Is Fructose Worse Than Table Sugar?


Is Fructose Worse For You Than Table Sugar?

A recent study has found that fructose - the sugar component in fruits and high-fructose corn syrup - can potentially be more dangerous for your health than regular table sugar. 

Unlike glucose, which is processed in the liver, fructose is actually processed in the small intestine. But too much fruit or high-fructose corn syrup will easily overwhelm the small intestine, causing excess fructose to spill over into the liver (by way of the colon) - where it gets converted into fat. The liver is not meant to process fructose, so this overload can easily contribute to the onset of metabolic disease, liver disease, or diabetes type 2. "The microbiome is designed to never see sugar," says Joshua D Rabinowitz from the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University whose laboratory led the study. "As soon as you drink the soda or juice, the microbiome is seeing an extremely powerful nutrient that it was never designed to see."

The study also confirmed that the small intestine handles fructose best after a meal and not in the early morning as some people had suspected.

What can you do? 

  • Select the right fruits. Berries and lemons have the lowest glycemic index out of any fruits. On the opposite end of the spectrum are apples, oranges, and bananas - which can contain up to 60 grams of sugar per single piece of fruit.

  • Consume fruit as a dessert at the end of the day. This will not only help to keep fructose levels under control, but will also help to avoid high triglycerides. Try to keep the portion to less than 25 grams of fructose per day.

  • Substitute with monk fruit and other substitutes. Other sugar substitutes such as stevia, erythritol, xylitol, or even raw honey can be sufficient without spiking your insulin or blood sugar.

  • Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks (including pressed juices with a large amounts of fruit in them).