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Why sugar drinks fatten us faster than any other food

By David Coory

Your body fat is mostly made from excess glucose. Glucose is the energy fuel that runs our bodies, rather like petrol fuels your car. Common sugar is approximately half glucose and half fructose.

Glucose doesn’t need to be digested and can be used ‘as is’ by our body. It is rapidly absorbed, especially from sweet drinks and fruit juices. Even a moderate amount of sweet liquid can spike our blood glucose level just a few minutes after drinking. Sugar from whole fruit doesn’t spike our blood with large amounts of glucose as it needs to first pass through the digestive process, which takes time.

To prevent a diabetic brain coma, this surplus glucose needs to be rapidly withdrawn from our blood. This is done by insulin, which converts the glucose to fat (tryglycerides) for possible future energy needs. This fat is stored around our waistline, hips and other inconvenient places.

Fructose, the other half of common sugar needs to be converted to glucose by our liver before it can pass into the blood, so there is a delay, greatly reducing the risk of a blood glucose spike. Researchers have found that when a large amount of fructose is consumed, a third of the converted glucose from the liver is not used for energy, but is converted directly to fat. Endocrinologist Dr R. Lustig writes: “120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat.” This is a major contributor to obesity, especially as high fructose corn syrup is more fructose than glucose and widely used as a cheap food sweetener. Natural fruit sugars are generally half fructose.


Excess sugar creates bad fats

“For 25 years I’ve been warning people that long-term consumption of sugar is the surest way to create disease. Avoid sugar, it will create bad fats when consumed beyond what the body needs. Sugar is broken down into small molecules and reassembled as fats. These fats are called triglycerides. These are the fats that impair blood flow inside blood vessels and raise the risk of coronary artery narrowing. Our cholesterol ratios also worsen, with HDL falling and LDL rising”. Dr Robert Atkins

A saliva pH reading lower than pH 6.8 is a sign that we are consuming too much sugar.