Fructose is a very useful substance if you need lab rats with inflammation. All you do is give them a 10 percent solution of fructose in their drinking water for 32 weeks, and, like magic, you have laboratory perfect models of vascular inflammation. I wonder what happens to humans who consume Coke for 32 years? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18718174
There is no doubt that high levels of carbohydrate in the diet result in tissue inflammation in humans. No carbohydrate is more insidious than the sugar fructose. Table sugar is 50% fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used in many processed foods is 55-95% fructose, and most fruit juices are very high in fructose. Even healthy whole fruit has moderate amounts of fructose, and our favorite low carb veggies usual have small amounts of fructose. You cannot completely avoid fructose, but as it is not an essential nutrient, it is wise to consciously minimize your fructose consumption.
Fructose goes directly to your liver where it is turned into triglycerides. It does not register on your glucometer right after you eat it, so diabetics often have the false impression that high fructose foods are relatively diabetic friendly. Remember, it’s a glucometer not a fructometer and you won’t catch it with your meter. Because it is so difficult to catch, I call it the Stealth Carb.
So, how do you know if you are consuming too much fructose? There are several tell-tale signs.
- Triglycerides will be elevated
- Liver will be inflamed and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) will develop
- More visceral fat on the upper body and difficulty in losing weight
- Inflammation of the vascular system (atherosclerosis)
- Higher insulin resistance
- Higher C-reactive protein number evidencing inflammation
- Fructose produces ten times as many Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) as glucose
Simply avoiding sugar, HFCS and fruit juice in all its forms may be enough for most diabetics, but if you have high CRP and/or high triglycerides, you may want to look harder at the sources of fructose in your diet. Here is a list of common foods with the amount of fructose per serving. I list a can of Coke as a reference point.