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Fructose (fruit) and Processed Sugars

Sugar! Maybe the lone criminal and reason for unhealthy Americans who suffer from obesity and big waist lines. Sugar gets a bad rap for numerous reasons, primarily its overconsumption. It is added to anything and everything to give it flavor.


Can sugar be good for you?


A matter of fact, it can. This all begins however with an understanding of sugar and the importance of that key word - moderation.


When people hear sugar, they think of the “ose” words like glucose, sucrose, lactose, and fructose. When a person consumes sugar, the body converts it to glucose for energy. Glucose has a presence in every carbohydrate out there. So many foods you eat have glucose in it. Lactose is a milk sugar. When you hear people being lactose intolerant it is because their body is unable to breakdown that form of sugar. Fructose is found in fruit and is what gives fruit its sweet taste. Fructose found in fruit also has other nutrients which are good for you as well.


What about processed or refined sugar? This is where things get sketchy. Too much of any of the listed sugars is not good for anyone because of the adverse effects it will have on blood sugar levels which then can damage the pancreas and even lead to diabetes. When the body over consumes anything used for energy (sugar/carbs), the liver gets maxed out and all the excess sugar is converted into fatty acids. It gets worse. The body then sends the fatty acids back into the blood stream to be stored. Storage places of course include hips, butt, thighs, and stomach.  


But processed sugar is made to pretty much do one thing; make things we eat or drink taste better. When processed sugar is mentioned, another “ose” comes up; sucrose. Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose and is in mostly all processed and refined sugars. Since the primary function of refined sugar is for pleasure and not function, many people get in trouble with it. It is over consumed which leads to the adverse effects listed above. 

(FYI Sucrose is a naturally occurring sugar. Sucralose, on the other hand, is an artificial sweetener)


Do not get it twisted, sugar is not evil. When looking at fructose found in fruit, the nutrients are vital to our everyday health and even balancing our sugar levels and helping one’s immune system.  But the issue, as in many cases with food and nutrition, is over consumption. And when a food or nutrient is designed to promote consumption, such as processed sugar, bad things can follow.


Always be smart when it comes to the amount of sugar you consume daily.


Life is sweet, no need to make it any sweeter.


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