Hello! I’m weight loss doctor Terry Simpson. Fructose is one half of the molecule sucrose, which is common table sugar. The other half of the molecule is glucose. Glucose is the good guy. It is what every cell in your body needs for fuel. Your brain can’t survive without it. Your heart can’t beat without it. Your muscles can’t contract without it. It is like high octane gasoline for a human’s system. The other half of the molecule is fructose. The problem with that is your body can’t use it for fuel. Your body has to transform it to another usable fuel. In the process of transforming it, thirty percent of it becomes fat – artery clogging fat associated with very low density lipoprotein.
That brings us to high fructose corn syrup (corn sugar). Many sweeteners used in the past were sucrose, they’d use common table sugar. But now they’re using corn sugar. People said it was bad. Food producers that use fructose in their products responded that corn sugar has equal amounts of fructose and glucose – but a little bit more fructose. Here is the problem. Because that little bit extra fructose makes a big difference when it comes to the human body.
We used to say, “A calorie is a calorie – calories in, calories out.” It doesn’t work that way. What your body has to do to transform (assimilate) fructose means you have metabolites of it that are not good for you. You have an increase in uric acid which can have a very small affect on blood pressure but has a large negative affect on joints and an even larger negative affect on gout. Like I said, thirty percent of that molecule ends up associated as fat with very low density lipoprotein which causes heart disease as well as vascular disease of other types and an increase in strokes.
So to test this, scientists at Princeton gave one group of rats food mixed with high fructose corn syrup. Another group was fed food mixed with sugar and another plain food. All groups were fed an equal amount of calories. The rats who were fed corn sugar ended up fatter with more abdominal fat than the other groups. UCLA did a study that looked at the brains of rats fed a diet of corn sugar. Their brains didn’t repair as well and they didn’t navigate a maze nearly as well as rats fed a regular diet.
There’s no secret that in the United States there has been an increase in the consumption of sugarand high fructose corn syrup. There’s also no secret that the number of obese people have also increased over this time. The combination is pretty clear. If I were to tell people to get rid of only one thing from their diet, it would be high fructose corn syrup. Sugar isn’t any better. Sucrose is not any better (maybe it’s a little bit better). Did you know that the average American consumes over one hundred and fifty pounds of sugar a year? Thirty percent of that is fructose. When you do the math and compute the amount of fat gained by consuming corn sugar, the result is the average person is gaining thirteen pounds every year. After ten years they’ll have gained one hundred and thirty pounds. Is there any wonder that people who consume corn sugar become obese faster than others?
So, you should learn to cook for yourself. Get rid of the processed foods because they contain too many sweeteners. Get rid of anything that contains high fructose corn syrup – anything that has exogenous sucrose in it. Check labels very carefully. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Even though Alton Brown recommends drinking grape juice from Welches – I don’t. The reason I don’t is if you look at the second ingredient in Welches Grape Juice, it is high fructose corn syrup. Even my beloved Fig Newtons contain it. Get rid of it. You’ll be healthier. You’ll feel better. It will be easier for you to do if you start cooking at home. Was Mayor Bloomberg right? (As Mayor of New York, he attempted to fight rising obesity by limiting beverage sizes in restaurants.) Yes. If it were up to me, what would I do? I say that no child should be allowed to drink a drink with high fructose corn syrup in it. We need to stop the epidemic among kids. We regulate tobacco. We regulate alcohol. This is one calorie we should be regulating for our kids. That’s one warning label that should be on everything (that contains it). Because it is in just about everything. For Your Doctors Orders, I’m weight loss Doctor Terry Simpson.