But sugar is a rather broad term and all sugar is not created equal.
The sweetness package
Biochemically speaking, sweetness is packaged in structures composed of a six carbon ring. There are quite a few variations of the theme – the two big ones are glucose and fructose.
For the most part, outside of the body the two are indistinguishable.
We mix and match the two in different combinations to turn things sweet.
- Cane sugar (also known as sucrose or table sugar) consists of 50 % glucose and 50 % fructose
- Corn sugar (also known as high corn fructose sugar) consists of 45 % glucose and 55 % fructose
- Honey consists of 36 % fructose
But the story inside the body is a little different.
A spoonful of glucose
Insulin is the BIG BOSS of carbohydrate metabolism.
The arrival of glucose in the liver, sets in motion the release of insulin. The insulin shuttles the sugars into cells, so it can be used as energy. If there is already an ample supply of energy inside the cells, then insulin switches to plan B and facilitates the storage of glucose for later. The glucose can be stored as glycogen in the muscle cells or fat, in adipocytes (fat cells).
The glucose / insulin combo, also “informs” the brain that there is plenty of energy available. When the brain processes this message, it turns off the hunger signals and turns on the “I am full” signal. Eating is halted until the glucose supply dips again.
A spoonful of fructose
When fructose arrives in the liver, it does not trigger the release of insulin from the pancreas. This sets up a chain reaction of TROUBLE, which ends in fat accumulation, specifically in the liver.
The reason why no insulin is released in response to fructose, is because insulin doesn’t have a clue what to do with fructose. In fact, fructose appears to “upset” insulin to such an extent, that insulin no longer works properly. When insulin is not working properly, a person is described as being insulin resistant. Insulin resistance poses a major risk to health.
In the mean time, the liver is not getting any help processing the fructose, so being the chief cook and bottle washer of the body, it steps up and deals with the large amount of fructose floating around the only way it knows how. It turns most of the fructose directly into fat.
Note : A little is turned into uric acid – so too much fructose can sometimes lead to hyperuricemia i.e. gout.
This fat tends to be stored on site i.e. in the liver. Fat is not supposed to be stored in the liver, so this can cause health problems too, most notably NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
Neurons ignore fructose too
The neurons that control hunger and fullness, also don’t seem to understand “fructoseese”.
So they just ignore it. The hunger neurons don’t switch off, so even though there is a lot of energy around, eating continues. 16 Dec
Doing this on a regular basis, ultimately packs on the pounds because the weight formula is tipped.
Calories in > calories out.
Lots of factors are contributing to extra pounds. Too much sugar is definitely one of those. Cutting down is a good idea.
But you need to keep your eye out, because FRUCTOSE often ends up being pitched as a health food.
We are encouraged
- drink fruit juice, instead of cola and creame soda
- products / recipes formulated for diabetics, often use fructose as their main sweetening agent
- sweetners such as agave syrup, are promoted natural alternatives to artificial sweetners
Fructose is fructose
The package doesn’t matter. Spoonfuls of table sugar in tea, a glass of soda containing high fructose corn syrup or a glass of fruit juice – fructose is fructose.
We are not wired to handle large amounts.
Cut down on your sugars . ALL sugars.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those extra fat layers ?
Subcribe to E-spoons, to get e-mail updates once a month to learn how to keep your body chemistry balanced so you can burn off the extra fat.
NOTE : Privacy & spam policy. Spoonful of Science will not rent, trade or sell the e-mail list to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link.
|Is a shortage of bubble wrap causing the trouble in obesity ?||Chocolate milk is the best sports drink on the market||Suppress your appetite by drinking what the lions drink|
The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.
|Balance Eicosanoids||Rein in insulin||Dial down stress||Sleep !||Increase Vit D||Culivate microflora||Think champion|
Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below