Is it possible that a natural sugar which is found in fruit could be one of the main causes of childhood obesity and of diabetes? It would probably be foolish to suggest that any one thing is the cause, but a 10 week study including 16 subjects on a strictly controlled diet, has produced evidence that fructose is at least one of the causes. The study found that fructose, a natural sugar found in small amounts in fruit, is a significant player in the problem. Fructose can be produced very cheaply from corn. As a result it is used to sweeten thousands of products such as soft drinks, cakes and pastries, cereal, yogurt and even salad dressings, to mention just a few.
Not only that but a recent study has determined that fructose, consumed in large quantities, produces a layer of fat cells around the heart, liver and certain other organs. Fructose is not digested in the way that other sugars are. It arrives undigested and intact in the liver where it results in a number of abnormal reactions including breakdown of the messages which result in the body either burning or storing fat. A molecular biologist who led this study has stated that this is the first evidence that fructose increases diabetes and heart disease.
Fructose represents 5 to 10 percent of the weight of fruit. It is produced from corn by a process of synthesis which produces a corn syrup with 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. This syrup is six times sweeter than cane sugar and costs less. This high fructose corn syrup is used in the production of many food and drink products. Glucose, unlike fructose, is digested in the normal way and the study found that it did not cause these problems, in subjects who consumed glucose only, with no fructose.
Sugar is a product which the human body does not process well. We are not designed to consume the large quantities of sugar that have become a part of our modern diet. Whether that sugar be sucrose (cane sugar), fructose or glucose it is definitely advisable to keep its consumption to a minimum. It remains to be proven wherever consumption of fructose in its natural form in fruit is equally dangerous. My gut instinct tells me that fruit consumption is not only safe but is also healthy, since mankind has consumed fruits and vegetables for millions of years.