Does Fructose Make You Fat?

For years people have hotly debated whether fructose makes you fat. I’ve always considered the discussion sort of stupid and beneath me.

I have two eyes. Do you know what these two eyes have never seen? Fat apple eaters.

Seriously. Would the people who argue that fructose is evil please show me where all the obese apple eaters are?

The fat people I see eat a lot of processed food and other junk. The fit people I see drink a lot of protein shakes, eat a lot of chicken breast, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and fruits and vegetables.

But yesterday I had a few minutes to spare, so I went on Medline to see what the research said. Here are just a few of the hundreds of studies showing the positive relationship between fruit and overall health:

1. People who drink fruit juice aren’t fat. 

Consumption of 100% fruit juice and risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome: findings from the national health and nutrition examination survey 1999-2004.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677126
those who consumed 100% fruit juice were leaner, were more insulin sensitive, and had lower odds of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Soft drink, 100% fruit juice, and vegetable juice intakes and risk of diabetes mellitus.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22917499

Substituting homemade fruit juice for sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome among Hispanic adults.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22551801
One hundred percent orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, and no increased risk for overweight/obesity in children.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024491

Relationship between 100% juice consumption and nutrient intake and weight of adolescents.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20232604
In conclusion, when compared with non-juice consumers, adolescents consuming 100% juice did not show mean increased weight measures. Juice provided valuable nutrients, and consumption was associated with lower intakes of total fat, saturated fatty acids, discretionary fat, and added sugars and with higher intakes of whole fruit; however, consumption was not associated with decreased intake of milk, meat, or grains.

2. Fruit juice makes the body more alkaline, which prevents bone loss and other health problems.

Dietary acid-base balance in adolescent sprint athletes: a follow-up study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22254092
Athletes with a PRAL(-) (-8 to -10 mEq/day) consumed significantly more fruit and fruit juice than athletes with a PRAL(+) (+9 to 14 mEq/day).

Urine pH is an indicator of dietary acid-base load, fruit and vegetables and meat intakes: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk population study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18042305
Evidence exists that a more acidic diet is detrimental to bone health.

Diet, evolution and aging–the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11842945
That is, are contemporary humans suffering from the consequences of chronic, diet-induced low-grade systemic metabolic acidosis? Our group has shown that contemporary net acid-producing diets do indeed characteristically produce a low-grade systemic metabolic acidosis in otherwise healthy adult subjects, and that the degree of acidosis increases with age, in relation to the normally occurring age-related decline in renal functional capacity.

Postgraduate Symposium: Positive influence of nutritional alkalinity on bone health.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19954569
There is growing evidence that consumption of a Western diet is a risk factor for osteoporosis through excess acid supply, while fruits and vegetables balance the excess acidity, mostly by providing K-rich bicarbonate-rich foods.

The balance of bone health: tipping the scales in favor of potassium-rich, bicarbonate-rich foods.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18156420
A 1-mo dietary intervention study involving 23- to 76-y-old men and women has shown that a diet high in bicarbonate (high fruits and vegetables) and potassium (high in milk and dairy products) (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) significantly reduces bone turnover.
3. Fruit juice helps the body fight stress, a major cause of aging and other health problems.

Impact of apple and grape juice consumption on the antioxidant status in healthy subjects.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21639820

It is reported that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods significantly increased plasma total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in humans. Also, it is proved that the antioxidants from plant foods improve the body’s antioxidant defence by acting additively and synergistically. As a result, rational combination of antioxidant-rich foods is recommended to population in the prevention of oxidative stress-related diseases.

Four week supplementation with mixed fruit and vegetable juice concentrates increased protective serum antioxidants and folate and decreased plasma homocysteine in Japanese subjects.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17704021
Conclusion: In the absence of dietary modification, supplementation with the fruit and vegetable juice concentrate capsules proved to be a highly bioavailable source of phytonutrients. Important antioxidants were elevated to desirable levels associated with decreased risk of disease while markers of oxidative stress were reduced…

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