Reports came out this week about McDonald’s producing a ‘healthy’ fizzy drink for kids which contains 12g of sugar (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2141631/McDonalds-launches-healthy-drink-children-contains-12-spoonfuls-sugar.html). I could go on and on about why people should not be eating there and especially why they should not let their kids be eating there but that’s another post altogether so let’s stick with the drink for now. It may contain more nutrients than a coke given the fruit content however 12g of sugar for a large portion is still a LOT of sugar. People will argue that these are ‘fruit sugars’ otherwise known as fructose, which makes it ok.
Fructose is processed in the liver (unlike glucose which can pass directly into the bloodstream for energy or storage) which tends to turn the fructose into triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood and a major cause of heart disease). Elevated triglycerides has been shown to lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that signals the brain that we are full, and thus we should stop eating. High triglycerides are thought to prevent the leptin from reaching the brain. When the body stops responding to leptin, it causes the appetite to run out of control.
Fat storage is also thought to be increased after fructose consumption as lipogenesis – the process of converting sugars into body fat increases with fructose consumption.
So all in all, too much fructose decreases the body’s response to to leptin to stop eating, and it increases fat storage. So you eat more and the body stores more as fat. And we wonder why the nation is getting obese?
All of this coupled with the effects sugar has on teeth makes this drink a no no. If you add the rest of the meal into the equation and you have a sugar time bomb….