Fructose Linked to High Calorie Cravings

According to research, the consumption of fructose leads to cravings for high calorie foods. An experiment that was done with 24 healthy volunteers found that fructose, as compared to glucose, yielded a higher amount of activity in the reward regions of the brain, as well as heightened responses to images of food and a proclivity to pick a high calorie food over a future financial reward.

Dr. Daniel Amen says the results of the study showed that the consumption of fructose produced more of a response to food related cues in the orbital frontal cortex of the participants. This region of the brain is instrumental in reward processing. The participants were given drinks that were either high in glucose or high in fructose, and when they were offered the choice between a high calorie food right now or money in the future (specifically, one month later), the ones who drank the fructose were more likely than the ones who drank the glucose to choose the food and instant gratification.

However, researchers would not recommend that people avoid eating fruit, which is known to contain fructose. Fruit contains relatively little sugar when compared with the soft drinks and processed foods, and it is full of fiber as well. Fiber can make people feel full. The nutritional value of fruit is high enough to offset any potential fructose and negative effects that it could cause in the brain and body.

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