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Sugar addiction or perhaps it's Fructose to blame - discuss!

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  • Sugar addiction or perhaps it's Fructose to blame - discuss!

    Following the various bits about sugar addiction in the threads in the last few days I chanced upon this link from Art De Vany's Forum.

    http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2...tes-revis.html

    Very interesting take. What strikes me is the effect and potential toxicity of fructose. It can cause the kind of liver disease seen in alcohol addiction.

    So whilst out on my bike this morning I had a light bulb moment (I often find this happens; something about methodically turning the pedals over allows the brain to make connections!).

    We know sugar is addictive for some. We also know that is true of alcohol.

    Sugar (sucrose) is one part glucose, one part fructose ... the fructose has to be processed in the liver, alcohol is processed in the liver, both can create liver disease. What occurred to me is this - may be the addiction is to fructose as opposed to the glucose element and the liver has some part in triggering this?

    If this were to be the case offering advice to those needing a sugar hit to have a little fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth may be like offering the drunk a nice shot of Whiskey.

    Discuss!
    Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

  • #2
    The whole anti-fructose thing doesn't sit well with me. Seems hard to fathom why we would evolve to the point where eating fruit (which plants intentionally make tasty and sweet to persuade animals to eat them and spread the seeds) would be toxic to us.

    I just wonder if fructose is going to be the new demon child, like dietary cholesterol was (still is?!)
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    • #3
      If you have not seen this you will enjoy it, I think.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM
      Love panu too!

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      • #4
        I agree with Dr. Harris' stance that our bodies were never designed to deal with the volume of fructose presented by most modern fruit.

        Anecdotally, I have noticed that a fair number of my early 30s raw vegan/vegetarian friends who eat lots of fruit seem to have much older looking skin than their primal counterparts--a sign of glycation, perhaps?

        Fortunately, I have difficulty digesting more than the amount of fructose in a handful of berries (I bloat horribly), so I avoid fruit and keep my sugar to a minimum.
        Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
          I agree with Dr. Harris' stance that our bodies were never designed to deal with the volume of fructose presented by most modern fruit.
          Yes, that makes sense. Particularly all year round. I have to think Grok had opportunities to gorge on fructose, but only sporadically.

          To me, though, there's a big difference between toxicity and over-doing it on something non-toxic. Something that is toxic is (ignoring homeopathy!) bad for you in any quantity and I would want to avoid all exposure to it. Something that you can eat too much of is something that I am willing to eat in moderation.
          Liz.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lizch View Post
            Yes, that makes sense. Particularly all year round. I have to think Grok had opportunities to gorge on fructose, but only sporadically.

            To me, though, there's a big difference between toxicity and over-doing it on something non-toxic. Something that is toxic is (ignoring homeopathy!) bad for you in any quantity and I would want to avoid all exposure to it. Something that you can eat too much of is something that I am willing to eat in moderation.
            I agree! Unfortunately, fructose moderation for you may be different from what your body can actually handle safely, KWIM? What if an apple is too much for your body?
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            • #7
              Sugar Addiction? It Might Be Genetic

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              • #8
                Wouldn't I get some signs, though, if 1 apple was too much?

                (By the way, this is all just hypothetical....I actually have never been much of a fruit eater, and the only fruits I eat now are berries, and only maybe once a week.)
                Liz.

                Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                • #9
                  Not necessarily. Think of how many symptoms only show up after a long period of time--like Type II diabetes, Alzheimers, heart disease...

                  From a blog comment response by Dr. Harris: "Eating more than about 15 g of fructose (30 g of sucrose) a day is a very bad idea."

                  Sorry--my example wasn't the best! An apple has about 6 grams of fructose, a cup of blueberries about 7, and a banana about 7. So you are OK by his criteria!
                  Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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                  • #10
                    I can't eat fruit, it messes with my blood sugar and triggers sugar cravings. First it's an apple, then it's a ton pf pineapple, next thing it's a chocolate bar and then Haagen Dazs lol. It also gives me the same symptoms I get from eat refined sucrose. Fluid retention, inflammatory issues etc.
                    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                    Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                    Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                    "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                    Harold Whitman

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                    • #11
                      The genetic element is simply that a particular set of genes are predisposed to behave in certain ways under certain conditions. We can't control the genes we inherit but we can control the way they express. So the person with a genetic blueprint that is predisposed to handle sugar badly to the extent of addiction will pass that predisposition along in their genes and hey presto under the same conditions the offspring will manifest sugar addiction. And of course families usually life in the same conditions - again another tail wagging the dog theory 'oh all my family get x, y, z' well yes, but then all your family behave in an a, b, c manner.

                      What I'd really like people to understand is that they aren't beholden to their genes, they can alter environment in which their genes express and allow them to express healthfully.

                      On the fructose point - the fact that it is processed in the body differently from glucose, and the reasons for that, make the case seem like a good one. Moderation in all things springs to mind but if you have a gene blueprint that is predisposed to less happy handling of fructose keeping the intake low can only be a good thing?

                      I was just interested to think that may be the sugar addiction has more to do with the fructose (which of course is half the sugar molecule) than sugar as a whole.
                      Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                      • #12
                        Here's one for you.
                        Starchy veg - carrot, swede etc - tend to be harder on my digestion (bloating, gas) and I get hungry again soon after.
                        Fruits send my heart rate soaring, then I have a noticeable crash.

                        But the starch in the veg is broken down into sugars before digestion, so to me this implies some difference between the types of sugars I end up digesting. Now, I've no idea about the glucose/fructose ratios, but it might be relevant?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NorthernMonkeyGirl View Post
                          Here's one for you.
                          Starchy veg - carrot, swede etc - tend to be harder on my digestion (bloating, gas) and I get hungry again soon after.
                          Fruits send my heart rate soaring, then I have a noticeable crash.

                          But the starch in the veg is broken down into sugars before digestion, so to me this implies some difference between the types of sugars I end up digesting. Now, I've no idea about the glucose/fructose ratios, but it might be relevant?
                          That's the thrust of the blogpost I linked at the beginning - I eat carrots and swedes without a problem (I don't know what sugars they have in particular) but fruit is definitely not something I can have much of without feeling really hungry soon after. If however, I eat an apple with some cheese or nuts I don't appear to have the same issues.
                          Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kelda View Post
                            That's the thrust of the blogpost I linked at the beginning - I eat carrots and swedes without a problem (I don't know what sugars they have in particular) but fruit is definitely not something I can have much of without feeling really hungry soon after. If however, I eat an apple with some cheese or nuts I don't appear to have the same issues.
                            That just sounds like sugar spiking and then crashing your blood sugar to me. The cheese or nuts slow it down so you don't get as much of a blood sugar spike and corresponding insulin release.
                            Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                            Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                            Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                            "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                            Harold Whitman

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