2

votes

Fructose as a main source of carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 14, 2011 at 4:55 AM

I'll be the first to admit I don't know a lot when it comes to nutrition, still very new to it all... so if what I'm asking is ridiculous just say why. I see a lot of "you should limit fructose" when going around the various paleo sites and I'm just wondering why specifically.

If I use Paul Jaminet's advice and get around 20% of my calories from carbohydrate (just as an example), what would be the downside of getting it all from fruit? This question pertains to someone who is relatively healthy, no blood sugar issues or diabetes. Does fructose behave differently once ingested, from say, starch from a sweet potato? Is there a seperate need in the body for starch?

I only ask this because I simply enjoy fruit that much... I could eat it all day.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 06, 2012
at 09:27 AM

it both sugars in fruits glucose /fructose

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on December 15, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Don't forget to add gelatin :-)

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I drink a gallon of 1% which gives me about 140g, the other stuff probably gives me ~20 so around 160g.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on December 15, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Cliff -thanks for the details on your diet! How much protein do you eat in a day? What kinds?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:37 AM

@senneth- I eat one or 2 potatoes a day usually. Not really any major digestive issues, maybe the occasional stomach ache when I was eating a lot of fat+starch. I usually eat 1 gallon of 1% milk, 6-8 cups no pulp OJ, 2-4 cups pulp free pineapple juice, 1-2 cups sugar, maybe an egg yolk and a potato.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:31 AM

By the way studies that look at associations between sugar and health are total BS(China study anyone?). Last time I checked 90% of sugar came pre packaged with PUFAs and grains, SAD eaters don't eat pure sugar or fruit juice.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:29 AM

No I couldn't, when I ate mostly fast food I was 60+ pounds overweight. I've tried both starch and sucrose based sugar diets many times and the sucrose diets always treat me the best. Many studies show benefits to sucrose over starch(glucose), some studies show sucrose in a bad light. DO I agree with those studies? Obviously not, just like I don't agree with the studies that villanize saturated fat, dairy products etc. etc.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Also, Cliff is 23. He could very likely eat nothing but McDonalds and not gain weight.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Mallory - okay but are you really agreeing with the fact that sucrose is the same or more beneficial than starch? Also, if it works for cliff that's fine, but I have a hard time conceding that it's overall healthier.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:37 PM

jeff he said he hasnt done any exercise in weeks... nil point

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Cliff -Yes, please elaborate on what you eat..Do you eat any starch at all? I know Ray suggests well salted well buttered potatoes/summer squash on occasion. I have been eating peat for 5 months and can't get rid of my digestion issues (bloating/burping). Did you have issues like that as well?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:27 PM

The key word there is excess. I personally don't think 20% fruit is dangerously excessive. Most days I am more like 10% but I easily reach 20% if I happen to be hungry for fruit. To me, dangerously excessive would be more like 50% day after day. And even then I've known people who lived on meat and fruit and seemed to be in glowing health.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:19 PM

So if someone is exercising a lot then sucrose is fine. If not, there are plenty of papers that show a lower intake of disaccharides is healthier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22011476

56e59609362978a9dcb390fdeb45427f

(576)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Cliff, if you don't mind me asking... what's a typical day like for you as far as food? Is it a bit lower in meat? Just asking because I can identify with a few of your posts.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 03:05 PM

http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/3316904 - Sucrose refills glycogen slightly faster than glucose but with less insulin. Plenty of studies on the subject, ray peat has a couple different sources if you check out his site. My local library has a book with some more relevant sources, I think its called sports nutrition for endurance athletes but not too sure on that.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Very interesting! Can you add a few references for the unenlightened?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:45 PM

All foods give me bloating and gas. I have a propensity to flatulence.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:24 PM

You can't eat pure fructose though, fruit is basically sucrose.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:21 PM

So true, so true! but for some reason, I am more inclined to watch a video that's 90 minutes long versus an hour and a half (lol).

7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on December 14, 2011
at 01:12 PM

Fructose levels in fruit varies. Here's a handy list on sugar content of various fruits. http://www.reducetriglycerides.com/reader_triglycerides_low_fructose_fruit.htm

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:08 PM

Well.. 1.5 hrs is 90 min :)

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Well said .

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:43 AM

And I thought it was only 90 minutes!

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:13 AM

He was asking about the difference between fructose and glucose. not sucrose.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:55 AM

sucrose acts almost identical to starch and fructose doesn't cause fatty liver in the absence of PUFAs and has only been demonstrated in animal models feeding novel diets of 60% pure fructose.

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7 Answers

5
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:53 AM

As cliff notes the problem with fructose is high levels of modern consumption combined with high levels of PUFA (polyunsaturated) fat consumption. This can lead to fatty liver which is implicated in obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, etc. If you are lean and healthy and have low levels of PUFA consumption (in the 4% of calories range), there is no reason to think that eating a lot of fruit is dangerous. There is a big difference between fruit and a Super Big Gulp of Coke. One difference is the vitamin C, which seems to be protective. Fiber is another. The Lustig video is classic, but even though he states that fructose is poison, he doesn't see fruit as a problem.

Me? I'm diabetic, so I don't do much fruit (or carbs for that matter). But am not lean, healthy and insulin sensitive.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Well said .

4
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:11 AM

No question is ridiculous.

Fructose is processed almost entirely by your liver whereas starch can be absorbed by your other tissues as well. Roughly 80% of fructose goes to your liver and the rest to the other parts of your body, while only around 20% of ingested glucose (starch) gets processed by your liver. When people eat too much fructose it can lead to fatty liver and/or increased fat storage. Once your liver glycogen (carb) stores are filled up it will turn that fructose into fat.

When you're eating actual fruit rather than soda, it's not as big of a problem because there are things like fiber and vitamin c that you get from the fruit that help us deal with the fructose.

