Reducing fructose intake for 9 days can improve your health. Here’s why.
As the holidays draw near, the battle of the bulge takes on a new dynamic that includes sugar-heavy menus for many families. If you’re on a diet or fitness plan, the season’s greetings and all of its fixins can make it challenging to maintain your commitment.
But cutting down on one particular ingredient for nine days can help.
Reducing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can be a significant factor in a successful long-term solution to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. HFCS is a processed sweetener made from corn starch that is linked to obesity, fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. It is found in 75 percent of packaged goods and is almost immediately converted to fat and stored in the body, adding weight. HFCS does not provide any nutrients to the body, but rather, depletes energy as it is metabolized, leading to lethargy, fatigue and increased hunger.
But there is good news.
The metabolic effects of high-fructose corn syrup can be reversed in as little as nine days when sugar intake is limited.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the metabolic effects of HFCS can be reversed in as little as nine days when sugar intake is limited.
“Because fructose has no nutritional value and isn’t metabolized in the brain, your body and mind don’t register that you’ve taken anything in,” says researcher Michael Clearfield, DO, dean of Touro University California’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. “So, you can consume as much as you want but you will always want more.”
“But after nine days of a small adjustment to their diet, I can show a patient his blood work and say, ‘Look, you are significantly healthier already.’ That is going to encourage someone to take the next step and continue making progress,” Dr. Clearfield explains.
Change can be daunting
However, cutting back on your intake of HFCS can be difficult if the body has become accustomed to maintaining a certain amount of fat reserves and wants to keep that regardless of current conditions.
“This is what makes long-term weight loss so difficult,” he says. “Most people who successfully lose weight will just put it back on in a few months because the body wants to restore those fat reserves. It’s a very discouraging process.”
Exercise is not enough
Simply exercising more and changing your diet is not an effective strategy for optimal health, according to researchers. But changing your focus to better health rather than weight loss can be the catalyst you need to make a change.
Sustained adjustments, over time, lead to long-term health benefits that include greater energy and weight loss. The nine-day jump start will help.
Dr. Clearfield says people generally need to maintain a lower weight for one to two years before the body adjusts to a new normal level of fat storage.
Talk to your doctor about improving metabolic measures from fructose restriction, which can provide an early marker of improved health, even if no weight is lost.