Anyone who is trying to eat healthy knows that sugar should be avoided or, at the very least, eaten in moderation. But why, exactly, does fructose (natural sugar found in fruits) cause significant weight gain? After all, isn’t fructose a better alternative than table sugar (sucrose)?
Upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the process of metabolizing fructose also has multiple effects that can potentially lead to weight gain. In fact, consuming too much fructose at once can overwhelm the body’s capacity to process it. Here are the three main ways that fructose can make you fat.
1. Fructose Causes Insulin Resistance
If you’ve ever wondered why eating too much sugar plays a role in the progression of type two diabetes, this is it. It works like this: the body uses a type of sugar called glucose (sugar molecule) as energy, processing and storing it in the liver depending on how much your body needs. Insulin tells the liver when to hold on to those sugars and when to get rid of them.
Fructose, on the other hand, which is the added sugar in our food, causes a genetic and metabolic disturbance when the liver tries to process it.
This causes the liver to produce more fat, notably triglycerides, which lessens its ability to respond to insulin. In turn, this throws off the entire metabolism, which makes it more difficult to use and process fats.