Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
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Simple facts about Fructose

When I talk about weight loss with most the first thing I mention is reduce your intake of fructose and eliminate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) products. With the commercials on television about how great HFCS is; many ask me why I say this, so let me explain.

Fructose is a type of sugar found in foods such as fruits. Most fruits contain fructose, this is what gives it is sweetness. Some fruits that are high in natural occuring fructose are peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to name a few. The best way I describe a "frucky fruit" is this - any fruit you leave out on the counter and it ripens to the point that you have a gooey puddle under the fermenting fruit is "frucky". Fructose can also be added to many, many other foods and food products like juices, soda, sauces, breads, pasta and condiments. This form is fructose is usually processed and is called High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS is manufactured and is about one half of fructose and one half glucose. Glucose is another sugar and another topic - let's focus on fructose here.

Fructose can increase appetite, did you ever notice you are never really "full" from a glass of soda or sweet juice, you tend to want to snack on something or follow it up with a glass of water? Research has shown that when fructose is consumed before or with a fat, that fat is more likely to be stored in the body rather then burned. Consuming HFCS is showing to cause resistance to leptin, a hormones that tells your brain how much fat is stored and also signals the feeling of fullness. With all that we eat and drink without label reading, we are causing our own problems.

By limiting your intake of sweet juices and sodas and by label reading for HFCS you could actually help yourself loose excess pounds naturally without any major changes to your system. An easy way to help reduce fructose is to add ice to a sweetened beverage or soda - simply water it down! HFCS is found in tons of products and you will be very surprised to see where it will come up next.

Breakfast a problem, have to have maple syrup on those pancakes? The organic brands can be very pricey - try agave nectar or local honey instead - delicious!!! You may never go back or even better, grind Fenugreek seeds to a powder and add it to your pancake mix - a natural maple flavor instantly and you are helping to aid in digestion, reduce gas and bloating as well as aiding in healing any inflammation to your lungs. If you are a nursing Mom - perfect - Fenugreek helps promote lactation and is safe to ingest. I will caution, don't add Fenugreek if you are pregnant as it can stimulate the uterus use the agave!!

Another concern I am asked is - "I don't eat a lot fructose and I am a label reader, no HFCS in our house but we do use white table sugar - no big deal, right?" Yes, very big deal - table sugar is equivalent to HFCS it's a 50/50 mix, just crystallized and not gooey!! It can have the same effect on the body as HFCS. My general rule of thumb is avoid any and all "white" products - flour, sugar, cakes, pasta (semolina), bread  . . . packaged and processed goods - instead of table sugar try stevia, demerara or take a look in the natural section of your grocer or market for pure cane sugars.

I hope this helped clarify a little bit about fructose basics. There is lots of info out there, don't be fooled, be a label reader and be sure to buy local - produce is always better fresh picked with care rather then in a can!!

Peaceful Blessings and enjoy trying some new flavors!

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Comments:

I feel you did a great job defining HFCS! Thank you for giving some readers info on it. I hope many people become label reader, it is the way to a healthy future for everyone!

Posted by Erica on June 05, 2009 at 12:25 PM EDT #

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