Some people seem to approach the Paleo diet from a sort of tunnel vision approach. It goes like this:
“Since cavemen could have found honey, honey is Paleo. Since there was fruit in the pre-agricultural era, it is Paleo. If these foods are technically Paleo I can eat as much of them as I want to.”
Ummm, wrong. How often did your average little tribe of hunter-gatherers find a honey stash? How long is the season for most fruits? Banana a day, 365 days a year?
Lots of you have been told to be concerned about your cholesterol levels and thus to keep an eye on your fat intake (baseless, bad information). Did any of your physicians mention to you the effect of fruit and/or fructose on your cholesterol levels? I bet not. Check this out:
“While research has been accumulating that document the adverse health effects of fructose, a carefully-conducted collaborative research study conducted by a University of California-Berkeley group has finally closed the lid on the fructose question.
Compared to glucose, fructose induced:
1) Four-fold greater intra-abdominal fat accumulation¾3% increased intra-abdominal fat with glucose; 14.4% with fructose. (Intraabdominal fat is the variety that blocks insulin responses and causes diabetes and inflammation.)
2) 13.9% increase in LDL cholesterol. It also doubled Apoprotein B (an index of the number of LDL particles).
3) 44.9% increase in the dreaded small LDL, compared to 13.3% with glucose.
4) While glucose (curiously) reduced the net postprandial (after-eating) triglyceride response, fructose increased postprandial triglycerides an incredible 99.2%.
The authors propose that fructose metabolism, unlike glucose, is not inhibited (via feedback loop) by energy intake, i.e., it’s as if you are always starving.
Add to this the data that show that fructose increases uric acid (that causes gout and may act as a coronary risk factor), induces leptin resistance, causes metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes), and increases appetite, and it is clear that fructose is yet another common food additive that, along with wheat, is likely a big part of the reason Americans are fat and diabetic.
Fructose is concentrated in high-fructose corn syrup, comprising anywhere from 42-90% of total weight. Fructose is also half of sucrose (table sugar); thus, table sugar can be expected to yield many of the same effects. Fructose is also fruit sugar; among the worst culprits are raisins (30% fructose) and honey (41% fructose).”
For those of you wondering, agave nectar, honey and fruit all have fructose as their sugar. Table sugar is half fructose. Please remember that eating Paleo means more than just avoiding a particular list of foods. It also means taking in foods in amounts that are appropriate. Lots and lots of fruit every day is not on the Plan.
Don’t forget, Intro to Paleo, nutrition lecture next Wed, July 28 at 7pm. Free and open to the public.