Many people have a sweet tooth, but a good rule of thumb with food is that the sweeter it tastes, the less likely it is to be good for you. In the 1970’s the food industry, especially the U.S. industry, began using high fructose corn syrup as a substitute for raw sugar as a sweetener. Fructose makes sweets tastes sweeter and is easier and cheaper to produce with such an overabundance of corn. However, researcher have now determined that fructose is worse for you than sugar and lead to higher obesity rates, according to a 2010 study conducted at Princeton University. Let’s take a close look at what fructose is and how it works and then discuss how it harms you and how you can avoid it.
Fructose is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that the body can use as energy and that sweetens the taste of food products. Fructose is found in small doses in fruits and vegetables and consuming the little amount that is found in nature is not a bad thing at all; it is when fructose is consumed in high intensity volumes that it overwhelms the body’s ability to process it. This is because fructose is processed in the liver and the liver cannot handle high volumes of it. When fructose cannot be properly processed, it becomes fats and triglycerides that contribute to the blockages and weight gain that lead to obesity and cardiovascular problems.
So how do you avoid the dangers of high doses of fructose? You have to be a smart sweet eater. Avoid candies, juices, and sodas that are sweetened with fructose and pick products sweetened with cane sugar or even better stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener made from herbs and does not have the same harmful effects as fructose or even cane sugar. Indulging yourself in sugary treats is something that you shouldn’t be doing on a regular basis, and if you are one of those people with a major sweet tooth than you should try your best to satisfy your cravings with fruits. However, nobody is perfect and nobody should be forced to live as a dessert ascetic, so counterbalance your need for the occasional sweet with healthy food and exercise.
The dangers of fructose provide a small scale example of what we are finding out today on the meta level after a few hundred years of industrialization: trying to mimic and falsify nature only leads to major problems and long-term damage, whether to our bodies or the environment. What nature gave is enough to sustain us in a healthy way, and tampering with nature often leads to catastrophic results. Nature gave us fructose naturally, but messing with it and increasing its volume to make money and satisfy our cravings does not lead to health. Make the healthy choices you need to keep your body functioning optimally and cut out artificial fructose sweeteners today.