Today, Friday, February 15, 2019

Over-Consumption of Fruit Linked to Unexpected Weight Gain

Recently, a study was published that may possibly exhibit a link between fruit consumption and weight gain.  The study determined that high consumption of fructose may well be a cause of leptin resistance.   When combined with a high-fat, high-calorie diet, leptin resistance was determined, per previous studies, to be a determining factor in weight gain.

However, this is the first study to demonstrate that consuming high levels of fructose, in and of itself, induces leptin resistance.  Leptin plays a regulatory role in our bodies, helping to balance food intake with energy expenditure. 

The study was conducted on laboratory rats by a group of researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.  Entitled, “Fructose-induced leptin resistance exacerbates weight gain in response to subsequent high fat feeding,” the study was published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Florida Research

The University of Florida researchers performed an experiment using two groups of rats to test the hypothesis that a high-fructose diet could lead to leptin resistance, which could in turn lead to exacerbated weight gain, when combined with a high-fat, high-calorie diet.  

During the six-month study, researchers fed the two groups of rats the exact same diet with one key difference: one group received high levels of fruit juice derived fructose, while the other received none.

At study’s end, both groups of rats were injected with leptin.  Animals with a normal leptin response would lower their food intake if injected with leptin.  The high-fructose rats, however, did not exhibit this response.  Despite the leptin injection, the rats who consumed high levels of fructose maintained or incresed their food intake levels, as compared to the group that received no fructose, and whose food intake actually decreased.

Following the leptin injections, the researchers next introduced a high-fat, high-calorie diet to both groups of rats.  While both groups put on weight, the high-fructose rats gained both weight and increased fat levels at a much faster rate as compared with the no-fructose diet group.

Fruit and Weight Gain
The researchers concluded that if the same response was ascribed to humans, consumption of  high-fructose diets could well make one more susceptible to weight gain, if they consume a high fat, high calorie diet. 

While often, the leptin resistance responsible for such a reaction could be ascribed to consuming sugar and high fructose corn syrup, an over- consumption of fruit could just as easily cause the same reaction.

According to CNN nutrition expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis, "Eating too much of anything will cause weight gain or prevent weight loss.  Fruit has three times the calories per serving as non-starchy vegetables, so it is easier to consume to many fruit calories."

And while the sugar found in fruit may be healthier than refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, it still contains the same number of calories per serving. 

Dr. Jampolis recommends limiting ones fruit intake to three servings per day.  In addition, she advises sticking to fresh or frozen fruit only and avoiding dried fruit, fruit cups and fruit juice, which are all higher in calories, lower in fiber and easier to over-consume.

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