The Good….. Glucose
The Bad….. Fructose
The ugly….. Sucrose
Glucose is essential for life, it is the fuel for every living cell. Sucrose is a toxin, which in excess will lead to all metabolic diseases. One gives us life, the other takes it away. Let’s dive a little deeper to understand why one makes us live and the other makes us…
Glucose is the energy of life. Every living cell on earth burns glucose for fuel. Even if you don’t consume any form of glucose, the body will turn catabolic and start dissolving muscle and proteins to manufacture it. The Inuit’s who only consumed whale blubber months on end still produced Glucose.
Food, stress and lack of sleep will trigger the body to make more glucose even in a fasted state. Glycogen is the storage form of Glucose. It is either stored in the liver (100-120grams) or the skeletal muscles (300grams). Most foods contain an amount of Glucose but Complex carbohydrates like grains, vegetables and even dairy are an excellent source.
Fructose (fruit sugar) is used for energy storage, not for fuel. It will be stored as fat to be utilised for energy when needed. Animals will consume large amounts of ripe fruit (fructose) before going into hibernation knowing that the body will store it as fat. Fructose also causes the hunger hormone, Ghrelin to increase, this enables the animal not to get full and eat more when consuming large amounts of fruit.
Fructose can only be metabolised in the liver, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD).
When there is fructose in nature it is always accompanied with fibre. So, always choose fresh fruit over fruit juice. Natural unheated honey is also an excellent source of fructose.
Sucrose, 1 part glucose + 1 part Fructose = white poison! A common form of sucrose is HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS). This is the hidden killer that we consume unknowingly. It is commonly used to sweeten and preserve processed food. Soft drinks, sweets or anything packaged is the main culprits. A good guide to follow is that any food with a label on it is a warning, broccoli or fresh fish don’t have labels. Check your food labels
Processed foods = high sugar low fibre
Natural foods = high fibre low sugar
A high sugar diet is really a high fat diet as the liver can not metabolise the sugar fast enough. It gets overloaded and stores the sugar as fat. This is one of the highest causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, dementia, type 2 diabetes and premature ageing.
Sugar induced type 2 diabetes is the single most common cause of blindness in Australia. Sucrose also destroys gut bacteria and cancers feed of it.
You ferment sugar to make alcohol. They both have the same toxic affect on the liver. There are no nutritional benefits from sucrose.
Be careful how sucrose sneaks into your diet. Check everything you eat especially what’s on the labels and try to consume whole fruits that have plenty of fibre; kiwi, berries etc
The body is very efficient at storing and making glucose.