A recent study on fructose’s effects on rats showed that when fed water laced with fructose for a period of six weeks, the rats’ performance in maze navigation was slower.
This experiment was conducted by researchers at UCLA, and the results concluded that the brain is responding to insulin from the fructose consumed by the rats. The senior author of the study is UCLA professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, and the findings were published in the Journal of Physiology.
Of the study, Gomez-Pinilla said, “Our study shows that a high fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. We’re concerned about high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.” Gomez-Pinilla specified that this study is not just about high-fructose corn syrup, though. He mentioned that all sugar, including table sugar, juices and any form of added sugar should be avoided. Studies like this have repeatedly shown that the sugar contributes to instances of obesity, diabetes and blood-fat disturbances in rodents.
As the heat continues to rise on the issue of high-fructose corn syrup, many corporations are moving toward using and advertising table sugar as an alternative, or other forms of sucrose. Although there is a study from Princeton that shows that rats gained more weight on high-fructose corn syrup than on table sugar, foods with too many added sugars should be avoided to be on the safe side.
In humans, fructose has been shown to increase the triglycerides in blood and decrease the liver’s response to insulin when large amounts are consumed. No matter how you look at it, we are consuming a lot more sugar today than in years past and it is affecting our health.
Sugar can also go by the name of fructose, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and agave syrup. Some of the no-so obvious foods that contain added sugar include salad dressing, ketchup, corn flakes, fruit-flavored yogurt and graham crackers.
To avoid foods high in sugar or even hidden sugars, eat a diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods and read nutrition labels. Cooking your own meals is also a huge step toward avoiding added sugar. If you start with whole ingredients like fruit, vegetables, lean meats, dairy and whole grains, you can control everything that goes into your meal and keep the sugar at bay.
Highly-processed items contain more chemical additives or preservatives to keep their shelf life long, and in most cases use added sugar to mask the taste of chemical ingredients. Taking the initiative to eat natural foods is a very simple way to cut sugar from your diet and avoid some of the problems associated with high sugar consumption.
May 18th, 2012