You Don’t Have to be Diabetic To Have Blood Sugar Challenges (Part 1)

So many people are suffering ill health effects because of the abundance of sugar— specifically, fructose in the diet.  You don’t have to be diagnosed as diabetic to be in this category.  Too much fructose could be THE REASON THAT YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT!

Common symptoms of blood sugar issues (often Pre-Diabetic):

  • Inability to lose weight
  • Sleep challenges at night
  • Fatigue by day
  • Poor circulation (cold hands/feet, erectile disfunction, brain fog)
  • Hormone issues (PMS, hot flashes, mood swings, infertility, etc.)
  • Trouble focusing (ADD or ADHD)
    • A study done in 2011 found that in brain scans, glucose raised levels of brain activity for 20 minutes while fructose dropped brain activity for about 20 minutes.  (Conclusion: fructose hinders proper brain function)
      • For this reason, a high blood sugar (associated with fructose) often increases anxiety as well.
      • Glucose is primary fuel for the brain so a stable blood sugar is needed for proper brain and nervous system function.

Facts about high sugar issues:

  • All calories are NOT created equal.  Some food sources are better than others.  We know that the fat from fried chicken can’t compare to the healthy fat in walnuts.  The same is true for sugars.  The sugar (mainly glucose) found in a steamed sweet potato is of course going to be way more helpful in the body than the sugar from a Coke and/or candy bar.
  • Fructose turns to fat in the liver very quickly. (Increased sugar = Increased fat)
  • Sugary drinks are some of the most toxic.  They are NOT empty calories; they are way worse than that because they actually harm the body with caffeine (which is hard on the liver and adrenals), High Fructose Corn Syrup (damaging to the brain and nervous system), dyes, and more.  (Not to mention that most of them come in a metal or plastic can/bottle.)  Here are a few issues caused by drinking soda:
    • Excess phosphorus depletes bones of calcium.  Bone loss means that the calcium from your bones buffers the acid condition in your blood, but where does the excess calcium go?  It could go anywhere!  In the kidneys, it can create kidney stones… in the eyes, it can cause cataracts… in the feet, bone spurs… etc.
    • Liver damage
    • Diabetes
    • High BP
    • Dental issues
    • Impaired digestion
    • Cancer (throat, colon, breast, and more)
    • Increased weight, especially belly fat (1 can of Coke/day = 15 lbs/year)
  • Normal/healthy blood sugar responses have been altered by a diet and lifestyle where we eat so much processed food.
  • It is relatively unnatural to get high doses of sugar in nature.  Think about it: anywhere you see sugar, you will also see LOTS of fiber.  Even sugar cane itself…IS A STICK!
  • A 58-week University of Utah study showed the following: Mice fed a diet containing 25 percent sugar – the equivalent of three cans of soda daily – were twice as likely to die as mice fed a similar diet without sugar.
  • High blood sugar in children results in brain challenges, behavioral challenges and increase risk of diabesity (diabetes accompanied with obesity) and eventually metabolic disease.
  • Percentage of children ages 6-19 considered obese went from about 5% in 1980 to over 21% in 2012.
  • Diabetes and obesity are inclining together.

Fructose, especially in its processed and extracted form (high fructose corn syrup) causes many problems in the body.  Plus, it’s easy to consume a lot quickly, especially if you’re drinking it.  For example, a glass of orange juice is the juice of 4-8 oranges.  With the fiber, in whole food form, it would be difficult to consume that many oranges in one setting, yet we can drink that juice (and all of its sugar and calories) in just a few moments. 

Fructose impacts:

  1. Hormones:  Fructose mixes up signals with insulin and leptin.  It has no impact on Ghrelin (which tells the body you need to eat more) but does impact Leptin (which tells the body to stop eating).  This creates a perfect storm for over eating and gaining weight.
  2. NAFLD (liver disease- not from alcohol): Fructose is metabolized mainly in the liver and turns to fat quickly (fatty liver). This causes cirrhosis and liver cancer, which effects 30% of the population.  The liver produces hormones, detoxes the body, improves mood (anger), and regulates cholesterol.  If your liver is congested by sugar and oil, expect a myriad of symptoms. 
  3. Energy: Spikes and crashes when you’re on fructose.
  4. Sleep challenges (often you will be tired all day but have trouble sleeping at night).  While you sleep, that is when your body heals, repairs and resets.  If you’re not sleeping you won’t be able to repair as needed. 
  5. Weight: Due to trouble created with the liver and sleep, your body will hold on to weight.
  6. Stress: Your body undergoes more stress due to hormone issues, sleep issues and trouble focusing.
  7. Aging/longevity: A most important aspect of this fructose nightmare is its creation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Fructose is 10 times more active in creating these AGEs than glucose.

Types of sugar:

  • HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) (~80% fructose and 20% glucose):  A syrup sweetener made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose.
  • Agave (“healthy” 80% fructose…): Agave is marketed as low glycemic and healthy but the truth is, inside your body, it acts exactly like HFCS.
  • Ethanol (sugar from alcohol):  The average adult in the US consumes 3 gallons of alcohol per year, thus contributing to the growing number of issues with diabetes, excess weight, hormone challenges (infertility for example) and liver conditions. 
  • Fructose: Even though it doesn’t raise your blood sugar like glucose, it still contributes to insulin resistance. 
    • Metabolized into fat in the liver much quicker than glucose
    • Fructose is okay up to about 25g/day (depending on activity level).  The average American now consumes around 80g/day which is 3 times what our body was created to handle.
    • Just so you have an idea, this shows the number of grams of FRUCTOSE in each food: Apple-12g, orange- 7g, banana-6.5g, Mango-10g, 100g of fresh figs- 2g, 100g of dried figs- 25g.
    • 1 soda/pop= 29g fructose
    • Dr. Robert Lustig did some great research on Fructose and concluded that because of its damaging effects on the liver that fructose consumption is “alcohol without the buzz”
    • After eating fructose, most of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. This is NOT the case with glucose, of which your liver breaks down only 20 percent. Nearly every cell in your body utilizes glucose, so it’s normally “burned up” immediately after consumption.
  • Glucose: A simple sugar that is an important energy source in living organisms and is a component of many carbohydrates. 
    • Glucose is a good and natural fuel for the body and can be stored in large quantities without problems (such as carb loading with potatoes).
    • Every cell of the body can use glucose.
  • Sucrose (~50% fructose and 50% glucose): Table sugar

**Honey and maple syrup are a combination of fructose and glucose (% change with the type)

Wow…now can you see why so many people are struggling with losing weight, even if they don’t eat excessively?  Don’t worry…there’s hope!

Keep an eye out soon for the next blog post with the rest of the story (part 2).


Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.  It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.

Dr. LeAnn Fritz, PhD

Dr. LeAnn is a practitioner, coach, speaker, consultant, and the founder of New Hope Health. She is also the author of The Quantum Weight Loss Blueprint, and Get Healthy Now. She is laser-focused on practical, evidence-based practices to empower her clients to get real results that last. She sets the bar when it comes to radiant health that will change every area of your life forevermore.

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