Edited for request of: Do you have a list of fruits and their levels of fructose?
A study that just came out of Princeton (abstract) found out that high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar. Now, I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I think this is important news to hit even mainstream media. There are people who probably know HFCS is bad, but they might also think it's equivalent to sugar. Not so.
HISTORYHigh fructose corn syrup is a concoction made from corn and manufactured to be sweet. The process converts the glucose to fructose, hence, "high fructose." There are actually different percentages manufactured, but the most popular ones are HFCS 55 (55% fructose, 45% glucose) used in soda and other drinks, and HFCS 42 which is used in foods. Although the process was invented in the 1950s, HFCS wasn't used in food production until the late 1970s. A study done in 2008 shows that the average American consumed 37.8 POUNDS of HFCS...that's not even total sugar!
IMPORTANT POINTS FROM THE STUDY
-Although same in total calories, the HFCS diet created more body fat in rats (This is not saying sugar is good; it's just saying HFCS is even worse than most thought)
-Results were similar for both short term (2 months) and long term (6-8 months) trials
-Besides becoming obese, the rats demonstrated other signs of metabolic syndrome such elevated triglycerides, abdominal fat. (This can also happen when you consume grains. The grains are converted to sugar and stored as fat, raising triglyceride levels and causing metabolic syndrome.)
-all of these signs may be precursors to cancer, diabetes, coronary disease, and other life threatening illnesses. (No one wants this)
-The scientists believe that a large part of this difference is due to the fructose found in HFCS: fructose is almost immediately stored as fat versus glucose which may be used by the muscles and/or stored as glycogen in the liver (although not mentioned in the study or article, the fructose is a reason that you may not be leaning out, even on a no grain, no sugar diet. If you are having an excessive amount of FRUIT, esp. apples, bananas, grapes, you may be converting this fructose to fat stores)*-The best part about the study? The fact that rats on the HFCS diet gained more weight than the ones on a high fat diet.
So now you're saying "ok, well I'll avoid the HFCS and sugar and go for the diet stuff with aspartme." If you're not saying that, you might be saying "ok, well I'll substitute with agave nectar and stevia." Either of these "healthier" options won't work. If you eat something sweet, your body will actually produce an insulin response and react the same way as if it had sugar and/or HFCS. And if you didn't know, it's actually the INSULIN response from SUGAR SPIKES that stores fat....NOT eating fat. So don't even go with the aspartme, agave, or stevia. Drink your water straight up, or with lemon juice in it, and drink your coffee and tea black.
*List of foods and fruit and their fructose/glucose/sucrose levels. Apples, grapes, pears, and cherries top the whole fruit list for fructose. You can see from this table why dried fruit is more convenient, but less healthy than whole fruit. Best fruit to have would be berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and my favorite, strawberries.
Now, KEEP IN MIND that if you are just learning about how to clean up your diet that I would rather you be eating apples, bananas, and pears over soda, cookies, and chips. However, if you already have a pretty clean diet and want to clean it up even more, try limiting your fruit intake and stick with meat and veggies.