What They Say — Is it True?
Everyone has heard it. Cut sugary drinks from your daily diet. It’s supposed to be a popular and effective strategy for weight loss. Just eliminate extra “liquid calories” to create the caloric deficit needed to start shedding those unwanted pounds.
But wait! There is more to it than meets the eye. Current research shows it may not just be cutting the calories that helps you lose weight. It can also have something to do with the type of sugar you are consuming! The latest research reveals that the type of sugar in your beverage could affect whether or not you feel hungry after drinking it.
What’s the Real Culprit?
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers determined that your brain processes fructose and glucose differently. Apparently, glucose helped participants to feel full — but fructose did not.
You’re probably asking “what was the reason?” The study authors discovered that the glucose drink suppressed activity in the brain that regulates appetite, motivation and reward processing. Fructose based drinks on the other hand, were associated with reduced levels of insulin — a hormone responsible for sending satiety messages to the brain.
In a nut shell, fructose in its simple form may cause you to feel hungry based on the messages that the brain is receiving, but not because you really need food.
Four ways to limit too much fructose in your diet:
1) Skip the soda. Based on the study, it’s best to avoid carbonated drinks with fructose and/or high fructose corn syrup to help you stabilize your appetite and curb overeating. You’ll benefit from the caloric reduction as well!
2) Eat whole fruit! It’s important to know that fructose found in fruit is absorbed differently in the body due to the fleshy fiber in the fruit. Skip the juice and eat the whole apple or orange instead.
3) Add greens to your smoothie. Most smoothies are considered healthy foods, but if you’re noticing you’re ravenous shortly after having one, consider switching the majority of the fruit in the smoothie to greens. Include protein in your smoothie to help sustain you longer.
4) Read the labels! Sugar comes in many different forms, so make sure to read the labels on drinks before purchasing. If the packaging lists dextrose in the ingredients, that’s glucose. Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. If’ the label says “high fructose corn syrup” skip it!
And, don’t forget to make sure to check the serving information and calories before buying. Even if it is a “better” sugar, the drink could still have more calories than you wish to consume.
The more you know about what’s in your food, the easier it gets to make healthy choices that foster weight loss!
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