Fructose is no more harmful than glucose when it comes to increasing the risk of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, researchers have revealed.
A simple sugar found in fruit, vegetables, and honey, fructose is combined with glucose to produce sucrose (table sugar) to is also used to produce the artificial sweetener high-fructose corn syrup. Of the different types of sugar, it is the one most commonly associated with obesity.
However experts at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, say replacing fructose with glucose in commercially prepared foods offers no overall health benefit as their research shows that when portion sizes and calories are the samen, fructose does not cause any more harm than glucose.
“Despite concerns about fructose’s link to obesity, there is no justification to replace fructose with glucose because there is no evidence of net harm,” said Dr. John Sievenpiper, a researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael’s.
Dr. Sievenpiper and his team compared the effects of fructose and glucose against several health risk factors using data from previous research trials.
They found that while consuming fructose was linked with an increase in total cholesterol and postprandial triglycerides (a type of blood fat), it did not appear to have a greater effect than glucose on insulin production, other fat levels in the blood or markers of fatty liver disease.
In fact, when compared with glucose, the researchers said fructose “may actually be better at promoting healthy body weight, blood pressure and blood glucose control”.
Dr. Sievenpiper concluded by saying that the cause of obesity is more to do with overconsumption of sugar, rather than the type of sugar consumed.
“Overall, it’s not about swapping fructose with glucose. Overeating, portion size and calories are what we should be refocusing on – they’re our biggest problems.”
The study findings were published in the February edition of Current Opinion in Lipidology.

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