What is it?
Fructose is a type of carbohydrate of monosaccharide. It is also the sweetest in the family of natural sweeteners. It is in naturally found in fruits, vegetables and honey. Consuming fructose from a good source (fruits, vegetables and etc) can be part of a healthy practice.
Some may say that fructose may lead to diabetes, cancer and obesity. However, studies have proven that it is not a concern if fructose was taken in a moderate amount.
What you need to know?
There are 2 types of fructose: The naturally occurring fructose from fruits, vegetables and honey and the manufacturer made sweetener such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS).
- Naturally occurring
The natural ones such as in fruits. The body not only digesting fructose but also the fibers and other chemical compounds in the fruits. So, logically it won’t spike up your blood sugar immediately. Plus, you will get only a little fructose in 1 piece of apple but you get more fiber from it.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS)
It is a sweetener made by the manufacturer to give sweetness into our food. Of course, since it only contained fructose alone it will be directly digested by the body. However, it is not going to spike up your blood sugar due to our body does not digest it the way it digest glucose. But ingesting excessive amount of fructose will make you unaware that you have eaten a lot, and will increase the fatty liver accumulation.
How does fructose metabolized in the body?
The house for the fructose metabolism is the liver. Liver will transform fructose into glycogen. This glycogen will be transformed into glucose and use as energy when in desperate situation, such as during exercise. On the other hand, when not in use, glycogen will be kept in the liver as fat.
Is fructose bad?
Everything is bad when taken in uncontrollable amount, same goes to fructose. The reason fructose might be seen bad is because the brain won’t give you any signal of “I am full” even after you have taken up a high amount of fructose, unlike the glucose. Therefore, your body won’t receive a signal to stop eating, hence it makes you unaware that you have eaten a lot. You are more likely to gain weight due to the excessive calories taken, not because of fructose itself. In addition, the excessive intake of fructose will lead to fatty liver accumulation and increase the risk of fatty liver disease.
Furthermore, other than HCFS, fructose in the market is combined with glucose to form sucrose (which is table sugar) to be used in our food, cooking and drinks. The increased intake of table sugar will lead to obesity and diabetes due to high intake of glucose in it.
Will fructose increase your blood sugar level?
The body does not recognize fructose as an energy fuel like the glucose. Fructose does not requires insulin to transport it throughout the body. This is why it won’t increase your blood sugar level.
For diabetic patients need not to worry as long as they take fructose moderately and in the form of whole food (fruits, vegetables and might as well whole grains) as this can also help control their blood sugar level while giving you a pleasant sweetness taste.
Summary and recommendations
Fructose is safe to consume when taken in a whole form such as fruits and vegetables, or in other word taken together with its fiber. You can also take fructose in the form of processed ones such as the sweetener (HCFS), but need to bear in mind to keep it in the moderate amount. It is only normal to know that excessive intake of fructose from natural or artificial ones can lead to other problems such as obesity and diabetes. This happens to all other healthy food too. Moderate is the key!