Fructose: The Link with Obesity
by: Judy Feder
Many of us have long been accustomed to drinking a big glass of OJ with breakfast or a sweetened beverage with our lunch and dinner. Turns out this may be much worse for you than just a few extra calories on your daily menu. Especially if you’re already obese. A recent study from the Monell Center has shown that obese people who drink fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals have an increased rise in triglycerides after the meal.
Triglycerides are fats manufactured by the body from dietary fat and are the most common form of fat transported in the blood. High levels of triglycerides are associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis and other predictors of cardiovascular disease. In the study, 17 obese men and women were given identical meals with the only difference being the sweetener used in the beverages that accompanied the meals; half were sweetened with glucose half with fructose. Blood triglyceride levels were found to be higher when subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages with their meals compared to the glucose-sweetened beverages.
The total amount of triglycerides over 24 hours was almost 200 % higher when the subjects drank fructose-sweetened beverages. The biggest finding through, was that on the insulin-resistant subjects, who already had increased triglyceride levels. That’s the condition where diabetes is just around the corner, so for these folks, it’s recommended to steer clear of fructose-sweetened beverages, especially cola and high fructose corn syrup sweetened beverages, which another recent study has shown may be quite high in levels of mercury. Yikes.
Remember, people who are already obese were the subjects here so their entire biochemistry and metabolism are already changed due to their excessweight. But regardless, the best thing to drink with meals? Yup, you probably guessed it—water. It also tastes good with lemon and fresh mint, if you need to spice it up a bit.
Judy feder is a health and nutrition specialist. To read more of her articles, visit her online at http://www.judyfeder.com/
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