It’s important to strive for what is realistic rather than idealistic. In this spirit, The Simple Life Healthy Lifestyle Plan follows five truth-based, real-world principles designed to keep you on track. These form the practical foundation of The Simple Life concept as a whole, not just regarding health:
Fructose is a simple sugary, usually found in fruit. It is different from glucose in that is does not cause blood sugar to rise a great deal and is primarily processed in your liver. The part of not greatly affecting your blood sugar sounds great, but we will explore how this sugar is often over consumed resulting in very negative health consequences.
When you consume fructose in normal levels, which Americans usually do not (25 grams or less per day), fructose does not have negative consequences. Americans consume fructose 300% to 600% per day over the recommended level. Consuming too much fructose overwhelms the livers ability to process it. When the liver is overwhelmed by fructose instead of converting it into usable blood sugar your liver turns the excess into fat and releases in directly into the blood stream as triglycerides.
This is dangerous because:
- High triglycerides in the blood increase the risk of heart disease.
- Fructose doesn’t trigger your appetite signaling system, so you will remain hungry even after eating large amounts of fructose.
- There is evidence high levels of fructose consumption actually promotes and feeds cancer cells in the body.
- Evidence indicates high levels of fructose consumption increases your chances of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Consumption of large amounts of fructose can alter cellular metabolism (ability to turn nutrients into energy).
- Increases levels of cell damaging free radicals, and eventually DNA damage.
- Causes inflammation in the body.
- Increases weight gain by having high levels of triglycerides, which are in turn stored as body fat.
Recently we have been warned of the dangers of consuming and should avoid products containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is made up of 55% fructose and 45% glucose. HFCS’ are found in a majority of processed foods today especially soda and fruit juices. A normal non-diet soda will have 10 times the amount of fructose as a tomato. Fructose in one form or another is found in the top 10 sources of calories in America.
As we can now see over consumption of can cause serious health problems, but what makes HFCS’ even more lethal than normal sugar? Research seems to indicate HFCS has a double whammy effect because it contains glucose which causes a rise in blood sugar and the dreaded insulin spike and fructose which release triglycerides which are stored as fat. Basically we have the perfect storm when it comes to weight gain in that we are consuming sugars that dramatically reduce fat metabolism and encourage fat storage.
It is recommended that people consume only 25 grams or less of fructose a day. I recommend those trying to lose weight to not consume over 15 grams of fructose a day.
Obviously one of the easiest ways to follow these guidelines is to avoid highly processed foods especially flavored drinks, sodas, and fruit juices. In addition to the obvious HFCS and fructose containing food items, below is a list of fruits that contain high and lower levels of fructose. Now this is not to say you must completely avoid the higher lever fructose containing fruits or that they are unhealthy this is just a guide to further assist you in your weight loss goals.
Fruits that contain higher fructose content
– Banana (1) 7.1 grams
– Date (1) 7.7 grams
– Apple (1) 9.5 grams
– Persimmon (1) 10.6 grams
– Pear (1) 11.8 grams
– Raisins ¼ cup 12.3 grams
– Grapes 1 cup 12.4 grams
– Mango ½ 16.2 grams
– Apricots dried 1 cup 16.4 grams
– Figs dried 1 cup 23.1 grams
Fruits that have lower fructose content
– Lime (1) 0 grams
– Lemon (1) .6 grams
– Cranberries 1 cup .7 grams
– Prune (1) 1.2 grams
– Apricot not dried 1.3 grams
– Guava (1) 1.1 grams
– Raspberries 1 cup 3.0 grams
– Blackberries 1 cup 3.0 grams
– Strawberries 1 cup 3.8 grams
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