So-called "healthy" snack is a diet destroying sugar bomb in disguise

If you stroll into your pal's house and notice the fruit bowl has been emptied of coins, keys and junk mail, and filled with actual fruit instead, then it's a pretty safe bet he's been badgered into yet another diet attempt.

If you want your buddy's weight loss efforts to succeed wait for him to leave the room... and then quick, like a bunny, toss that fruit in the trash!

Because I'm sure his doc has convinced him the best way to lose weight is to snack on more fruit, but the truth is you couldn't dish out worse advice if you tried -- because fruit is actually a LOUSY diet snack.

New research finds that fruit's natural sugar, fructose, can induce so much hunger that simply taking a bite of an apple could have you suddenly craving chips and other garbage.

And that, my friend, isn't a diet aid. It's a diet buster.

In the study, volunteers given fructose -- aka "fruit sugar" -- had more activity in the part of the brain responsible for hunger and cravings.

What showed up in the brain scans also materialized in the real world -- because the volunteers ended up feeling so hungry they probably could have downed a box of donuts and still had room for a bag or two of chips.

In fact, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the cravings were so overpowering that when offered the choice of junk food on the spot or cold hard cash in a month, they actually chose the junk food.

The reason is simple: fruit is a sugar bomb.

Sure, it's better for you than a soda. But it's loaded with fructose, the same stuff you'll find in the high-fructose corn syrup used in soda. The ratio's a little different, but once it's rushing through your bloodstream your body doesn't give a rip whether it came from an orange or an Orange Crush.

It's just sugar.

Fructose comes with a cartload of calories, but your brain doesn't reward them in quite the same way as it does other calories. It doesn't trigger the hormones that let your body know you've eaten.

As a result, you get hungry all over again... and you keep eating.

Don't get me wrong, an occasional piece of fruit isn't so bad if you like that kind of thing. (And it's far better than other sugar-loaded foods.) But if you want a FAR BETTER diet-friendly snack boil an egg, grab some jerky or fry up a few pieces of bacon -- any one of them will fill your belly and kill your cravings all at once.

Curing the cravings,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.