Though the commercial said “It’s OK in moderation,” most Americans do NOT ingest a moderate amount of high fructose corn syrup. This sweetener is used in so many refined products, it’s actually difficult to find processed foods that don’t contain it. Take a look at breads, sauces, hot dogs, candy, crackers, frozen dinners, pizza, juice, and soda to see how prevalent it is. It is often listed as one of the first ingredients (remember ingredients are listed by highest content). Because high fructose corn syrup is easy to transport and inexpensive compared to refined sugar, (thanks to federal subsidies and tariffs on imported sugar), high fructose corn syrup is the sweetener used in more than 40% of sweetened foods and beverages and nearly 100% of the time in the non-diet soft drinks sold in the United States. If you eat processed foods, you definitely consume more than a moderate amount of high fructose corn syrup.
OLM gives you the rest of the story on high fructose corn syrup…
High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Not Just Fructose
High fructose corn syrup is made by treating corn (typically genetically modified corn) with a variety of enzymes (many of which are also genetically modified) to first extract the sugar glucose and then convert some of it into fructose (fructose is sweeter than glucose). The end result is approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Not Natural
In April 2008, the FDA declared that any product containing high fructose corn syrup could not be considered ‘natural’ and should not be labeled as such, because high fructose corn syrup is manufactured using a synthetic fixing agent. Under pressure from lobbyists hired by the Corn Refiners Association, the FDA quickly changed its mind. Now the FDA says that if the synthetic agent – called glutaraldehyde – does not come into contact with the high-dextrose corn starch, it can be considered natural. But there is nothing natural about high fructose corn syrup. It’s made in vats of murky fermenting liquid with fungus and genetically modified organisms, all of which are changed through the use of chemicals. There are a lot of products that are called “natural” though they are far from it, but high fructose corn syrup may be the biggest imposter of all these “natural” foods.
Fructose Makes You Fat
There has been a rapid increase in obesity following the introduction and increase of high fructose corn syrup into the American diet. Excess fructose (and it doesn’t take much to be excessive) is converted into unhealthy fat.
High fructose corn syrup short-circuits the glycolytic pathway for glucose and does not stimulate insulin secretion. Insulin controls a hormone called leptin, which signals the brain to tell your body it’s full. Since fructose doesn’t stimulate glucose levels and insulin release, there’s no increase in leptin levels and no feeling of satiety. Also, fructose does not affect ghrelin, a hunger inducing hormone, which is normally suppressed with food.
Natural fructose from fruit is attached to fiber and is ingested in considerably smaller amounts, which cause the sugar to be released slowly into the body while the fiber makes you feel full.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Linked to Diabetes, High Cholesterol, and Heart Disease
In natural sugars, fructose is bound to other sugars. High fructose corn syrup contains unbound fructose, often in large amounts. Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized by every cell in the body, fructose can be metabolized only by the liver. When too much fructose enters the liver at one time, the liver can’t process it as a sugar; it converts it into cholesterol and triglycerides, which are in turn dumped into the bloodstream. The more fat and cholesterol your blood has to transport, the higher your blood pressure needs to be to get the job done. (Imagine a pump that has to move thicker liquid.) High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. High triglyceride levels also cause our body’s cells to become insulin resistant. If enough cells are insulin resistant, diabetes will result.
Free fructose is also linked to blood clots, interference with the heart’s use of key minerals, functions of white blood cells, and high levels of uric acid.
If you want to lose weight, lower your LDL cholesterol, lower you triglycerides, decrease your risk factors, treat, or reverse diabetes or heart disease, eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your diet is imperative – the first action you should take.
The Digestion of High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Hard On the Body
Acidic “foods”, which are void of nutrition, wreak havoc on the body. To compensate, the body will pull calcium and other minerals from our bones, teeth, and organs to keep our blood slightly alkaline. Enzymes must be produced to metabolize high fructose corn syrup and micro-nutrients must be utilized. High fructose corn syrup causes mineral imbalances and deficiencies, which can cause a host of other diseases and health problems.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Can Alter Magnesium Balance Leading to an Increased Risk of Osteoporosis
High Fructose Corn Syrup inhibits copper metabolism leading to both a deficiency of copper and copper toxicity (if you can’t metabolize the copper, it becomes toxic to your body), which can cause increased bone fragility, anemia, ischemic heart disease, defective connective tissue formation, gray hair, hair loss, and much more.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Accelerates Aging
Any food that is difficult to metabolize (foods void of nutrients or low in nutrients, acidic foods, foods low in enzymes, etc.) depletes the body’s store of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes causing every other body system to function improperly, accelerating aging in every way.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Bad for the Environment
Corn is generally grown as a monoculture crop (one crop planted over a large area with no diversity and usually without crop rotation). This maximizes yields, but at a price. Soil nutrients are depleted so farmers compensate with fertilizer and pesticides. Topsoil is weakened. Demand for corn is increasing due to the manufacture of high fructose corn syrup and corn-based ethanol. Corn is being planted world-wide at the expense of sustainable food crops in third world countries. Farmers throughout the world, who once produced a variety of food to feed their populations, are now growing one crop to ship to America–genetically modified corn.