Does Fructose Make You Fatter?
High-fructose corn syrup, a thick, gloopy, man-made sweetener used in many processed foods ranging from sodas to baked goods, has dominated sugar as an ingredient in “convenience” foods in U.S. and is growing more ubiquitous due to the fact that it’s cheaper and sweeter than regular sugar.
Now, new research suggests that it can also make you fatter.
[Today’s NYTs reported that] in a small study, Texas researchers showed that the body converts fructose to body fat with “surprising speed,’’ said Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The study, which appears in The Journal of Nutrition, shows how glucose and fructose, which are forms of sugar, are metabolized differently.
In humans, triglycerides, which are a type of fat in the blood, are mostly formed in the liver. Dr. Parks said the liver acts like “a traffic cop” who coordinates how the body uses dietary sugars. When the liver encounters glucose, it decides whether the body needs to store it, burn it for energy or turn it into triglycerides.
But when fructose enters the body, it bypasses the process and ends up being quickly converted to body fat.
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