Not all sugars are alike.
We once thought that fructose did not stimulate the pancreas so it was a better alternative than glucose in preventing diabetes. Now we have a study showing that fructose-sweetened drinks have a higher risk of developing fatty deposits in the arteries compared to those drinking products containing glucose.
In the University of California at Davis study participants were put on a balanced diet of 30% fat and 55% complex carbohydrates. In the study group, 13 drank glucose-sweetened drinks as well, while 10 drank only fructose-based products. After only 2 weeks of the 9-week study, researchers found that post-meal blood fat levels had increased in the fructose group, while levels in those consuming glucose sweetened drinks dropped.
Researchers also found elevated fasting blood levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in the fructose group. These levels did not seem to change in those drinking glucose-sweetened beverages, according to the researchers.
Within the U.S., consumption of fructose over the past 40 years has risen by 135%, according to the American Diabetes Association. Does high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have the same risks? The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) have suggested that fructose, when used in high fructose corn syrup for drink manufacture is uniquely responsible for the obesity problem in the U.S.
The conclusions were that people who are at risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease should think twice before consuming high amounts of fructose-containing beverages.