The Fructose Connection: Are Processed Foods Making You Fat?

Eating too many processed foods may be the reason why you’re consuming so much sugar.

First, look at the facts: Most major food manufacturers began replacing sugar (made from sugar cane or beets) with the less-expensive high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the 1970s and 1980s. They started adding it to thousands of processed foods and beverages, including soda, breads, crackers, cereals, yogurt, ketchup, and mayonnaise, as well as frozen and fast foods.

At around the same time, as consumption of HFCS soared, obesity rates in the U.S. skyrocketed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1970, around 30 percent of the U.S. population was overweight and 15 percent was obese. Today, more than two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese.

Each year, the average American may be consuming as much as 103 pounds from refined fructose, including high-fructose corn syrup, according to food scientist Russ Bianchi, managing director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc., a global food and beverage product development firm. Please note that I’m not citing official USDA figures of about 79 pounds per person, which are “grossly underreported,” according to Bianchi.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Can Make You Fat Faster Than Other Sweeteners

The Fructose Connection: Are Processed Foods Making You Fat?Research from Princeton University showed that fructose can make you fat faster than other sweeteners. “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true. When rats drink high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they become obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this,” explained renowned Princeton University addiction researcher and psychology professor Bartley G. Hoebel, Ph.D.

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Some experts now believe that your body doesn’t metabolize fructose in the same way that it processes other sugars. The theory goes like this: when fructose enters a cell, enzymes break it down, but then the actions of these enzymes raise blood pressure, increase blood levels of artery-clogging fat, and eventually cause obesity.

Researcher Richard J. Johnson, M.D., who has conducted extensive studies on fructose’s effects on our health, concludes that “chronic consumption of foods sweetened with fructose seems to promote biochemical changes that prevent the brain from receiving messages from appetite hormones — even when you are not consuming fructose.”

Fructose Phenomenon Leads To “Substantial Weight Gain

“This fructose phenomenon leads to “substantial weight gain in animals,” he observes. “Studies suggest that the same thing occurs in humans who consume too much fructose,” explains Dr. Johnson, co-author of The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That Is Making You Fat and Sick, and professor of medicine and chief of renal diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado.

If you’re a big fan of processed foods and overweight or obese, this information may help explain why it’s been such a struggle for you to get rid of your excess pounds — and keep them off.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc.
©2012 by Connie Bennett. All Rights Reserved

This article was adapted with permission from the book:

Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter by Connie Bennett.

Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter by Connie Bennett.For the millions of people who suffer with problems such as low libido, excess weight, overpowering fatigue, and many other unexplained ailments, Beyond Sugar Shock provides a step-by-step, six-week program to gently guide readers to a healthier life.  From Connie Bennett, author of the bestseller Sugar Shock!—the book that Mehmet Oz said “spills the beans” on the shocking impact of sugar and simple carbohydrates—comes Beyond Sugar Shock, the first book to provide a simple, practical, mind-body-spirit plan to help readers break free of their sugar or carb addiction.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Connie Bennett, author of: Beyond Sugar Shock.A former sugar addict, Connie Bennett, CHHC, CPC, ACC is a sought-after transformational speaker, certified health coach, certified life coach, journalist, host of the Gab with the Gurus Radio Show, and creator of the popular Sugar Freedom Now Course. Connie is author of the bestselling book, Sugar Shock: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life—And How You Can Get Back on Track. Visit her blog at and learn more about her Sugar Freedom Now Course at