ironically, the food products that most people rely on to lose weight—low-fat diet foods—often contain the most fructose! So beware, and always read the content labels...

Another recent study illustrating the connection between your weight and the type or quality of the calories you consume (as opposed to just counting calories) was published last month, in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
As reported in Time Magazine:
"It matters, of course, how many total calories you take in each day, but the authors say the age-old advice simply to 'eat less and exercise more' may be naïve. To control weight over the long term... the study suggests that people benefit more by focusing on eating right, rather than less." [Emphasis mine]
In this comprehensive study, the researchers determined how much weight gain is associated with the consumption of certain foods:
  • Potato chips led the pack, causing more weight gain per serving than any other food; followed by potatoes, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Weight gain was inversely associated with: yoghurt, nuts, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
However, I would caution you to fall into the whole grain trap. Whole grains will increase your insulin levels just like any other grain. Additionally, whole wheat contains very high amounts of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA), which even in small quantities can have profoundly adverse health effects...

Limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day. Ideally, you'll also want to limit the amount of fructose from fruit to 15 grams per day, as you're likely consuming 'hidden' fructose if you eat even small amounts of processed foods or sweetened beverages
  • Limit or eliminate all processed foods
  • Eliminate all gluten, and highly allergenic foods from your diet
  • Eat organic foods whenever possible, preferably locally-grown
  • Eat at least one-third of your food uncooked (raw), or as much as you can manage
  • Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners of all kinds
  • Swap all trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine etc) for healthful fats like raw butter or coconut oil
  • To re-balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, take a high-quality omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of processed omega-6 fats from vegetable oils (trans fats)
  • Drink plenty of pure water
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels, either through appropriate sun exposure, a safe tanning bed, or a vitamin D3 supplement

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