You may wanna consider a sweet potato now and again, but if you're healthy and only eating fresh fruit I wouldn't stress about it too much.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:13 AM

He was asking about the difference between fructose and glucose. not sucrose.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:55 AM

sucrose acts almost identical to starch and fructose doesn't cause fatty liver in the absence of PUFAs and has only been demonstrated in animal models feeding novel diets of 60% pure fructose.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:24 PM

You can't eat pure fructose though, fruit is basically sucrose.

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:20 PM

From my own subjective experience, it seems fruit is easier to deal with than, say potatoes. I think Lustig has a point when he's talking about HFCS, but the dose makes the poison, and +70g from paleo sources requires either dedication or some form of insanity.

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Check out some ray peat podcasts on sugar. Ignore the fat doctor with a political agenda, he's obviously very biased.

I personally get the majority of my cals from simple sugars lately(a couple months now) and its cleared up a lot of minor issues I had when I was eating a starch based diet. I don't agree with the whole fiber thing as I eat maybe 5 grams of fiber a day and over 700gs of sugar with no blood sugar issues and have yet to gain any fat(if anything I'm just getting leaner) despite doing very little if any exercise for the past couple weeks.

A lot of people will claim that fructose has to be metabolized by the liver and any excess will turn to fat but this is wrong. Its been proven over and over that if you eat fructose and glucose in equal ratios(like in fruit, sucrose etc.) it behaves almost identical to starch and it may even be more beneficial in regards to refilling glycogen. Sugar has a potent pro-thyroid effect that is much greater than just starch as well.

56e59609362978a9dcb390fdeb45427f

(576)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Cliff, if you don't mind me asking... what's a typical day like for you as far as food? Is it a bit lower in meat? Just asking because I can identify with a few of your posts.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:19 PM

So if someone is exercising a lot then sucrose is fine. If not, there are plenty of papers that show a lower intake of disaccharides is healthier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22011476

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Very interesting! Can you add a few references for the unenlightened?

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Cliff -Yes, please elaborate on what you eat..Do you eat any starch at all? I know Ray suggests well salted well buttered potatoes/summer squash on occasion. I have been eating peat for 5 months and can't get rid of my digestion issues (bloating/burping). Did you have issues like that as well?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 14, 2011
at 03:05 PM

http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/3316904 - Sucrose refills glycogen slightly faster than glucose but with less insulin. Plenty of studies on the subject, ray peat has a couple different sources if you check out his site. My local library has a book with some more relevant sources, I think its called sports nutrition for endurance athletes but not too sure on that.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:31 AM

By the way studies that look at associations between sugar and health are total BS(China study anyone?). Last time I checked 90% of sugar came pre packaged with PUFAs and grains, SAD eaters don't eat pure sugar or fruit juice.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:37 PM

jeff he said he hasnt done any exercise in weeks... nil point

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:29 AM

No I couldn't, when I ate mostly fast food I was 60+ pounds overweight. I've tried both starch and sucrose based sugar diets many times and the sucrose diets always treat me the best. Many studies show benefits to sucrose over starch(glucose), some studies show sucrose in a bad light. DO I agree with those studies? Obviously not, just like I don't agree with the studies that villanize saturated fat, dairy products etc. etc.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Also, Cliff is 23. He could very likely eat nothing but McDonalds and not gain weight.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 14, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Mallory - okay but are you really agreeing with the fact that sucrose is the same or more beneficial than starch? Also, if it works for cliff that's fine, but I have a hard time conceding that it's overall healthier.

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on December 15, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Don't forget to add gelatin :-)

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:37 AM

@senneth- I eat one or 2 potatoes a day usually. Not really any major digestive issues, maybe the occasional stomach ache when I was eating a lot of fat+starch. I usually eat 1 gallon of 1% milk, 6-8 cups no pulp OJ, 2-4 cups pulp free pineapple juice, 1-2 cups sugar, maybe an egg yolk and a potato.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on December 15, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Cliff -thanks for the details on your diet! How much protein do you eat in a day? What kinds?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on December 15, 2011
at 10:28 PM

I drink a gallon of 1% which gives me about 140g, the other stuff probably gives me ~20 so around 160g.

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 05:32 AM

Good answer by Jeff.

Dr Lustig gets deep into the metabolic pathways and possible issues of glucose/starch and fructose in his presentation The Bitter Truth about Sugar.

It's 1.5hrs long, but well worth the look when you have the time, you'll likely learn a lot.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 11:43 AM

And I thought it was only 90 minutes!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:21 PM

So true, so true! but for some reason, I am more inclined to watch a video that's 90 minutes long versus an hour and a half (lol).

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:08 PM

Well.. 1.5 hrs is 90 min :)

1
B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:56 PM

If you were eating fruit for the fructose, eating it infrequently would actually not be that bad as it would replenish your liver glycogen better than starches. So say you eat a lot of fruit once a week, great way to be ketogenic most of the time and refill your glycogen efficiently so on a cyclic ketogenic diet I would say using fruit instead of starch is a smart move.

This only works if your liver glycogen is low so after a week with some exercise it'll be ready for a top-up.

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 14, 2011
at 01:39 PM

For those with digestive issues, excess fructose gets fermented in the colon, leading to bloating and gas. This is another reason why many Paleos also follow a low-FODMAPs diet, which limits fermentable sugars including fructose.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 04:27 PM

The key word there is excess. I personally don't think 20% fruit is dangerously excessive. Most days I am more like 10% but I easily reach 20% if I happen to be hungry for fruit. To me, dangerously excessive would be more like 50% day after day. And even then I've known people who lived on meat and fruit and seemed to be in glowing health.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:45 PM

All foods give me bloating and gas. I have a propensity to flatulence.

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