High fructose corn syrup is a popular and inexpensive sweetener used in many processed foods such as breakfast bars, yogurts, bread, lunch meat and soup. It is also widely found in beverages such as juice and soft drinks.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the differing effects of fructose and glucose on blood flow to the brain using magnetic resonance imaging in 20 healthy volunteers. Glucose consumption reduces blood flow to the areas of the brain that control appetite and reward-seeking behavior. In comparison, fructose does not have an effect on those brain pathways, nor does fructose consumption raise blood sugar and insulin as glucose does.
It is almost as if high-fructose foods contain stealth calories. Even after they have been eaten, the brain and body can’t recognize them as nourishing, so the person doesn’t feel satiated. This offers support to the argument that fructose in the food supply is helping drive the obesity epidemic.