Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sweet death by High Fructose Corn Syrup

I know this is completely off theme, but it's my blog and can do what I want! :-)

Experts are finding that "high-fructose corn syrup" (HFCS) is making us fat. Scientists at nutrition research centers are saying that it's a huge problem. The stuff is banned in Britain and Seattle-area food cooperative PCC Natural Markets has removed all products containing the controversial ingredient from its shelves. I just cleaned out my own fridge and pantry.

Exactly what is "high-fructose corn syrup"? Well, it's not the same thing at all as the natural, healthy fructose in honey and fruit. "High-fructose corn syrup" is a highly refined, artificial product. It is created through an intricate process that transforms cornstarch into a thick, clear liquid. White sugar and "high-fructose corn syrup" are not the same. Industry advocates for corn growers say that they are the same. But nutritional science studies say that there is a big difference between the two. They say that "high-fructose corn syrup" is worse than sugar.

This manufactured fructose is sweeter than sugar in an unhealthy way, and is digested differently in a bad way. Research has shown that "high-fructose corn syrup" goes directly to the liver, releasing enzymes that instruct the body to then store fat! This may elevate triglyceride (fat in blood) levels and elevate cholesterol levels. This fake fructose may slow fat burning and cause weight gain. Other research indicates that it does not stimulate insulin production, which usually creates a sense of being full. Therefore, people may eat more than they should. Indications also are that the important chromium levels are lowered by this sweetener which may then contribute to type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a contributor too.

The worse news is that HFCS is found in so many food products. As you might expect it's found in soda, jellies, cereals (even Special K & Smart Start), and ice creams to name a few. But it's also found in things such as Cool Whip Lite, Reduced Fat Wheat Thin, pickles, Nutri-grain bars, ketchup, Breyers Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt, Powerade, cough syrup etc.

Why so much HFCS? Well for one, it has a long shelf life and two, the US Government has imposed such high tariffs on imported sugar that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a cheaper alternative. These tariffs I imagine are to protect the corn farmers.

Childhood obesity more than tripled between 1975 and 2005. HFCS was not part of the human diet until 1975.

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