Some health professionals in the 1990's and beyond recommended fructose as a “safe” sweetener for people with type 2 diabetes. However, emerging data and studies have shown that overconsumption of fructose and high-fructose corn syrup may actually be worse for you.
1) Table sugar is known as sucrose and is fifty-fifty glucose and fructose, whereas HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
2) Fructose is broken down into glucose, lactose and glycogen in the liver.
3) Fructose is naturally found in fruits which also contains fibre and other nutrients.
4) Fructose is not metabolised by our cells, except in the liver, therefore it is not used as a source of energy.
5) Fructose is as much as 20 times more likely to cause fatty liver disease than glucose alone. Fatty liver is associated with insulin resistance.
6) Fructose does not require high blood glucose or blood insulin to cause fatty liver or insulin resistance.
7) The more fructose ingested the more fat is made in the liver. Therefore, fructose must be eaten in moderation mainly through natural sources such as fruits.
8) High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquid-sugar derived from corn in the American Midwest. It is considered cheaper than using sugar from sugar cane by US food, snack and beverage manufacturers.
9) The introduction of high-fructose corn syrup in many foods and snacks mirrors the rising tide of type 2 diabetes in the 1970’s and 80’s.
10) HFCS is found in almost all foods now; on grocery shelves in Trinidad & Tobago, you can see it in ketchup, canned foods, pepper sauces, biscuits, cookies, salad dressings, drinks and even popular “healthy” liquid meal replacements.
Agave nectar or syrup is much touted as an alternative to table sugar. However, this is not advisable.
Because agave syrup is much higher in fructose than plain sugar, it has greater potential to cause adverse health effects, such as increased belly fat and fatty liver disease.
Although agave syrup is vegan-friendly and natural, it is not a good alternative sweetener for people with diabetes.
Dr. Navi Muradali, DDS, MBBS is a medical doctor with a special focus on the oil and gas sector. He was a former City Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and is the founder of Virtual Wellness.
Learn more: www.virtualwellnesstt.com
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.