Something that I noticed when working as a pharmacist was why people would still gain weight even though they were following a strict low fat diet recommended to them by their doctor.This made me question whether it is really the ‘fat’ that causes us to gain unhealthy weight.After seeing so many people suffering from obesity related diseases like heart disease, diabetes and the side effects of the medication they were taking, I was strongly motivated to research what actually causes people to become obese, it clearly was not just the fat they were eating!I actually discovered that a trigger factor for many widespread diseases of the west such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes could be closely linked to the consumption of one particular substance found in many processed foods and drinks – fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup.Fructose is the form of high fructose corn syrup found in pretty much all processed foods such as ready meals, fast foods, sweets and fizzy drinks and most people are totally unaware of its danger.It is also often found in ‘low fat’ supposedly healthy alternatives and even many popular weight loss products because food with the fat taken out simply tastes horrible. High fructose corn syrup in combination with many other additives are usually added to enhance the flavor.Glucose is the type of sugar our body loves. It gets metabolized by every cell in our body and is very easy to burn with very few toxic by-products. It also tells the brain to stop eating when you are full.
Fructose on the other hand is another type of sugar and is found in sucrose which breaks down to glucose and fructose.Fructose is actually only metabolized by the liver and it’s very similar to ethanol (the alcohol in drinks).When you consume it, it’s actually like ethanol but without the high. It confuses the liver and ends up making lots of bad fats in the process. It also doesn’t signal your brain that you are full.This is why people can drink massive cups of fizzy drinks which are high in fructose and still eat huge meals containing refined foods that are also full of fructose.Many fruits also contain fructose, but nature has provided the antidote, as these fruits are also packed with fibre which prevents your body from absorbing too much of it.When I advised people to reduce their consumption of high fructose corn syrup by eating lower carb/higher protein diets, free from processed foods, even if the labels say they are healthy options, they started to lose weight and feel much better as a result.In many cases I asked people to just stop their consumption of fizzy drinks like Coca Cola and instead swap it with either plain water, or add some freshly squeezed lemon for flavor.Green tea is also a great alternative, and it is one of my personal favorites because it contains alpha wave stimulating theanine that also double serves as an antidote to the harmful effects of caffeine.Those who loved to drink tea and coffee sweetened with lots of sugar, I advised to swap with natural sweeteners like stevia instead.