What I Just Learned About Glucose

Definitely replacing this!   photo courtesy of Bill Longshaw

Definitely replacing this! Photo courtesy of Bill Longshaw

 

I’ve learned a number of useful tidbits from reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.  Here are a couple excerpts from his book which I found rather eye opening: (pages 199-200)

“The key is the influence of glucose or fructose not on blood sugar but on the liver.  Glucose goes directly into the bloodstream and is taken up by the tissues and organs to use as energy; only 30-40 percent passes through the liver.  Fructose passes directly to the liver, where it is metabolized almost exclusively.  As a result, fructose “constitutes a metabolic load targeted at the liver,” the Israeli diabetologist Eleazar Shafir says, and the liver responds by converting it into triglycerides-fat-and then shipping it out on lipoproteins for storage.  The more fructose in the diet, the higher the subsequent triglyceride levels in the blood.”*

“*For this reason, fructose is referred to as the most lipogenic carbohydrate.” 

Seriously?  Isn’t “lipo” Latin for “fat”?

Apparently, our bodies will also adapt to exposure to high-fructose diets and “the more fructose in the diet and the longer the period of consumption, the greater the secretion of triglycerides by the liver.”

“Moreover, fructose apparently blocks both the metabolism of glucose in the liver and the synthesis of glucose into glycogen, the form in which the liver stores glucose locally for later use.  As a result, the pancreas secretes more insulin to overcome this glucose traffic jam at the liver, and this in turn induces the muscles to compensate by becoming more insulin resistant.”

*****

And just as a reminder, high triglycerides are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  Also, table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are both half glucose and half fructose. 

So if I am understanding this correctly, my intake of candy and juice and occasionally a dessert to treat low blood sugars is effectively increasing my likelihood for high triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance? 

I bought glucose tablets today.  (Again, I could be misinterpreting the info as I’m not really into science-if anyone is and disagrees with my conclusion, do help a girl out!)

For more convincing and more info on why glucose tabs are the best low blood sugar treatment, read what certified diabetes educator, Will Dubois has to say.  His is not as serious as this post for he has a great knack for humor. 

Enjoy:  Know Your Glucose

Also, see here for a list of foods highest in fructose

Stay tuned for a post coming up discussing how I lowered my basal insulin requirements by 25% in just a week.  Part of the magic happened when I switched to glucose tablets for lows but that wasn’t all!  Also I’ll be reviewing Gary Sheiner’s Type 1 University online class on weight loss :)

3 thoughts on “What I Just Learned About Glucose

  1. tmana

    If fructose itself were the issue, then fruits would be across-the-board unhealthy for people to eat. As I understand it, the issue with HFCS is less the 5%-10% more fructose by proportion than sucrose (table sugar, which is half glucose and half fructose) than it is the chemical residue remaining in the product after it has been processed from corn, and the much higher levels of sugars overall in HFCS-sweetened products. (Remember that high levels of sugars and fats improve shelf stability.)

  2. Sysy Post author

    I wouldn’t say this proves fruit is unhealthy, it proves that we can only handle small amounts at a time-something worth noting.

  3. Reyna

    OK, this is fascinating. I need to come back and read the links when I have a few more minutes of time. Thank you for posting Sysy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *