Friday, November 11, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

By: A. Kiser

High fructose corn syrup is a corn based sweetener that has been on the market since 1970. This sweetener is an alias for sugar and is disguised in the ingredients so the consumer doesn’t realize they are actually putting a much more dangerous type of sugar into their bodies. High fructose corn syrup is an inexpensive way to sweeten food, keep food moist, and is easy to transport. This sweetener is a mixture between glucose and fructose. Glucose is transported through the blood and is used by the body for energy. Fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or require insulin to be transported into cells. The fructose affects the amount of leptin in your body. Leptin tells your body to stop eating when it’s full by signaling the brain to stop sending hunger signals. This then causes the body to start gaining more weight then normal. As a result you can start having an unhealthy weight gain. Fructose should not be eliminated from your diet, but should be kept under control. High levels of high fructose consumption are dangerous, but the nutrients received from the fruits are beneficial because they are in smaller amounts. Fructose in fruits has more complex nutrients the body needs in order to function.

One strong debate is that cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the same and are broken down the same way in the body. That is in fact untrue. High fructose corn syrup is worse than cane sugar because of the ratio between glucose and fructose. In high fructose corn syrup the ratio between glucose and fructose is 50-50, while the ration between fructose and glucose is 55-45. Since fructose is sweeter then glucose, this product becomes much more dangerous because people will consume more of the product containing it. The cost of HFCS is much cheaper then cane sugar which made the bottle of soda balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces. The reason is because the costs to manufacture these goods are low, but the costs to the consumer are high. The costs to humans are obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease. Inside of the body there is no digestion required, so it goes right into your blood stream. The fructose then travels right to your liver and over time can cause it to become what we know as a “fatty liver.” Rapidly absorbed glucose then spikes the insulin amount. Both of these factors from HFCS contribute to weight gain, increase in appetite, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and accelerated aging. The reason for all of these diseases? Because HFCS is absorbed much more rapidly then can sugar which results in much higher food intake.

The start of reducing how much you can consume is by reading the ingredients of each product. If high fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient, then you shouldn’t eat it. In a grocery store you should shop the perimeter and stick to the fresh whole foods the better off you are. Also, avoid the center aisles where the processed and commercial foods are because they are the high culprit foods and the majority of foods made with high fructose corn syrup in those locations. Some foods that contain high amounts of this sweetener are regular soft drinks, frozen yogurts, ketchup, breakfast cereals, canned soups, fruit juice and drinks that are not 100% juices, and Popsicles. These are commercial foods that as a consumer you should stay away from or if you eat them, to eat in small portions. To stay in the best health make sure you consume only small portions of this sweetener, so you don’t end up hurting your body that could end up being irreversible.

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