Monday, July 28, 2008

The fat-building double whammy of your sweetened green tea drink

The sugar/carbohydrate fructose is widely used in mass-market sweet snacks and beverages (such as sweetened green tea) because of its low price.

A study done at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that fructose-laden foods are more likely to increase your body fat than other types of sugars for two reasons:

The carbohydrates came into the body as sugars, the liver took the molecules apart like tinker toys, and put them back together to build fats. All this happened within four hours after the fructose drink. As a result, when the next meal was eaten, the lunch fat was more likely to be stored than burned.

In other words, not only does the liver turn fructose into fat more easily, but once that molecular process is set up, any fat you consume after that is more likely to be stored as body fat than burned for energy.

So this is yet another reason to avoid those sweetened green tea drinks. Of course, even unsweetened bottled tea (if you can find it) isn't that great, either.

And if you ever wondered why high-calorie, bad-for-you snacks are, paradoxically, cheaper than wholesome foods, it's because junk food is produced making liberal use of fructose and other super-cheap sugars and fats:

Like most processed foods, the Twinkie is basically a clever arrangement of carbohydrates and fats teased out of corn, soybeans and wheat[.]

Dr. Elizabeth Parks, who headed the UT Southwestern study on how fructose increases body fat.

—Mellow Monk

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