Fructose vs glucose

There is always somebody talking about how bad high fructose corn syrup is these days. As a general rule, I haven’t taken a very strong opinion about high fructose corn syrup. It’s a form of sugar, which we should only eat in moderation. And many of the foods with large amounts of high fructose corn syrup are not really considered a health food, such as regular soda.

However, I read about an interesting study comparing the effects of eating fructose compared with glucose on the brain. In this study, they looked at blood flow to the brain after participants consumed fructose or glucose and were then shown pictures of high calorie foods. Participants were also offered either a high-calorie food right now or money later after the brain images were taken. When eating fructose compared to glucose, the participants had greater responses in their brains to the pictures of foods and were more likely to choose food over money, which could indicate hunger.

Take away? Fructose isn’t as satisfying as glucose. However, we don’t eat straight glucose or fructose in our daily life. Regular sugar is 50/50 fructose and glucose. High fructose corn syrup can contain up to 55% fructose, so not a huge difference.

Bottom line, taking in extra sugars in any form is just extra calories. If there is extra fructose, you may be more hungry afterwards than if it contained regular sugar. Keeping all sweets in check is the way to go.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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