High fructose corn syrup makes up more than 40% of calorie sweeteners in today’s foods and beverages.
What is it exactly?
It’s derived from corn, which is majorly cheap compared to other sources of sweeteners. It’s not only cheap, but abundant. And it’s really sweet, since it’s 55 to 90% fructose.
Because it’s so cheap to produce, it has replaced sugar and other sweeteners in most processed foods and beverages. Anything packaged or bottled will almost certainly contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), in some amount.
What’s the problem with it?
High fructose corn syrup just happens to be a major cause of this country’s, as well as other countries’ problems of obesity, diabetes, and inflammation. Actually, a VERY major cause!
It’s different from plain old sugar (sucrose), as well as other sugars, all of which break down in our bodies into glucose and fructose—but from there they behave in a different way.
Glucose is used by our bodies for energy and metabolism. In fact, nearly every cell of your body can use glucose.
Fructose, on the other hand, can only be processed by liver cells.
And this can be a problem. Recent studies show the negative affects high fructose corn syrup has on us:
- Increases appetite
- Promotes obesity more than regular sugar
- More addictive than cocaine
- Contributes to inflammation and diabetes
And something else…. high doses of fructose actually cause holes in the lining of the intestines. This allows no-good by-products like toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food to get into the bloodstream, causing inflammation—a MAJOR problem.
I think we’re all aware of the dangers of high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. High fructose corn syrup causes the liver to trigger the formation of both of those bad boys. And that begins the slide into the liver damage referred to as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with increased fat, inflammation, and maybe even fibrosis.
Fructose is different from glucose in another way. Glucose triggers satiating hormones, as well as stimulating insulin secretion and leptin production. This all tells your brain you’ve had enough to eat.
On the other hand, high fructose corn syrup differs in the effect on your body. There are no signals to stop eating. And needless to say, THAT presents problems with your hormones and metabolism.
HFCS may not raise insulin, like sugar does, but it DOES contribute to insulin resistance. And that leads to weight gain, high triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, and possibly cancer.
But doesn’t fruit, that’s supposedly good for us, contain fructose?
Yes. Why is it different? The fructose in fruit doesn’t do, in our bodies, what high fructose corn syrup does to us. If we eat, say an apple, we benefit from a unique combination of nutrients and fiber. It doesn’t affect us the same way as the fructose in HFCS. We would have consume massive amounts of fruit (more than anyone can possibly consume) to have any problem with THAT amount of fructose.
Just one HFCS sweetened soda pop has a monumentally higher amount of fructose than all the fruit you could possibly eat at one time.
That soda pop fructose is absorbed much more quickly than ordinary sugar, going straight to your liver. And that wreaks havoc with your metabolism.
How can high fructose corn syrup be avoided?
Avoid processed, packaged foods as much as possible. Concentrate on real, whole, unprocessed foods. If you do buy packaged foods, READ THE LABEL! Any mention of “High Fructose Corn Syrup” or the latest sneaky label of “Corn Sugar” is definitely to be avoided. And there are other crafty ways they try to reword high fructose corn syrup. If in doubt, put the package back on the shelf and look elsewhere. And most sweetened beverages contain it. Choose carefully.
LETS ALL STAY HEALTHY! AVOID HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!