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Fructose: The Most Harmful Sugar

by Mila McManus, MD

Fructose is increasingly in the forefront as causing significant health problems and its use by the food industry has increased considerably.

All sugars are harmful for us, especially when eaten in excess. We always recommend reduction of sugar intake as far as you possibly can. Fructose is increasingly in the forefront as causing significant health problems.  

The negative effects of fructose include:

  • Fatty liver
  • High Triglycerides
  • Weight Gain
  • Leptin Resistance
  • Keeps you feeling hungry
  • Increases uric acid which contributes to Cardiovascular Disease, cognitive decline, and kidney stones to name a few
  • Causes insulin resistance

Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruit, vegetables, and some natural sweeteners, and is also added to a wide variety of processed foods and beverages. Over the last 50 years, fructose use by the food industry has increased considerably.

The body’s preferred source of fuel is glucose, the form of sugar we are “wired” to use. While fructose is a simple sugar, the process of converting it to glucose must be done by the liver.  Once converted, it will be used for energy if the blood needs glucose, or it will be stored in the liver, or in fat cells.  The process of converting fructose results in a waste product called uric acid, a key contributor to gout and heart disease.  A good analogy would be to say that glucose is a clean fuel and fructose is a dirty fuel that pollutes your body.

High fructose corn sugar is a combination of fructose and glucose and made from corn starch. It is cheaper and sweeter than cane sugar.  It is found in soft drinks, bread, juices, ice cream, canned fruit, canned soup, ketchup, sweetened dairy products, cakes, cereal bars, salad dressings, and many other manufactured foods. We recommend elimination of these foods for a multitude of health reasons notwithstanding the ones listed above.

We also recommend avoiding corn syrup, honey, and agave nectar, and limiting fruit to no more than 2 servings a day. Grapes, watermelon, jackfruit, and dried fruit like cranberries, raisins, apricots, and apples are intensified forms of fructose, so best avoided or very limited. Small fresh fruit is a better choice and offers natural fructose. Fructose in fruit isn’t what’s causing disease in most people.  Along with the fructose in a piece of fruit you’re also getting fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients that your body needs.  Good choices include apples, apricots, berries, melon, citrus fruit, kiwi, cherries, pear, plum, and peach. A portion is about the size of a tennis ball, or ½ to 1 cup of fresh bite sized pieces.

If you need help getting fructose out of the diet, our staff nutritionist is available to guide you to healthier choices that are best for your unique body and health status.

Eat Well, Be Well.


Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid


By |2023-05-15T15:55:34-05:00May 17th, 2023|Articles, General|

Uric Acid –A Common Denominator for Dementia, High Blood Pressure, High Blood Sugar, and Weight Gain

by Mila McManus, MD

Did you know that high uric acid levels play a central role in increasing our blood sugar, blood pressure, and body fat?

It is fairly common knowledge that high levels of uric acid in the human body can cause Gout, a sudden arthritis which attacks joints causing significant pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in joints.  It usually affects one joint at a time, typically a big toe or knee. Did you know that high uric acid levels play a central role in increasing blood sugar, blood pressure, and body fat?  In fact, elevated uric acid levels are now being considered as a diagnostic criterion for metabolic syndrome. It’s possible to have high uric acid levels without any obvious symptoms…until the wheels fall off the cart!

Elevated uric acid levels lead to endothelial dysfunction (think of tight/stiff arteries rather than relaxed and dilated blood vessels), increased oxidative stress, microvascular damage, reduction in nitric oxide bioavailability in the endothelial lining, and contributes to cognitive decline as it directly and indirectly damages blood vessels of the brain. Endothelial cells are the main type of cell in the lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart. Consequently, elevated uric acid levels negatively impact health in the cardiovascular, blood circulatory, metabolic, and lymphatic systems, as well as joints.

From a dietary standpoint, the best way to prevent elevated uric acid is to eat and drink a clean, whole food diet while maintaining stable blood sugar. Most importantly is to avoid excessive fructose from fruits, all high fructose corn sugar/syrup, as well as other high fructose sweeteners such as honey and agave nectar. High fructose corn sugar is found in fast food, breakfast cereal, bread, and baked goods, sweetened dairy products, candy, canned fruit and soups, and soft drinks as well as salad dressings, ketchup, and energy drinks. Grapes, watermelon, and dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, apricots, and apples are also intensified forms of fructose.

To have your uric acid levels checked, discuss dietary adjustments, or explore ways to manage gout and other health issues related to high uric acid levels, schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare practitioners or nutritionist on staff.

If you want to take a deeper dive into learning about uric acid, I recommend reading Dr. Perlmutter’s book called Drop Acid (also available on Audible).

Reference: OrthoMolecular – Uric Acid, practitioner informational sheet/UAX-Pro. Permission granted 1/16/2023, NH.

By |2023-02-01T09:04:40-05:00February 1st, 2023|Articles, General|