You know that added and refined sugars are unhealthy. Sometimes it can be dizzying to keep track of all the ways.
New research has uncovered yet another way refined sugars can out you in danger, and it’s something you might have never considered.
It comes as little surprise that sugar intake is associated with weight gain. Sugary snacks are loaded with calories and let’s face it, no one eats just a little bit of it. But it’s effect on weight and fat production is about more than just calories; sugar may actually speed up fat production in the body.
A new study from researchers at the University of Zurich found that just 80 grams of sugar – about 0.8 liters of regular soda – nearly doubled fat production in the liver.
Overactive fat production continued after the sugar was metabolized, even if no more was consumed.
The team looked at three specific types of added sugars: glucose, fructose, and sucrose, which is essentially a type of table sugar containing fructose and glucose.
They found that fructose had the worst effect, nearly doubling fat production in study participants compared to the glucose and control groups. The sucrose group also experienced elevated fat production, suggesting that fructose may have the most damaging metabolic effect.
This data also points to a potential reason how just how sugar intake increases the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. High-sugar diets have become a leading cause of liver disease, and these observed metabolic changes provide some insight the process.
World Health Organization recommendations are to cap daily sugar consumption between 25 and 50 grams.
It’s also worth noting that naturally occurring fructose-which are found in fruits-do not contribute to fat gain or liver damage. We’re talking about added fructose that’s found in countless sweetened foods and beverages.
The dangers of added sugars keep compounding and pose a serious risk to your health. To reduce the risk, slowly ween yourself off of sugar to retrain your tastebuds to notice natural sugars, like those found in fruit.