Why Fructose is Making You Fat- Part Two

Why Fructose is Making You Fat- Part Two

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Last time we talked in broad strokes about how Fructose is making you fat.  Now I want to discuss what is happening at the hormonal level when you eat fructose.  (Again, all this info comes from the books and authors mentioned at the top of this page.  If you want more information, I can’t recommend those resources enough to you.)

Your Appetite-Controlling Hormones

There are 4 critical hormones that work together to control your appetite.

CCK (cholecystokinin) – This gets released as we eat fat and protein.  The more we eat, the more of this hormone gets released.  When it reaches a certain level, our appetite control system signals us that we have had enough to eat.

Insulin – Our pancreas monitors our blood glucose level and releases Insulin as needed.  The more glucose in our blood, the more insulin that gets released.  Glucose is what carbohydrates get converted to. (except fructose)  Insulin works just like CCK except it is triggered by glucose where CCK is triggered by fat and protein.

Leptin – Leptin is released by fat cells in our body.  The more fat you have, the less hungry you should feel.  Think of Leptin as a long-term fuel gauge that won’t allow us to accumulate too much fat.  It also insures that our default appetite setting is “not hungry”

Ghrelin – Ghrelin is released by our stomach lining and forces your intestines to contract.  (That “rumbling” in the tummy when you are hungry)  It reverses the effect of Leptin and stimulates our hunger.

There are a few others like Seratonin that suppresses our appetite at night and dopamine that stimulates hunger when we smell food but these 4 are the main ones we need to focus on for our purposes.

Why Don’t These Hormones Work?

Your body wants to thin.  Really!  It wants to have a healthy level of fat for long-term energy needs and then that’s it.  So why doesn’t it work?  We’ve narrowed the culprit down to one thing; fructose.

Fructose is relatively rare in nature, occurring in fruits, (which were difficult to get a hold of for most of human history) a few veggies and honey.  Our bodies never bothered adapting to high intakes of sugar because we never ate a whole lot of it.  It just recognized that fructose was a metabolically “cheap” source of energy, shipped it directly to the liver to be converted to fat for long-term storage.  Our obesity issues arose when we started putting sugar in everything.

As the liver converts fructose to fat, it causes the levels of fat in our bloodstream to rise.  This causes the appetite suppressing hormones (CCK, insulin, and leptin) to not work as well as they should.  They essential can’t get their signal through all the “noise” created by the fat in our blood-stream.  We aren’t told we aren’t hungry anymore so we just continue to eat and our bodies continue to pack on the pounds.

So not only is the fructose being converted to fat, but since we are eating more food we are also eating more fat and calories.  This the primary reason why we increased the number of calories eaten between 1970-2000 by about 25% and the numbers have continued to increase since then.  Over the same time we increased our soft-drink and fruit juice intake by 63%.

As we keep eating, the carbs get converted to blood sugar which causes our pancreas to produce insulin to deal with it.  Soon we can’t produce enough insulin to deal with all the sugar in our blood and we become insulin-resistant.  If this continues, we effectively “burn-out” our pancreas and get Type-II Diabetes.

All in all, nothing good comes from eating fructose.  The more you eat, the fatter and sicker you get.  Fortunately, now that you know about it you can take steps to remove it from your diet.  It’s tough but we can do it together.

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

I’m a fan of desserts.  In fact, when a skinny person tells me something like “I don’t like desserts” or “I don’t ever eat chocolate” I immediately distrust them.  What kind of crazy person doesn’t like chocolate!?

So as you might imagine, finding sugar-free desserts is a little difficult but so far I’ve had good luck with my dessert experimentations.  For the first few weeks, my “go-to” snack was popcorn.  (Popped in coconut oil, sprinkled with a little salt and Garlic powder.  So good!)  Fortunately, I found out that you can freeze bananas and make a very tasty “Ice-Cream” with them.  To freeze bananas easily, peel and place in Ziploc bag.  Freeze on a flat surface

If you REALLY want to blow your socks off, combine this recipe with my Sugar Free Berries and Cream recipe and eat up!

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Desserts
Cuisine: Sugar Free Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is a super tasty Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe!
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¼ cup Whole MIlk
  • Tsp of Grape-Nuts
Instructions
  1. Put frozen bananas in blender or food processor (Some juicers will work also)
  2. Pour in milk and blend until creamy
  3. Don't over blend because you will melt the bananas
  4. Serve in bowls, sprinkle Grape-Nuts on top for a little crunch
Notes
To freeze bananas, peel and place in ziploc bag. Freeze on flat surface.

 

What is Sugar Free at IHOP?

