The difference between Glucose and Fructose.
Different foods affect the body in different ways and sugar is very fattening. Sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup contain two molecules: glucose and fructose. Glucose is vital to life and is an integral part of our metabolism. Our bodies produce it and we have a constant reservoir of it in the bloodstream but every cell in the body can use glucose for energy. If we don’t get glucose from the diet, our bodies produce what we need out of proteins and fats. Fructose, however, is very different. This molecule is not a natural part of metabolism and we do not produce it in our bodies. In fact, very few cells in the body can make use of it except liver cells.
So how does the liver use it?
When we eat a lot of sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver. There it gets turned into fat, which is then secreted into the blood. The hormone insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate our metabolism and energy use. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas, and then travels in the blood to muscle cells. Insulin also sends a signal to these cells that they should put transporters for glucose onto their surface, thereby allowing glucose to get into the cells where it can be used.
How does it cause Type II diabetes?
When we eat sugar, glucose levels go up. Excess glucose is toxic so insulin rapidly goes up in order to get the glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. If we didn’t have insulin or it wasn’t functioning correctly, blood glucose would reach toxic levels. This is when you become insulin resistant; you will have more insulin in your blood all the time until the entire thing breaks and leads to type II diabetes, which can happen eventually.
How does sugar it make you fat?
Insulin also has other functions and one of them is sending signals to our fat cells. Insulin tells the fat cells to pick up fat from the bloodstream and store it so to avoid burning the fat that they already carry. When insulin levels go up the energy in our bloodstream gets deposited in the fat cells and stored thus making you fat.
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