This sugar makes you feel sluggish and bloated

When scientists at the University of Illinois tested the effects of a common food ingredient, they were shocked to find that not only did it cause weight gain, it slows the body down and makes it hard to have any “get up and go.”

The problem ingredient is fructose – the form of sugar that now represents 10 percent of all the calories we consume. Most of the fructose we ingest now comes from high fructose corn syrup that is added to our food.

The study shows that while many experts think that calories from all sugars are all equally harmful to the body, fructose creates more problems than a sugar like glucose does.

Unfortunately, during the past four decades, more and more of the products in the supermarket contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Everybody knows that this sweet stuff doesn’t do a body good. But it’s been surprising to see how much bad it does.

A study at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois shows that the fructose we are fed makes us gain more weight than a sugar like table sugar (sucrose), makes it harder to exercise and does more to make you put on extra body fat.

“The link between increases in sugar intake, particularly fructose, and the rising obesity epidemic has been debated for many years with no clear conclusions,” says researcher Catarina Rendeiro. “The reality is that people are not only consuming more fructose through their diets, but also consuming more calories in general.”

But the Illinois lab tests confirmed some healthcare professionals’ worst fears about fructose and high-fructose corn syrup. Calorie for calorie, it is more destructive to health than other sugar.

These troubling effects of fructose complicate your efforts to buy healthy foods at the supermarket. Sometimes it seems that just about anything that comes in a jar, can, bottle or box has had high-fructose corn syrup added to it. It’s often in spaghetti sauce, ketchup, bread and even in some soups.

To avoid high-fructose corn syrup as much as possible, avoid boxed, bagged and bottled foods. If those are going to be on your menu, then take a couple of seconds and glance at the label. If you see the word fructose, or almost any other word with syrup after it (like maize syrup), it’s probably fructose syrup.

But be especially wary of soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. Those are a large source of corn syrup for a lot of people. Fortunately, the consumption of soft drinks has dropped in recent years. That shows that more and more people are finally getting the message about these sickly-sweet concoctions.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.