Researchers at the University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich have published a new study that reveals it doesn’t take much sugar in your diet to fuel fat production, paving the way for obesity and related health conditions like type-2 diabetes.
Processed foods are often labeled with ‘added sugar,’ meaning the manufacturer added sugar — possibly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup — to the product in addition to any sugars naturally found in the ingredients. These added sugars can easily result in consuming large quantities of sugar, which is a known health risk.
This new study found that you don’t need to consume high quantities of sugar to jeopardize your health, however, with only ‘moderate’ amounts fueling fat production in the liver. It only takes around the amount of sugar found in a large soda to trigger metabolic changes, including overactive fat production in the liver that remains long after the sugar consumption has stopped.
The study involved 94 young men described as healthy at the start of the study. For the duration of seven weeks, the study participants drank a sweetened beverage that was sweetened using one of four different substances: sucrose, glucose, and fructose. A control group didn’t consume a beverage.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that sucrose and fructose both triggered double the fat production, which exceeded the participants’ food intake. Sucrose was found to increase the fat synthesis a bit more than fructose, which the researchers described as a surprise.
The increased fat production was in contrast to the control group, which didn’t consume a sweetened drink, and the glucose group. This increased fat production, the researchers note, paves the way for type-2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and a number of other diseases. It only took 80 daily grams of sugar to trigger the changes, underscoring public health recommendations to consume no more than around 50 grams of sugar daily.