2 January 2017

Fructose in Fruits is a Villain: Myth and fact

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In the medieval times, fructose was much restricted as a source of sugar to man and it was from unprocessed foods like fruits, honey, dates, and molasses. Fructose content of vegetables, meat and milk were also too meager and thus our forefathers had very slim chances of ingesting fructose, until sugar was manufactured in Industries.

Fructose in Fruits is a Villain: Myth and fact
Source: Euridice Martinez Steele et al. BMJ Open 2016.

Fresh fruit contains plenty of fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and water that are not present in the natural sugar we consume today. It has been cited by scientists that consuming plenty of fruits is associated with lower body weight and a lower risk of obesity-associated diseases. Phytochemicals present in fruits provide immunity against various disease and helps in treating age related, degenerative diseases. Each phytochemical has a distinct disease shielding property and aids in keeping disease away.

Fibre in fruit helps in the slow release of fructose in the blood there by preventing rapid spike of blood sugar leading to hyperglycemia. Fruits give a feeling of fullness and limits overeating by provide satiety value. Insoluble fibres are beneficial by producing friendly microbiomes and helps in managing a healthy gut. The water in the fruit is pure and enriched with vitamins and minerals which are indispensable for growth, repair and maintenance of tissues. Unlike processed foods, fruits pass down the digestive system slow and steady and aids in sustained normoglycemia.

Natural sugar contains only empty calories. Eating too much sugar leads to obesity related diseases. Fructose in processed foods like sugary, carbonated drinks, biscuits, pastries and sweets comes from HFCS or sugar. Soft drink consumption has increased dramatically in the past few years.

In 2014, about 39% adults, aged 18 years and older were overweight. Worldwide prevalence of obesity doubled between 1980 and 2014, with 11% of men and 15% of women being classified as obese. About 42 million children aged under 5 years were overweight or obese in 2015, an increase of about 11 million during the past 15 years (WHO report, 2015).

Frequent consumption of high fructose containing foods leads to hyperglycemia. Repeated hyperglycemia leads to insulin resistance and triggers diabetes. Fructose is metabolized only in liver. One of the end products of fructose metabolism is triglyceride, a type of lipid. Excessive accumulation of triglyceride leads to hyperlipedemia, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancers, and hypertension.

Thus it is necessary to create awareness to the society to limit the intake of processed foods containing sugar. This awareness can be carried out through educational campaign at institutional level, community level, food service outlets, and through individual brain storming. By reading labels in the food packets about sugar content, one can reduce the consumption of high calorie dense foods. Nutrition education can be focused to choose a healthy food that is balanced in all the essential nutrients, to eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low fat milk, to eat less refined foods, salty foods and oily foods.

2 comments:

  1. Everyone tries their best to make their New year celebration a better one from the last one. And they make a lot of resolutions too. I loved the collections of resolutions you have made

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  2. Sugar is the thing that must be eaten very careful. It needs to be contorlled all the time.

    ReplyDelete