High Fructose Corn Syrup

Refined carbohydrates and sugars in particular are digested quickly and absorb quickly into the blood stream.  It triggers a vicious cycle of increased insulin production, increased appetite and food cravings (for more carbohydrates).  It is a disastrous cycle when blood glucose spikes and drops. This rollercoaster eventually leads to excessive weight and diabetes. 

High fructose corn syrup is a “super sugar” because it does hazardous things to your body and worse, it is everywhere.  Many researchers say that “sugar is sugar”and your body responds to it in the same way, but it is not true.  It is true that one gram of table sugar has the same amount of calories as a gram of HFCS, but the body responds to the two differently because they are chemically different.  Both sugar and HFCS have a similar combination of fructose and glucose, but HFCS has the disadvantage of having the glucose and fructose blended together allowing them to be separated easily.  Sugar has a chemical bond between the molecules adding more difficulty to the decomposition. 

Fructose found naturally in fruits is combined with fiber and nutrients protecting its absorption rate into the cells.  When it is concentrated into HFCS it enters the cells without anything to stop it and becomes an uncontrolled carbon molecule that makes additional cholesterol and triglycerides.  The additional cholesterol and triglycerides wreak havoc on your body by causing fatty liver disease, decreasing metabolism, and increasing the risk of heart disease.  It also has been shown to shut down control of appetite leading to greater food intake and the inability to feel full.  There are also reports of excess mercury in HFCS that can lead to toxicity and other complications in the body.

The other problem that goes along with HFCS is that it is found EVERYWHERE!  It was initially used because it was cheaper than table sugar and thus the food industries began to use it to cut costs of food.  The FDA still contends that it is safe to digest and eat, however the government does not dietarily necessarily have out best interest at heart. 

References:

 Goldstein, Jennifer. Rodale Inc., NBC News. “High Fructose Corn Syrup: How Dangergous is it?” http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29955927/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/high-fructose-corn-syrup-how-dangerous-it/ 2012.

Hyman, Mark. “Ultra-Metabolism” New York. 2008. Atria Books.

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