I will tell you first and foremost, the topic of fructose is fairly new to me. I don’t claim to know everything about it, but I do try to live by a healthy standard of life and educating myself is the best way I can improve my diet. When I educate myself, I like to share what I have learned with others and here I am, sharing this information with you.
I have always thought of fructose as sugar…but sugar in fruit. It never occured to me what fructose was until I was introduced to Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar. She did a lecture for my nutrition school, IIN. There I learned that fructose was not all about fruit. There is actually more to it. As I listened to what she shared with us, fructose is one of the main culprits to making us fat. I wanted to look at the research a little better, and I found an article by The American Society for Nutrition. In this article, they get down to the nitty gritty of what fructose is and why it is truly bad for us. Here is a brief review of the article (original source here).
- Fructose is sweeter than glucose and sucrose.
- Fructose is in fruit as a marker to show it has nutritious value, but when it is added to foods such as sodas and sweets, it addresses our sweet cravings and adds calories without any nutrition.
- When fructose is ingested, it is not absorbed well by the digestive tract. The liver metabolizes it. (So when we overeat fructose, we overtax our liver, when we overtax our liver, it then uses the fructose to create fat….lipogensis. These fat droplets build in the liver cells and cause something called, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Something like that of a alcoholic….who knew?! In 1980, this was almost unheard of with only 30% of Americans having this, but now, we have somewhere between 70%-90% who are obese or have diabetes that suffer from this! –Harvard Study)
- Fructose can not enter most body cells. They go straight to the liver, but glucose can be metabolized by the body cells and causes the insulin to release from the pancreas. Fructose does not.
So here are a few things that have some of the highest fructose in them:
- Sodas (with or without caffeine)
- Sports Drinks
- Dried Fruit
- Canned Fruit
- Tomato juice (With or without salt)
- Sauces (BBQ, chutney, plum sauce, sweet and sour, tomato paste)
- Cereals- Wheat based products
- Packaged process food
- Berries in large quantities
There are many that have not been listed here, but these are the few that I am aquainted with.
All throughout my life I had been addicted to sugar. I didn’t think I was. In fact, I “lowered” my sugar intake and justified that I wasn’t addicted because I could eat less. That truly was not the case. In a short time, I was back eating my desired oreos, or other sweets and then justifying that it was vegan. Just because it is vegan sugar didn’t mean that it would help me lose weight. Counting my calories and watching what I ate was a normal routine, but yet, I still couldn’t lose the last 15 pounds. I worked out, I ran, I counted calories and macro-nutrients, and even tried living a balanced life. Nada. No weight loss. I was stuck.
When I started going to nutrition school, they had us try lots of approaches so we were accustomed to different ways to lose weight. The one that resonated with me the most was the one I didn’t want to really try. Going without sugar and on an elimination diet. This meant all the foods that are inflammatory foods, I would have to cut out of my diet. The trial was for 2 weeks. I could do that, so onward I went. I found that the first 3 days were the worst days of my life. I experienced all forms of withdrawls and it wasn’t fun for me or my family, but with the support from my husband, my coach, and mentor, I made it through. After 2 weeks, I felt so good that I wanted to continue and so as I am writing this, it has been 16 weeks. I have never felt better. On the plus side, I lost 15 pounds and feel so great. I don’t have sugar cravings anymore, nor do I struggle with an achy and bloated body. My skin is clear of blemishes, my hair and nails are thick, and I have energy to keep up with my kids.
Overall going “fructose free” and ridding my body of inflammatory foods has made a huge difference in my life. It is something I encourage everyone to try. Don’t think you can? Just try it for a couple weeks and see how you feel. Need more support? I am very happy to be on your team. Schedule a FREE coaching session to see how we can help you reach your goals. CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE.