Honey and fruits naturally have fructose sugar. This type of fructose sugar is generally not dangerous. What’s dangerous to the health is the fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is used as an artificial sweetener for processed foods, sodas, flavored drinks, and other types of sweetened foods, but its fructose content is not processed in the body the way regular sugar is and is therefore linked to several conditions like obesity and diabetes. This is why it is important to reduce intake of HFCS. Here are some tips.
- Check food labels. When buying foods, remember to see the labels and check if they have HFCS as an ingredient. Aside from sodas and flavored drinks, foods that normally have HFCS include ketchups, sauces, salad dressings, popsicles, jams, canned fruits, frozen and flavored yogurt, bread, breakfast cereal, and canned soup. In many cases, foods with HFCS are also low in nutritional value.
- Opt for healthy drinks. If you love drinking sodas and flavored drinks, you are exposing your body to too much fructose sugar, which, unlike the fructose sugar in natural sources, is converted into abdominal fat. Truth is, HFCS has a greater level of fructose than fruits, which makes you more prone to obesity. One soda can, for one, has about 15 teaspoons sugar. In replace of sodas and flavored fruits, drink water, fresh fruit juices, and tea. And remember to never use artificial sweeteners for your beverages.
- Eat organic foods. Organic foods are not loaded with fructose sugar and are therefore beneficial if you are fighting obesity and diabetes. You can find organic foods in many supermarkets and farmer’s markets. Specifically, pick vegetables, seeds, and fruits. You should remember to limit your fruit intake especially if you are a fructose intolerant. A maximum of five servings is usually enough.
- Avoid eating processed foods. Processed foods are packed with fructose sugar, which makes them more flavorful. So limit your consumption of processed foods, or if possible, ditch them altogether. The same goes for fast foods. Burgers, burger buns, shakes, and all other fast food offerings are loaded with fructose sugar in a surprisingly high level. In place of processed and fast foods, eat foods that are not chemically altered. In fact, it will do you good if you prepare and cook your own food. Consider your ingredients, though. Many condiments and sauces are high in fructose sugar as well.
- Bake your own sweets. Commercially available sweets like donuts, cookies, and cakes are also loaded with fructose sugar. Therefore, it will be best if you bake sweet foods on yourself. Although you might have to use artificially sweetened ingredients, you can limit the amount and in the end reduce the fructose level of your home-baked goods. Still, it is much better if you avoid these ingredients altogether and use natural and healthy alternatives.
If you are serious about lowering your intake of fructose sugar, you need to be very picky and cautious. You might also have to improvise a lot of times and scour for healthy substitutes. This entails a lot work, though. But if this will keep you healthy, why not exert extra effort?