Confirmed—Fructose Can Increase Your Hunger and Lead to Overeating

Confirmed—Fructose Can Increase Your Hunger and Lead to Overeating

People everywhere are finally waking up to the indisputable fact that all sugars are not created equal when it comes to the physical end results they create.

Scientists using newer functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tests have now shown that fructose, a sugar found in most processed foods (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup), can in fact trigger changes in your brain that may lead to overeating and weight gain.waist

The researchers discovered that when you drink a beverage containing fructose, your brain does not register the feeling of being satiated, as it does when you consume simple glucose. As reported by Yahoo! Health.

“All sugars are not equal — even though they contain the same amount of calories — because they are metabolized differently in the body.

Table sugar is sucrose, which is half fructose, half glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. Some nutrition experts say this sweetener may pose special risks, but others and the industry reject that claim. And doctors say we eat too much sugar in all forms.”

Beware: Fructose Can Make You Hungry, Study Finds

Twenty healthy adults were included in the featured study, published in the journal JAMA on January 2. fMRI was used to measure the hypothalamus response when the volunteers consumed a beverage containing identical amounts of either fructose or glucose (75 grams). The two drinks were given in random order to all participants during testing sessions spaced eight months apart.

Your hypothalamus helps regulate hunger-related signals involving a number of hormones, including insulin, leptin, and ghrelin. The scans revealed that when drinking glucose, within 15 minutes the activity in the area of the brain involved with reward and desire for food was suppressed, which leads to a feeling of fullness or satiety. According to co-author Dr. Robert Sherwin:

“With fructose, we don’t see those changes. As a result, the desire to eat continues — it isn’t turned off.”

In fact, fructose not only did not suppress hypothalamic activity, it actually caused a small spike instead. Furthermore, glucose boosted the links between the hypothalamus, thalamus, and striatum, while fructose strengthened the connectivity between the hypothalamus and thalamus, but not the striatum. This is important, as the striatum also deactivates once your body senses it has eaten enough… According to the authors:

“These findings suggest that ingestion of glucose, but not fructose, initiates a coordinated response between the homeostatic-striatal network that regulates feeding behavior.”

What all this means in everyday terms is that when you consume fructose, you may actually be “programming” your body to consume more calories, as fructose fails to trigger that feeling of fullness, and may even trigger continued hunger pangs. Dr. Jonathan Purnell, an endocrinologist at Oregon Health & Science University, told Yahoo! Health:

“It implies that fructose, at least with regards to promoting food intake and weight gain, is a bad actor compared to glucose.”

How Your Body Metabolizes Fructose Versus Glucose

Part of what makes fructose so unhealthy is that it is metabolized by your liver to fat in far more rapidly than any other sugar.

The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver, and it promotes visceral fat.

This is the type of fat that collects around your organs and in your abdominal region and is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.

Without getting into the complex biochemistry of carbohydrate metabolism, it is important to understand how your body processes fructose versus glucose. Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used. Here’s a summary of the main points:

  • After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. With glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent. The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
  • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to glycerol 3 phosphate (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
  • When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat.
  • Glucose suppresses your hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating. Dr Mercola



The concept of mindful eating centres around the need to obtain pleasure and satisfaction from eating while being aware of one’s current level of hunger and fullness.  mindful_eating-type-colored-circles_250x250

People eat for many reasons other than hunger.

  • Perhaps food is readily available and highly visible.
  • Perhaps we are feeling discouraged, stressed, tired, or joyful and turn to food as a result of what we are feeling.
  • It may be that eating is expected or required in a particular setting.
  • The list could go on.

As one works to better manage fitness and weight consciousness, eating becomes central to change.

  • Learning to trust your internal cues of hunger and fullness while minimizing guilt can be challenging.
  • As a part of the FitChoice programme, you have been provided with a variety of tips to help you become a more mindful, or instinctive, eater.
  • Practice following this process as you become more mindful of what you eat:

Prior to eating, ask yourself: “Am I Hungry?” This basic question will lead you in one of two directions, depending on your answer.

