HFCS – High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS sounds innocent enough, and apparently will soon be getting an even more innocent sounding name, corn sugar. At least thats what the Corn Refiners Association is applying for. Just a simple name change. Probably because many manufacturers have been dropping HCFS from their products thanks to consumer choices starting to decrease its use.
I believe HCFS is one of the key reasons America is becoming so obese and diabetic. Why? Because HCFS is not a natural sugar, it is man made. It tastes sweet and natural, but is not digested that way. Recent research shows it causes fat cell growth around vital organs and triggers early stages of diabetes and heart disease. A Swiss study of kids on a diet with 35 percent of their calories from HFCS shows higher triglycerides and decreased insulin sensitivity. The study showed that the sweetener affects everyone, diabetic or not. It increased fat deposits in the liver by over 75 percent and raised the chance of heart disease.
Your body turns fructose into fat very quickly. Usually, when sugar enters your liver, it is stored, burned, or turned into fat. But fructose is different. It skips this process and turns it straight to fat. That increases your triglyceride production. And research shows that raised triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease. Another study had one group having a high fructose drink with dinner, the other group had a glucose-sweetened drink with dinner. The high fructose group saw the triglycerides 200 percent higher than the other group. Fructose decreases signals from three critical hormones that appetite, how much you need to eat and when to stop eating. Over-eating logically leads to obesity.
In the last four years the Corn Refiners Association has spent about 30 billion dollars on an ad campaign to dilute claims linking HFCSs to obesity. They hope to position the sweetener as a natural ingredient made from corn. But that is not so. It starts as corn, but it is really a man-made product. It starts as genetically modified corn that has been sprayed pesticides and fertilizers. This questionable grain is used to extract corn starch that is treated with chemical enzymes to turn the glucose from the starch into fructose.
A chemical analysis of soda drinks by Rutgers University in 2007 showed that the free monosaccharides in HFCS convert to harmful carbonyl compounds not found in natural foods. This makes it more addictive than sucrose. Fructose is causing elevated blood fats and triglycerides. Why have we not learned the lesson from the hydrogenated vegetable oils? Those cheap, de-natured oils cause heart attacks and other trouble. It took decades before the manufacturers could not ignore the evidence.
If you do not want to be fat, diabetic and ridden with heart disease, you will need to find a way to avoid HCFS, which means you will have to avoid most modern processed foods. Read the labels of products you may already have, if you have not switched to shopping in the outer aisles of your grocery store only: bread, crackers, ice cream, jams and jellies, ketchup, salad dressings, soda drinks, soups. Switch to home prepared foods, go raw, and enjoy a much better health. It is not as convenient, but it will add years to your productive life. And if you want even better, consider our superfoods.