High Fructose Corn Syrup – What Nature Never Intended!
High fructose corn syrup is not what nature intended. It was initially developed to be used sparingly in your diet, not beyond a few basic foods. Today, it is said to be one of the many major causes of health problems and obesity in the US, and rightly so.
When the word sugar comes to mind, most of us think of the white sprinkled stuff we use in coffee or for baking. Sugar is technically sucrose, a product refined from sugar cane or sugar beets. Corn syrup can't be found in a sugar bowl, but it is plentiful in many foods and drinks you consume each and everyday.
The Problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup
What’s the big hoopla about products laden with corn syrup? The problem has been building for a long time, but HFCS is taking over the market and making Americans not only obese, but terribly unhealthy. After all, weight gain happens when you over eat refined sugars and don’t exercise enough. Health problems ensue when you become overweight.
What we know as 'table sugar' used to be king in baking products especially, but was never added to the vast amounts of foods that high fructose corn syrup has been added to. Then corn syrup flooded the market. Now, after years of debate about the role of HFCS in the obesity epidemic, some food manufacturers have decided to go back to sugar to sweeten products.
Sugar and honey are viewed as being healthier than corn syrup, so food companies are playing up the sugar angle in their marketing efforts. Con Agra, Pepsi and Kraft Foods are among those switching from HFCS to sugar in SOME of their products. This news comes after decades of corn syrup being used (hidden and disguised) in many popular food sources.
That's kinda extraordinary considering that sugar used to be the health hazard. In the past, sugar had been blamed for causing weight gain and hyperactivity in children. Now corn syrup is being blamed for numerous and various illnesses. Sugar was the old evil doer and high fructose corn syrup is the new BAD kid on the block. Either way you slice it, both are found in far too many foods.
Scientists have said that eating too much of either substance isn't good for you. (It took a scientist to determine this?) In 2007, American adults ate approximately 44 pounds of sugar and 40 pounds of high fructose corn syrup. You can well imagine what those numbers look like today!
The real problem dates back to the 1960s, (figures, huh?) when HFCS became a popular substitute for sugar. American companies didn't have to rely on imports of sugar anymore. They could just substitute corn syrup instead.
The government (of course) helped make corn syrup an even bigger hit with manufacturers and consumers. Corn subsidies made HFCS cheaper to buy, as taxes and quotas doubled the market price of table sugar. Plus HFCS has a longer shelf life, which was another major advantage for most manufacturers.
Those moves led to widespread use of high fructose corn syrup in a vast amount of grocery items. Sodas are at the top of the list, but the range of products include salad dressings, barbecue sauces, whole grain breads, pasta sauces, hot dogs, breakfast cereals, peanut butter, jams, jellies, yogurt, and much more. Even consumers who avoid sodas may be taking in much more high fructose corn syrup than they could ever realize.
One long time problem with HFCS is that it actually interferes with optimum sugar metabolism. Another blockbuster concern is that it’s hard to avoid. Its simply found in every product on your grocery list! Unfortunately, reading labels alone isn’t enough to avoid it altogether.
Table sugar and corn syrup are both bad, but recent research shows corn syrup is far worse. The manufacturing of corn syrup makes it chemically different
than table sugar. When you consume table sugar as sucrose, glucose and fructose are chemically bonded to each other and then separate in digestion. When you consume HFCS, the sugars are unbound, giving free glucose and free fructose to your body before digestion ever begins.
Newer studies reveal that some manufacturers are adding mercury to HFCS from the chemicals used in processing. Small amounts of this toxic metal may appear in half or more of the products that use significant quantities of HFCS. Although the amounts are low, (falling below government safety levels), some critics suggest there may be other contaminants as well, but that has not been confirmed.
New Product Labeling for HFCS
As if all of this wasn't bad enough, the junk food industry is now HIDING what they don't want you to know. According to the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), there’s been a deceptive name change. The term ‘fructose’ now denotes any product that was previously known as HFCS-90, meaning the product contained 90 percent pure fructose. If you compare HFCS-90 to what is termed ‘regular’ fructose corn syrup, (which contains either 42 - 55 percent fructose), and you will know why BIG FOOD wants to keep you uninformed.
According to CRA:
"A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup’."
The way that they get one over on consumers is fairly simple:
"Simply eliminating the high fructose corn syrup designation for the laboratory sweetener that’s nine-tenths fructose and calling it what it really is: fructose. And that’s how a processed-food product like Vanilla Chex that contains "fructose", a substance that, according to the corn refiners, used to be called HFCS-90, can now declare itself to be high fructose corn syrup-free."
I call BULL! THIS type of deceptive practice is EXACTLY WHY Americans are battling the bulge. Keeping American's from knowing the truth about what's in their food, is just plain WRONG! How BIG FOOD gets away with this is even more demoralizing. When are enough American's going to fight back and say NO MORE?
Fructose and Your Body
The basic problem with high fructose corn syrup is the fructose itself. The body processes fructose more slowly than regular sucrose as table sugar.
In the liver, the body turns fructose into fat rather than burning it for energy. This contributes to what is called a 'fatty liver'. Your liver also has a harder time processing fructose. If there is a prolonged consumption of HFCS, a fatty liver can become defective, which encourages weight gain.
In addition, fructose compounds obesity by increasing hunger. When you eat more of it, you want more of it because your body signals that you’re still hungry. It never satiates or satisfies your appetite. HFCS fools your body because of a simple, yet complex chemical imbalance.
High Fructose Corn Syrup and Your Health
Insulin is your body's sugar manager. High fructose corn syrup is very sweet, so it naturally triggers an insulin response in your body. When you consume it regularly, your body’s insulin levels go haywire, which increases your potential for deadly strokes and heart attacks
. It also contributes to diabetes and all its health complications.
Analysts performed a retrospective study of diet and diabetes from 1909 to 1997. They found increased corn syrup consumption and less fiber intake related with an increase of type II diabetes.
What’s even more worrisome, is that it’s happening to our nation's children at an alarming rate. Kids and teens consume more corn-sweetened soft drinks than any other age group. This makes them much more likely to develop diabetes and/or be prone to obesity.
The fructose in high fructose corn syrup interacts with the carbonation to form substances called carbonyls. Carbonyls are not only toxic, but have been linked to cell damage which leads to diabetes in children.
According to the National Institute of Medicine, children born after 2000 have a greater lifetime risk for developing type 2 diabetes. That risk is 30 percent for boys and 40 percent for girls.
Most doctors don't recognize high fructose consumption as the cause of health problems in adults. Instead they treat symptoms like high blood pressure or high cholesterol as diseases in themselves. They prescribe drugs when only the best treatment is loss of weight, exercise, and restriction of simple carbohydrates - sugar and high fructose corn syrup are at the top of that list.
As consumers, you must learn to read the information that's printed on the product! Labels tell a story and you deserve to know what you're getting! Experts agree that ANY high fructose corn syrup in your diet should come from eating fresh fruits in moderation. For optimal health, put a lid on the sugar in general, and stay away from what many better informed doctors
are calling the most dangerous kind of sugar, high fructose corn syrup
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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Caution on Fructose Consumption: Do This and You'll Likely Gain 15 Pounds Next Year
How HFCS Damages Your Body
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