The Fed Up movie, which is now on Netflix, has sparked interest in the link between sugar consumption and obesity.
Remember Dr. Robert Lustig? If you haven’t seen it as yet, watch his infamous YouTube video “The Bitter Truth”.
In addition to an influx of obesity, there are reasons to believe that the consumption of added sugar increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, independent of weight gain.
Fructose, the kind of sugar found in fruit and in high-fructose corn syrup, can inhibit the production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain, “I’m full”. Fructose is metabolised primarily by the liver, which means that any excess will be converted and stored as fat. Therefore, it is plausible that individuals who consume products laced with these sugar additives end up eating more and gaining weight.
Does this mean that you should throw out everything in your kitchen with the words “fructose”?
Probably not, as long as you regard these types of processed foods as junk food. (This includes salad dressings, sauces, soda pop, juice, crackers…regardless if they are ‘fat free’ or not.)
“Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan
What about the fructose in fruit?
Since the sugar in fruit is accompanied by fibre, you won’t experience a spike in blood sugar followed by a rush of insulin like you would with any fruit juices or candies. Eat as much REAL fruit as you like. (Fruit cups, fruit gummies and fruit juice do NOT constitute as real fruit.)
Remember that (1) nutrition research is very difficult to conduct and (2) correlation does not equal causation. As a result, the link between sugar consumption and obesity can be seen as controversial.