The modern diet
There is a lot of fructose consumed in our modern diet. The worst food for us are sugars, such as sucrose, (which is table sugar), and high fructose corn syrup, which is just another form of sugar. Sucrose, is the white granulated sugar that you have in the centre of your table. Sucrose is what you spoon into your coffee or sprinkle over top of your cereal. It is composed of half fructose and half glucose. High fructose corn syrup on the other hand, is what you get in fruit juice, sodas, and fruity yogurts, which is composed of 55% fructose and 42% glucose, as well as 3% of other carbohydrates.
It’s the fructose that makes the food and drinks sweet, having unhealthy effects due to how it is that our bodies process it. When you eat carbohydrates and starchy foods such as potatoes, they eventually enter the blood stream as glucose and as a result, blood sugar increases, insulin is secreted, and the calories are stored as fat.
However, if we digest sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the glucose ends up raising blood sugar levels, whereas fructose is metabolized almost exclusively in the liver and has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. With no immediate effect, it is not considered a concern, yet the consumption of them has long term effects.
There are 80 calories worth of fructose in a twelve ounce can of Pepsi or Coke. Twelve ounces of apple juice has 85 calories of fructose. Fructose is a carbohydrate that is converted into fat almost immediately. The more both of these sugars are consumed and the longer that they are on the diet and in the system, the more the body adapts to converting them to fat. Fructose has no immediate effect on blood sugar and insulin, however, eventually the ingestion of them causes insulin resistance, which in turn results in calories being stored as fat.
Alcohol on the other hand is metabolized mostly in the liver. Alcohol will increase the production of fat in the liver although, whether the fat is stored or the fat is burned off depends upon whether carbohydrates are eaten or consumed along with the alcohol.
For example, calories in a typical beer are from maltose which is a refined carbohydrate, resulting in, what is commonly called, a beer belly. In the Atkins diet, wine and spirits were removed on the carbohydrate ladder as alcohol was not considered to be a nutritive carbohydrate. Dr. Atkins suggested that studies show, that drinking wine with a meal diminishes the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugars and provides a prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Spirits, he suggested are very low in carbohydrates with the higher the proof, the lower in carbohydrates. Low carbohydrate mixers are recommended, with dry wine being low in carbohydrates, while liqueurs fruit juices and beer are all high in carbohydrates, and as such need for you to take a pass. Alcohol consumption is ok, as long as the alcohol consumed is ‘dry’, or spirits, which are ‘dry’ of carbohydrates.
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