Taking a brief detour from our scheduled programming on genetics for preppers, wanted to do a quick write up on an article that crossed my desk. According to recent research involving brain scans, gluten may not be the only thing that can cause you to overeat.
Fructose entered the diet in the 1970s through the promotion of high fructose corn syrup. The percentage of high fructose corn syrup used in 1978 was 16%, and by 1999 it had risen to 42%. Look at the label of anything from your local supermarket and you’ll probably find HFCS in the first 5 ingredients.
Why should you care? If maintaining a healthy metabolism and body composition are important to you, cutting out refined fructose can save you a lot of trouble.
The brain doesn’t lie
The study was conducted by Dr. Robert Sherwin of Yale University. Note: unlike many popular nutritionists who believe a calorie is a calorie, researchers at top institutions are on to the fact that hormones may be more important to health.
It used magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain’s reaction to two different sugars, glucose and fructose. Specifically, activity in the hypothalamus, insula and striatum, better known as the limbic system which regulates reward pathways and goal seeking behavior. By measuring bloodflow to this area, the brain’s response to each sugar could be measured. Less bloodflow, less hunger.
Results that leave you hungry for more
Glucose, the sort of sugar found in natural sweeteners such as honey, created reduced bloodflow in the limbic area. This corresponded with an increased feeling of fullness and reduced desire to seek out more food. Fructose on the other hand, did not have any such effect.
In effect, fructose does not
make you less hungry. These are ‘empty calories’ to the mind. While you continue to seek out more food, fructose is wreaking havoc on your body.
Fructose metabolism 101
Unlike glucose, fructose is metabolized by your liver. After a complicated process in which the sugar is broken down, the nutrients are released as very small fat particles into the blood stream in a process known as lipogenesis. These are the perfect mortar for creating massive, heart attack causing plaque deposits on your arterial walls.
In addition, the whole process of metabolizing large amounts of refined fructose is stressful on the liver. When eating fructose in it’s natural form, fruit, fiber in the fruit slows the digestion.
Getting refined fructose hits the liver with all of the fructose at once. For example, drinking a can of cola (42g of fructose) places a load on your liver of eating over 7 bananas (5.72g of fructose) all at the same time.
The end result? Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common form of liver disease found in the world. Associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes for years, the connection to fructose is gaining momentum finally within the scientific community.
Fructose for preppers
Take the time to read the back of the label when it comes to choosing your survival foods. From MREs with sweetened desserts to canned fruit in high fructose corn syrup, this stuff is everywhere. You need to conserve the food you have in a survival situation and fructose will not only keep you hungry, it will hurt your body while doing it.