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High Fructose Content of Paleo-Friendly Veggies (Carrots, Onions, Tomatoes)

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  • High Fructose Content of Paleo-Friendly Veggies (Carrots, Onions, Tomatoes)

    I'm seeing that many Paleos are watching out for high-carb and high-starch veggies. But what about fructose, which is, in Dr. Lustig's words, a "hepatotoxin" and can mess up one's metabolism by increasing triglycerides, promoting insulin resistance, inducing metabolic syndrome, and creating advaned glycation end (AGEs) products, which increase the aging process. Fructose may not necessarily register in your BG meter but it is directed to liver and can increase your HbA1C, LDL, liver enzymes.

    In view of this, shouldn't someone following Paleo practice limiting fructose-rich vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and Jerusalem artichokes? That goes without saying for the HFCS, of course, and sugar-laden products, which is 1/2 fructose, after all. But I don't think people realize how much natural fructose is in some of the Paleo-friendly veggies?

    So what is a sound Paleo practice with regard to naturally-occurring fructose? Eat with impunity? Moderation? Strict avoidance?

  • #2
    If carrots are a hepatotoxin, there is something seriously wrong going on. Generally the faster the fructose hits the liver and the more fructose, as well as the more glycogen is already stored, the worse the effect. Carrots will not be turned to triglycerides.

    Lustig is adamant that the main problem is not fiber-bound sources of fructose which do not hit the liver very fast.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    • #3
      Well, Lustig actually mentions carrots as an example of how the high fiber content of fruits and veggies prevents you from overeating. The fiber in carrots makes you full, so you are not gonna eat a truckload of carrots. In other words, fiber-laden veggies and fruits have a built in appetite suppressant.

      But does Lustig actually realize how much fructose is in carrots? I may venture to guess, he doesn't. Some may find this shocking, but you would be surprised how little some of the experts actually know about the nutritional content of common vegetables and fruits. Yes, he's focusing on HFCS. Yes, he's against sugar-laden desserts and center-aisle products. But surprise, carrots and some of those nightshades are "fructose sticks."

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      • #4
        Remember how T. Colin Campbell arrived at the conclusion that all animal protein is bad after feeding mice isolated casein? Isolated fructose =/= whole food fructose.

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        • #5
          Oh good gravy.

          Not everything is an all or nothing game. It is just as damaging to say if a lot of X is bad than I have to avoid ALL X as to say if a little is good then I should megadose on it. If you avoid all fruits and vegetables that have fructose you are also missing out on a host of other nutrients.

          Free fructose in carrots is roughly 0.6g/100g Which means to get a whole gram of fructose you need to eat almost 3 medium carrots.

          Eat food. Real food. Most real food has such a wide variety of compounds that the interactions between them can not be studied. One compound might be proinflammatory while another is antiinflammatory, one might be oxidative, while another is anti oxidative.
          MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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          • #6
            CARROT TRAIN TO CRAZYTOWN
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            HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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            • #7
              I say, if you must obsess about something, obsess about being gluten-free or grain-free or, better yet, making the world a better place but not about vegetables. Loved the Carrot Train to CrazyTown. Prior to Primal, I used to be one of those people who rode the carb crazy train daily. Now that I'm largely off of the grains and starchy stuff, my blood sugar is blissfully stable. Occasionally, when I indulge in a sugary treat, I don't even notice it, blood sugar-wise. So I will enjoy my carrots in moderation, with a huge pat of butter, and also the occasional banana or sweet potato. I think I actually feel better with the starchy, non-grain, carbs in moderation, and I've lost two pants sizes since Thanksgiving without suffering a bit. Go primal!
              True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
              The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

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              • #8
                Show me one single piece of evidence that eating carrots has caused one person to be less healthy. Your logic will lead you eventually to eating nothing whatsoever, which is a well-known killer. Paradoxical, ain't it?
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                • #9
                  His video was about eating fructose on its own and without fiber. Not the whole food.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by O_O View Post
                    His video was about eating fructose on its own and without fiber. Not the whole food.
                    I would venture there is not one substance that if that was your sole sustenance wouldnt end up killing you. Rabbit starvation anyone? Shall we spurn protein?
                    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

                    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Maybe it is time to bump "In Fear of Food" again.

                      I've never seen so much obesession over food.

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                      • #12
                        Obsession is good when it is well-founded. It is just that the healthy-living community as a whole is where people tend to blow things out of proportion.

                        Should I stop breathing so much to reduce my toxin load?!
                        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          carrots and fructose

                          Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                          Show me one single piece of evidence that eating carrots has caused one person to be less healthy. Your logic will lead you eventually to eating nothing whatsoever, which is a well-known killer. Paradoxical, ain't it?
                          I know I am late, but I have been puzzling over something and this thread came up in a search.

                          I have had serious problems with diabetes and allergies, and I thought I had everything solved by
                          switching to paleo. Then I saw Dr. Lustig's video and began connecting my allergies with fructose
                          content. I have been allowing myself unlimited raw carrots as a snack on the theory that I do
                          not digest them anyway. Lately I have been plotting my fasting blood glucose, and I notice that
                          it goes up after I buy carrots. By my experience with apples and pears it seems that I can
                          tolerate about 0.5 grams of fructose per day without aggravating my diabetes. At 0.6 gm
                          per 100 gm that works out to less than three carrots. Yesterday I went through a pound of
                          carrots, and this morning my glucose measurement rose by about 20 mg/dl. So carrots
                          do seem to be a problem for me.

                          I puzzled about the fructose content of onions, but then I have long known I have a problem
                          with raw onions. Cooked ones seem to be OK. I also notice that the sweetness of fructose
                          laden foods is reduced by cooking. For example baked apples need a lot of extra sugar.
                          So I wonder whether fructose is somehow altered in response to heat.

                          Anyway carrots definitely do give me the same problems that other fructose laden
                          foods do. BTW I have unlimited tolerance for glucose. I use as much glucose
                          as I want. It is just as unnatural and even cheaper than HFCS.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by choppedliver View Post
                            I'm seeing that many Paleos are watching out for high-carb and high-starch veggies. But what about fructose, which is, in Dr. Lustig's words, a "hepatotoxin" and can mess up one's metabolism by increasing triglycerides, promoting insulin resistance, inducing metabolic syndrome, and creating advaned glycation end (AGEs) products, which increase the aging process. Fructose may not necessarily register in your BG meter but it is directed to liver and can increase your HbA1C, LDL, liver enzymes.

                            In view of this, shouldn't someone following Paleo practice limiting fructose-rich vegetables like carrots, onions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and Jerusalem artichokes? That goes without saying for the HFCS, of course, and sugar-laden products, which is 1/2 fructose, after all. But I don't think people realize how much natural fructose is in some of the Paleo-friendly veggies?

                            So what is a sound Paleo practice with regard to naturally-occurring fructose? Eat with impunity? Moderation? Strict avoidance?
                            Perfect Health Diet discusses fructose and says to limit it to 100 calories per day. High fructose intake can be harmful. There are some benefits to fructose, too... athletic performance and catalysis of glycemic control. Because fruits and veggies that have fructose are also made up of other sugars you don't need to worry about eating to much fructose. PHD still recommends eating 1lb of sugary plants per day... that is 3-4 fruits or sugary in-ground plants per day. I doubt most Primals are eating near that amount of sugary fruits and vegetables per day.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Don't let kids hear that carrots are "fructose sticks" though - they will just get a pseudo scientific way to avoid eating vegetables at the dinner table, kids are so clever these days...
                              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                              - Schopenhauer

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