This post is Part 2 in our series ‘Fructose – What’s the problem with it?’. Read Part 1 here.
It is really scary how much fructose we consume.
Today, however, the typical teenager gets 73 grams of the stuff per day…and that’s only from sweetened drinks!!
All of this excess is playing games with our brains and causing our metabolisms to go haywire. When we eat fructose, not only does it suppress the message to our brain that we are full, it sends the message that we are still hungry! And it is addictive!
In fact, the part of your brain that responds to what you eat is the same part that responds to nicotine, morphine, amphetamine, alcohol, exercise and sex! That’s why people taking drugs tend to overeat.
Fructose actually undermines the normal satiety signals, increasing calorie consumption in a couple of ways:
1. Fructose does not stimulate a leptin rise (the hormone that sends the message to our brain that we are full), so your satiety signals are diminished. Fructose raises triglycerides and reduces the amount of leptin crossing our blood-brain barrier.
2. Unlike glucose, fructose doesn’t suppresses ghrelin (the hormone that makes us want more food).
Fructose increases insulin levels, interfering with the communication between leptin and the hypothalamus, so our pleasure signals aren’t extinguished. Our brain thinks we are starving and tells use to eat more.
Interestingly, fructose alters our hedonic response to food, driving excessive caloric intake and setting up a positive feedback loop for overconsumption.
Our next post will cover the 10 reasons why you should limit your fructose consumption. But for the meantime, it’s important not to stress too much about your diet. If you are eliminating other toxic things in both your diet and environment (such as grains and vegetables oils – you can read our posts about why) your body may become more tolerant to a little extra sugar (key word being little! This is not an excuse to binge on high amounts of fruit and sweetened goods).