What is the deal with fruit sugar? Is fructose bad for us? Yes and no, depending on how you eat it.
Fructose is commonly known as “fruit sugar” and is the predominant sugar in fresh and dried fruits. Along with grape sugar, dextrose, and levulose, fructose is classified as a monosaccharide carbohydrate with the chemical formula C6H12O6. 6 molecules of carbon, 12 molecules of hydrogen and 6 molecules of oxygen.
Fructose is a natural sugar, and it is found in many fruits along with wholesome nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. It is the energy component of fruits, and the liver converts it to glucose which is then either used for immediate fuel needs or is stored as glycogen for later energy use.
For each molecule of fructose, the body forms one molecule of glucose, and thus the energy needs of the body can be efficiently met by natural fruit sugars.
Fructose when it is consumed in whole fruits is a wholesome fuel. When it is made into a refined powder or separated from the sucrose of which it is a part, fructose is a disruptive toxin.
In recent years, fructose has increasingly been refined and made into a fine white powder and sold as a “safe”, sugar substitute. While fructose use is promoted because of its presence in fruits, it is no different from white sugar because it is refined from white sugar.
In its refined state, fructose is a concentrated and toxic carbohydrate that has been stripped of all vital nutrients. It is a fuel devoid of nutrients, and is certainly not “health promoting.”
Refined fructose is very soluble and is absorbed by the mucosal cells of the intestinal tract at a rapid rate. This quick absorption fructose, without any co-existing nutrients, can cause the same harm as sucrose, or common white sugar.
Refined fructose intake can result in several toxic effects, such as: disrupted liver protein synthesis, acute hypoglycemia, elevation of blood fats, and general metabolic disturbances.
When you eat fructose along with other nutrients in the form of fruits, you are receiving a high-quality and complete body fuel. When refined and stripped of nutrients, “pure” fructose becomes a disruptive toxin in the body.