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What You Need to Know About Fructose

Updated: Mar 28

Fructose is a type of simple sugar that is found along with glucose in table sugar. It is sweeter and more soluble than glucose.

Despite the similarities between glucose and fructose, the two are metabolised very differently in the body.

Fructose is metabolised only by the liver.

Eating high amounts of fructose can overload your liver impairing its function and causing it to turn excess amounts into fat. Studies show that going overboard on this simple sugar can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as other health problems like insulin resistance and high cholesterol levels.

Regular consumption can also increase the production of uric acid, which may increase blood pressure and trigger symptoms of gout.

Fructose also suppresses the hormone leptin, which is the hormone that let's you know when you are full. This means you have less control over your appetite and you overeat.

Fructose is found in processed foods, breakfast cereals, granola bars, biscuits, sugar sweetened drinks, juices and many more. On the label, it will say high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or glucose-fructose or fructose-glucose or natural sweetener or glucose syrup or corn syrup or fruit fructose or crystalline fructose. It is important to read your food labels.

If you see agave syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, coconut sugar or sorghum within the first three ingredients on your food label, it’s best to not touch it.

So, what about the fructose in fruit?

Fructose within fruit is bound up with vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants so it does not affect your liver the same way. Fruits can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.


The Bottom Line

A simple way to reduce your intake of fructose is by cutting back on your intake of ultra-processed foods and filling your diet with natural healthy whole food ingredients.

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