Unfortunately, fructose has been over-vilified by some scientists and media as a potential cause of obesity. Fructose, a sugar found naturally in fruit and added sweeteners such high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar, doesn’t contribute to obesity unless you eat too many calories in relation to the number of calories you burn. If this is the case, overconsumption of all calories contributes to obesity. If you are overweight or obese, a diet high in fructose can exacerbate or accelerate weight related health problems. Almost all fructose entering the body is metabolized in the liver and unusually large dosages can easily be converted to harmful triglycerides, which can have adverse health effects in overweight people and those who are gaining weight. According to John S. White PhD, a leading research consultant who specializes in nutritive sweeteners, fructose itself contributing to obesity is just another urban legend. He says “These allegations - such as increased fat production or increased appetite are based on poorly conceived experimentation of little relevance to the human diet, which tests supraphysiologically (unusually high levels) of fructose as the sole carbohydrate, often in animals that are poor models for human metabolism.” In other words, no one consumes the amount of fructose used in these widely-quoted studies. Furthermore, the subjects who participated in these studies were overweight and/or gaining weight, meaning negative health problems were imminent with or without fructose.
If you are a healthy, normal weight person or, overweight but now successfully losing weight and you don’t have an abnormal blood lipid profile (e.g. high triglycerides, cholesterol, etc.) don’t worry about your fructose intake, especially from fruit unless a qualified physician advises you differently. If you are gaining weight, overweight and can’t or won’t lose weight, limit your fructose intake by cutting down on all sugar containing products including sodas, candies, cakes, etc. You can take action, get active and lose weight using the Sharecare Fitness App under your Coach tab.