The “Yes, I’m Hungry” Direction

If the answer is “Yes” then allow yourself to eat. Hunger is a signal from your body that nourishment is needed. Mindful eating is about trusting your body to tell you what it needs and what is best for you.

After realizing that you are, indeed, hungry, your next step is to evaluate how hungry you are.

  • I like to use a scale from 1 to 10.
  • On this scale, 1 is extreme hunger – you might only experience this degree of hunger if you have had to go without eating for longer than a day. 10 is extreme fullness – you have eaten so much that you are physically ill and might not be able to keep all the food eaten in your stomach as a result.
  • It is preferable to stay in the centre portion of this scale (roughly between a 3 and a 6). It is appropriate to experience gentle hunger but avoid becoming ravenous because that level of hunger often leads to overeating.
  • Signs of gentle hunger are different for everyone but commonly include subtle gnawing in your stomach as well as a rumble or two.
  • With gentle hunger your thoughts may turn increasingly toward food but you are still able to concentrate on other tasks if needed. It is also appropriate to experience gentle fullness after eating.
  • Eat enough that you know you will still be comfortably full an hour later. Refrain from eating so much that you feel bloated, sick to your stomach in any way, or that physical activity would be difficult in your present state of fullness.

As you eat your meal or snack, periodically pause to re-evaluate your level of hunger and fullness. When you are full, allow yourself to stop eating – even if there is food left on your plate.

The “No, I’m Not Hungry” Direction

If the answer is

  • “No” then this is where the real work begins. You have to next consider,
  • “Why am I eating if I am not hungry?
  • What do I really need instead?”
  • This is the point where you evaluate exactly what the driving force is behind your desire to eat when you are not hungry. To answer this question, evaluate the following:

Is your environment conducive to eating?

  • Are you seeing or smelling food right now?
  • Is food readily available?
  • If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, attempt to change your environment by moving away from food or putting food away where it is not as visible or accessible.

Are you using food to cope with an emotion?

  • What are you feeling right now? Both positive and negative emotions can encourage eating.
  • If you’re feeling happy, it is customary to celebrate with food.
  • If you are experiencing stress, anger, frustration, boredom, or loneliness then we often turn to food as a way of bringing pleasure or relief from these negative emotions.
  • It is important to remember that food is only a temporary coping mechanism.
  • Look for more effective ways of managing your emotions that don’t involve eating.

Are you in a situation where eating is expected?

At many social functions, food is central to the environment. Refraining from eating because you are not hungry can create an uncomfortable tension with those whom you socialize with.

In situations such as this,

  • try having a light beverage that you can sip throughout the evening.
  • Focus on the social aspect of the function and enjoy conversation with others – preferable away from the food service.
  • If you are in a situation where not eating will cause offence, partake in modest amounts and recognise that it is your overall, daily diet that determines your ability to be healthy and lose weight.

The road to mindful eating is really a path of reflection and discovery. I encourage you to take time to really evaluate your own reasons for eating and strive daily to pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. In doing so, you will not only become more aware and attentive of your personal eating patterns, but mindful eating can help you develop a greater respect and trust in your body and your ability to eat well.

Rise above the confusion with FitChoice                                            

Neways’ FitChoice takes into account an individual’s eating habits and helps the user discover the right path in defining their specific fitness and weight consciousness requirements.

It takes into account an individual’s level of comfort with goal setting and lifestyle change and helps the user discover the right fit for their specific needs.

  • Fitness and diet tips from independent experts.
  • Goal setting and coaching information.
  • Online Support tools to help you personalise and track progress

Simply put, FitChoice gets each user started on their customised way to a better, more fulfilling, and healthy lifestyle.

It’s the next best thing to having a personal trainer, a dietician, and a team of doctors and psychologists on hand to help you achieve fitness and weight related goals.

For information go to :-


click on the FitChoice logo, select language, then follow the easy steps to the FREE –  NO OBLIGATION  self assessment.

It’s your life – make the most of it !

My help is only a click away !

Author:Maggie Pascoe (G+)

About Maggie Pascoe

By helping enough people achieve what they want to achieve, you will achieve your goals !l My aim is to help people get what they want in life, to improve their health & life & have the same satisfaction by helping others.


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