Finally mainstream medicine is coming around to the idea that eating foods high in concentrated fructose can wreak havoc on your body.
A new study I just read in the Journal of the American Medical Association says eating a high-fructose diet makes you crave more food… but not in the way you already know about.
It’s one more piece of evidence that tells us corn producers are plain wrong when they tell you their “corn sugar” is perfectly healthy.
We already knew that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) messes with your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. HFCS makes you pump out too much of these appetite hormones to the point that they don’t work any longer. Your body thinks it needs to keep eating because it thinks you’re out of energy.
But the new JAMA study talks about a completely different way HFCS wreaks havoc on your body’s eating signals.
Eating glucose causes blood flow to the appetite and reward pathways in your brain to decrease. Your brain signals the rest of your body you’re happy and satiated.
But concentrated fructose has the opposite effect. After you eat it, blood flow to the reward center of your brain increases1. And you get hungrier instead, leading to unwanted fat gain without you even realizing it.
New evidence like this is why I insist on writing to you about this lab-created sweetener. And that’s besides all the other effects HFCS can have on you, like:
- HFCS raises uric acid, which can give you gout and kidney stones.
- HFCS suppresses your immune system, almost stopping white blood cells from being able to destroy bacteria and viruses.2 This immune suppression starts about 30 minutes after you eat the sugar and can last for up to five hours.
- Ingesting HFCS can give you higher triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.3
- HFCS lowers levels of SOD, your body’s number one antioxidant powerhouse, by causing deficiencies of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
- HFCS can lead to liver damage not unlike the kind that afflicts alcoholics. Animals given a diet high in HFCS suffer severe cirrhosis of the liver—scarring, dead tissue, and poor liver function.
- HFCS has such a diabetic effect that when mothers ingest too much, it can make babies in the womb pre-diabetic.4
- HFCS reduces your stores of ATP, the molecule your muscles use for energy.5
Chemically produced corn syrup made from genetically modified corn is one of the best arguments I can think of for eating fresh whole foods – or as close as you can get these days.
Anything with cane sugar is going to be better than something with HFCS, but stay away from processed sugar whenever you can.
If you like to add sweetener to your food, try something I learned of while traveling in the mountains of Peru.
It’s a very interesting fruit-like vegetable called yacon. In Peru it’s called the “jewel of the Andes.” Ancient Incas used to eat the roots for endurance and to keep from getting thirsty.
Modern investigations of this traditional use have found that yacon is good for diabetics because it has fructooligosaccharides, a particular natural combination of sugar rings that human beings can’t digest. So it doesn’t affect blood sugar.
Another thing I like about yacon is that it has inulin, a prebiotic-like compound that helps you digest other foods and enhances immunity because it promotes beneficial bacteria in your intestines. 6
You can get yacon syrup at specialty health food stores, and it’s also available online from places like navitasnaturals.com, essentiallivingfoods.com, and sunfood.com.
It has an apple/caramel/honey flavor. I like to use it the same way you would honey or maple syrup. It tastes great in coffee or tea. But you can also try it as a salad dressing, or add it to your morning coffee or fresh juice.
1.Page K, et. al. "Effects of Fructose vs Glucose on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Brain Regions Involved With Appetite and Reward Pathways." JAMA. 2013;309(1):63-70.
2. Ringsdorf, W., Cheraskin, E. and Ramsay R. “Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis and Resistance to Disease.” Dental Survey. 1976;52(12):46_48.
3. Stanhope K, et. al. “Consumption of fructose and high fructose corn syrup increase postprandial triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein-B in young men and women.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;96(10):E1596-605.
4. Vickers M, Clayton Z, Yap C, Sloboda D. “Maternal fructose intake during pregnancy and lactation alters placental growth and leads to sex-specific changes in fetal and neonatal endocrine function.” Endocrinology. 2011 Apr;152(4):1378-87.
5.Lestan B, Walden K, Schmaltz S, Spychala J, Fox IH. “Beta-Hydroxybutyrate decreases adenosine triphosphate degradation products in human subjects.” J Lab Clin Med. 1994 Aug;124(2):199-209.
6.Stoyanova S, Geuns J, Hideg E, Van Den Ende W. “The food additives inulin and stevioside counteract oxidative stress.” Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 May;62(3):207-14.