Not the Same

By Dean L. Jones

When referencing how some things are not created equal it is unquestionably appropriate when describing processed sugar.  In particular, fructose, a sugar found in most processed foods typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can ignite unfavorable changes in the human brain that may lead to overeating.

For example, whenever we drink a beverage containing fructose, our brain does not register the feeling of being satisfied, as it does with consuming a simple form of sugar called glucose.  Hence, manufactured sugars are not equal and are metabolized differently in the body.  Like the commonly used crystal white sugar is manufactured 50% fructose and 50% glucose, whereas HFCS is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.

Television doctor shows are frequently sharing information about how the body works, where I learned that a portion of the brain has something called the hypothalamus that has a variety of functions, one of which is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland.  It is our hypothalamus that regulates hunger-related signals to the brain.

So, when consuming fructose this part of the brain does not recognize satisfaction that results in wanting to eat or drink more.  On the other hand, when we consume glucose the hypothalamus sends out a reward indicator thereby providing a safe signal of satisfaction.

This is why it is wise to pay attention to nutritional labels and ingredients on products to more easily decide on whether or not consuming something is worth the trouble.  Too much fructose will actually tell the body to consume more calories, as fructose fails miserably to trigger that feeling of fullness, plus may intensify those hunger pangs.

It is practically impossible to find something favorable about fructose when it is not accompanied with fiber as in when you eat fresh fruit.  Manufactured fructose is so bad that our all important liver organ is the only body part that can somewhat metabolize it.  The liver really cannot and has no choice but to turn it into fat that collects around the abdominal part of the body, called visceral fat.  Afterward, the body then runs a much greater risk of contracting heart disease, thereby elevating a long list of toxins, including uric acid that can drive up blood pressure and possibly cause gout.

Every cell of our body and brain utilizes glucose; consequently it gets rapidly metabolized right after consuming it.  Conversely, fructose consumption turns into free fatty acids which will get stored as fat and place good health in jeopardy.  The problems with consuming extra fructose cannot be over emphasized as it comes with considerable side effects like an increased risk of developing food allergies to the risk of increased infertility, and conceivably cancer.  Thus, it is very important to stick with eating and drinking SugarAlert!
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages