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Is Fructose More in Line with Fat Burning?

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  • Is Fructose More in Line with Fat Burning?

    I got to thinking recently. I know fructose goes directly to the liver where it is either transferred into glucose or stored as fat (my understanding is that this happens fairly quickly). Meanwhile, if you eat glucose, it goes to the muscles first and can be stored after that. I'm not sure how quickly it becomes fat, but I believe fructose is quicker.

    I have been binging on fruit lately. 11 peaches on Sunday, a pound of plums yesterday...to no ill effects. I can to a possible conclusion that fructose works great for my metabolism because I burn fat, not glucose. I let all that fructose turn into fat, and then I quickly burn it off. I need SOME carbs in my diet one way or another too. If I ate glucose, I'd be reaching for sweet potatoes and other root vegetables.

    Thoughts on fructose vs glucose as source for carbs and effect on our metabolisms?

  • #2
    The problem with fructose is it doesn't turn into JUST fat. There's a video that someone has posted in the past that's like an hour talking about just why sugar/fructose is so bad when compared to glucose. However it also talks about how in nature the only source of fructose comes with its own antidote in the form of fiber. Now that's not to say that binging on fruit is a just fine, but it is a whole lot better than juice or soda.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by EricS View Post
      The problem with fructose is it doesn't turn into JUST fat. There's a video that someone has posted in the past that's like an hour talking about just why sugar/fructose is so bad when compared to glucose. However it also talks about how in nature the only source of fructose comes with its own antidote in the form of fiber. Now that's not to say that binging on fruit is a just fine, but it is a whole lot better than juice or soda.
      Could this be the video? It's Dr. Lustig...great info. ‪Sugar: The Bitter Truth‬‏ - YouTube

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      • #4
        Originally posted by wiltondeportes View Post
        I
        I have been binging on fruit lately. 11 peaches on Sunday, a pound of plums yesterday...to no ill effects. I can to a possible conclusion that fructose works great for my metabolism because I burn fat, not glucose.
        There's actually more glucose than fructose in the plums, though. Best I can find:

        A serving of five dried plums provides 26 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of sugars, mainly glucose (10 grams) and fructose (5 grams. There is almost no sucrose.
        Nutrition Composition | California Dried Plums

        As for the effects of fructose, I don't suppose a moderate amount of fruit, fibre and all, is likely to do anyone much harm so long as their diet is otherwise good. It's table sugar (sucrose) and HFCS, particularly in drinks, that are the problem

        I don't know but I suspect the answer to why you could go a bit crazy on the fruit and not notice any ill effects might simply be that you can do that once in a while. It's if you did it every day that you'd run into problems.

        I was interested to find out that Chris Kresser, and one or two other people, recommend buying a cheap glucometer and checking your blood glucose after meals now and then simply to get an idea of how long it takes to get back down to normal. It would be interesting to know what the figures for your blood sugar were at various periods after a normal meal of yours and at the same intervals after you ate the pound of plums.

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        • #5
          I have no idea on the science of it, but I like to keep in mind that fruits as we know them today aren't very natural. Sweet bananas are less than 200 years old; I'm pretty sure apples & grapes, etc., are all hybridized to be much bigger and sweeter than in nature, etc. So having one here and there is fine for me, but I don't want to go crazy with them, since that's really a relatively new (historically speaking) possibility and our bodies haven't adapted to it yet.
          5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
          Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
          Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
          Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
          ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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          • #6
            Ok...interesting thoughts. They seem mostly middle of the road compared to my proposal. Obviously I don't eat this much fruit everyday...it was my friend's peach tree being at full ripeness and being at a farmers market after hearing how good plums are (and never really eating them before). I'll watch that video Umya posted when I get a chance.

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            • #7
              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/ma...pagewanted=all

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post
                I have no idea on the science of it, but I like to keep in mind that fruits as we know them today aren't very natural. Sweet bananas are less than 200 years old; I'm pretty sure apples & grapes, etc., are all hybridized to be much bigger and sweeter than in nature, etc.
                An excellent post by Denise Minger addresses this issue. For those who don't want to read it all, the major points IMO are: 1] berries aren't lower in sugar (especially fructose) compared to many other easily obtainable fruits; 2] cultivated fruits generally don't have more carbs than wild ones (research limits the generalizability of this point); and 3] the modern-day idea of what fruits are like is very limited in scope, and therefore biased. Some African fruits are enormous, very sweet, or both.
                “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford

                My primal journal

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                • #9
                  There's more to fructose metabolization than just straight to the liver, then to fat, then burn for energy. Fructose may be "mostly harmless" in small amounts but I don't think it should be thought of as an energy source. Here's one study that explains why: Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome

                  Fat is our "cleanest" energy source. Some glucose intake daily is beneficial but IMO the majority should probably come from starchy root veggies as they are superior to fruit in that they contain mostly glucose and little to no fructose.