What is Sugar Free at IHOP?

What's Sugar Free At IHOP

I have to admit, I was fully committed to the idea that I was never going to be able to darken the door of an IHOP ever again.  I just assumed there was sugar everywhere but as I started looking through their nutritional information I was a little surprised.

By far what was most impressive is that there is less than a gram of sugar in the bacon, turkey sausage, and Pork Sausage links.  You could easily make a very nice meal either for breakfast or Lunch/Dinner and avoid sugar.

Since IHOP doesn’t provide an ingredients list, the best we can do is look at their nutritional info, each of these items are listed at 0 grams of sugar.  We can’t look for fructose specifically.  Let’s take a look at the individual components of our meal, then we can discuss a few options.

  • Bacon
  • Top Sirloin Steak
  • Turkey Sausage Links
  • Turkey Sausage patties
  • Pork Sausage Links
  • Taylor Ham
  • Eggs
  • Any Cheese
  • All Veggies
  • Grits
  • Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms
  • Seasoned Fries
  • Hashbrowns (These have 1 gram of sugar but is most likely from the potatoes and not from added Fructose)

Breakfast

You will need to avoid their breads and syrups. (I know, no pancakes at the International House of Pancakes)  It looks like you can have almost any omelette consisting of any of the meats listed above with any cheese or veggie.  Any of the meats can be used as sides as well as hashbrowns (Hashbrowns have 1 gram of sugar but is most likely from the starch) and/or grits.

Lunch/Dinner

Hope you are (Top Sirloin) Steak and Potatoes man.  The fries have no sugar but the plain baked potato is listed at 4 grams of sugar.  I’m sure none is from fructose so as long as you avoid the bacon bits, you should be fine.  A side salad with no dressing is good also.  (FYI, not having dressing when I ate out was a little stressful.  Sometimes I bring my own from home but when I’m in a pinch I’ve found that salt, pepper and a couple squeezed lemon wedges is very tasty on a salad.)

Beverages

Pretty straight forward here.  Avoid soft drinks or fruit juice.  Coffee, tea or milk (unsweetened or with artificial sweeteners) or diet drinks are fine.

Sugar Free Garlic Alfredo Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Sugar Free Garlic Alfredo Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

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Living sugar free is not without it’s challenges.  One of the issues that seems to come up quite a bit is the issue of time, it takes a little more time than normal to prepare a meal because of how many products contain added fructose.  I end up making everything from scratch, while I would prefer that sometimes I need something quick and easy.  After a bit of searching I was happy to find that Ragu has a line of white sauces with no added sugar.

Now keep in mind that it is very simple to make your own Alfredo Sauce, (it’s just cream, butter and Parmesan cheese) but if you are looking for a way to add sugar free sauces to your pantry to make life easier, go with the Ragu white sauces.  They are usually the least expensive sauce on the shelf and frequently have coupons that will make for an even better deal.

Sugar Free Garlic Alfredo Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-6
 
A very simple Baked Chicken Alfredo recipe with no added sugar
Ingredients
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Package of sliced Mushrooms (or slice them yourself)
  • 1 Jar of Garlic Alfredo Ragu Sauce
Instructions
  1. Place thawed chicken breast on pan. Pour half bottle of Ragu over all breasts
  2. Bake Chicken at 450 for 20 minutes
  3. Chop up all veggies, place in skillet
  4. Pour remainder of Ragu in skillet, simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are soft
  5. Place Chicken on plate, pour veggie mix over chicken. Serve.

 

Baked Garlic Alfredo Chicken Breasts

Pour about half a bottle of Ragu over your chicken breasts.  Place in oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Baked Garlic Alfredo Chicken Breasts

Chop up 2 onions, grate 2 carrots, and slice mushrooms.  Throw it all in a skillet and pour the rest of the Ragu over the veggies.  Obviously you can adjust what veggies go in there to your liking.

Baked Garlic Alfredo Chicken Breasts

Stir it up and simmer for the 20 minutes your chicken breasts are in the oven until veggies are tender.  Sample and add salt if needed.

Sugar Free Garlic Alfredo Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

The chicken breasts are done!  Let them cool for a minute and transfer to plates.

Sugar Free Garlic Alfredo Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Pour the vegetable mix over the chicken breast and serve.  (We ate our with seared brussel sprouts.  I’m not sure when brussel sprouts became our favorite side dish but some how it happened.  If you had told 12 year old me I would be eating brussel sprouts 4 times a week, I would have laughed in your face.)

Disclosure:  Ragu was not involved in this post in any way.  I received no money or product.   This is just something I found that made my life easier on my sugar-free journey.