                  Also, there are more concerns to eating that much fruit other than just energy metabolism. Eating that much fruit could put you at risk for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your gut, which are also able to metabolize fructose & glucose. I know this because it happened to me. I thought being "paleo" meant all the fresh fruit I could eat. Everyone loves fruit and it's perfectly healthy, right? So I ate a lot everyday, maybe 10+ servings a day. Now I'm struggling to get rid of a candida infection in my gut by having to be extremely strict about what I eat. No sugar of any form except 1-2 servings of fruit a day max for me now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by inquisitiveone View Post
                    An excellent post by Denise Minger addresses this issue. For those who don't want to read it all, the major points IMO are: 1] berries aren't lower in sugar (especially fructose) compared to many other easily obtainable fruits; 2] cultivated fruits generally don't have more carbs than wild ones (research limits the generalizability of this point); and 3] the modern-day idea of what fruits are like is very limited in scope, and therefore biased. Some African fruits are enormous, very sweet, or both.
                    Originally posted by Hunt3R View Post
                    There's more to fructose metabolization than just straight to the liver, then to fat, then burn for energy. Fructose may be "mostly harmless" in small amounts but I don't think it should be thought of as an energy source. Here's one study that explains why: Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome

                    Fat is our "cleanest" energy source. Some glucose intake daily is beneficial but IMO the majority should probably come from starchy root veggies as they are superior to fruit in that they contain mostly glucose and little to no fructose.

                    Also, there are more concerns to eating that much fruit other than just energy metabolism. Eating that much fruit could put you at risk for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your gut, which are also able to metabolize fructose & glucose. I know this because it happened to me. I thought being "paleo" meant all the fresh fruit I could eat. Everyone loves fruit and it's perfectly healthy, right? So I ate a lot everyday, maybe 10+ servings a day. Now I'm struggling to get rid of a candida infection in my gut by having to be extremely strict about what I eat. No sugar of any form except 1-2 servings of fruit a day max for me now.
                    Thank you two. These are exactly the two arguments inside of my head. I think fruit is fine from a Paleo perspective because there's a decent chance there was sweet fruit back then. On the other hand, it was only during small seasonal periods and they served a negative purpose on the body to make them conserve energy during the winter months. Plus, fruit is a great water storage if you are dehydrated.

                    In modern terms, I have to agree with you, Hunt3r. That study was not attacking fruits of course (which include fiber with their fructose to slow absorption), but I have to agree with the later parts of your post.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hunt3R View Post
                      There's more to fructose metabolization than just straight to the liver, then to fat, then burn for energy. Fructose may be "mostly harmless" in small amounts but I don't think it should be thought of as an energy source. Here's one study that explains why: Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome

                      Fat is our "cleanest" energy source. Some glucose intake daily is beneficial but IMO the majority should probably come from starchy root veggies as they are superior to fruit in that they contain mostly glucose and little to no fructose.

                      Also, there are more concerns to eating that much fruit other than just energy metabolism. Eating that much fruit could put you at risk for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your gut, which are also able to metabolize fructose & glucose. I know this because it happened to me. I thought being "paleo" meant all the fresh fruit I could eat. Everyone loves fruit and it's perfectly healthy, right? So I ate a lot everyday, maybe 10+ servings a day. Now I'm struggling to get rid of a candida infection in my gut by having to be extremely strict about what I eat. No sugar of any form except 1-2 servings of fruit a day max for me now.
                      +1
                      Lifting Journal

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                      • #12
                        inquisitivenone, thanks for the very informative link! It's hard to decide where to go when we talk ancestral foods. 500, 2000, 10,000 years back, my ancestors were in Northern Europe, with its cooler climate and all the factors that go along with it. They were eating small, bitter fruits, drinking milk, eating lots of fatty meat. They had been in this climate so long that their hair, skin, and eyes were very light in order to maximize vitamin D production.

                        70,000 years ago, though, they were in Africa, and dark skinned, and eating what Denise describes as mostly smaller, less sweet fruits, but occasionally very large, sweet ones (with lots of peel, seeds, fibrous strands, etc., in the way and far less water content). If my exterior has adapted extremely to my more (relatively) recent ancestors' climate, how much has my interior? I don't have the answer to to that scientifically, but my n=1 tells me that berries (which, in my skimming, it seems have a similar *percentage* of fructose, but not the same absolute amounts, I would think) are much less addictive, much less sweet, and far less likely to give me blood sugar roller coaster symptoms than bigger, sweeter, juicier, easier to eat en masse modern hybrid fruits.

                        The comments from Suzanne, a South African very familiar with these fruits, are very interesting, too!
                        5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                        Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                        Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                        Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                        ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My fruit consumtion is either just before or just after a workout. That way it gets burned sooner in replenishing liver glycogen and muscle glycogen and does not follow the typical fat storage pathway. I don't eat fruit alone outside of about a 45 minutes window around workouts.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Karma View Post
                            My fruit consumtion is either just before or just after a workout. That way it gets burned sooner in replenishing liver glycogen and muscle glycogen and does not follow the typical fat storage pathway. I don't eat fruit alone outside of about a 45 minutes window around workouts.
                            How do you know when your body will use the energy you ingest?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by js290 View Post
                              How do you know when your body will use the energy you ingest?
                              When you exercise your body does not simply burn stored energy. Yes, some is stored glycogen, but as you exercise your glycogen becomes depleted and you must burn carbohydrates & sugars to convert them to glycogen for the muscles use as fuel. If you eat a boat load of sugars and sit on your ass, you will not burn hardly any of them and the body will store them as fat. We don't sit around with stored sugars in our cells. If they can't be used they are stored as primarly fat.

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