Studies Determine Sugar, Saccharin More Addictive Than Cocaine

(NaturalNews – Jonathan Benson) Millions of prohibitionist-minded Americans have been exposed as complete hypocrites by research proving that refined sugar is more addictive than even hard drugs like cocaine. A compilation of scientific evaluations looking at both sugar and synthetic sweeteners reveals that these omnipresent substances often trigger the same or stronger responses in the brain as illegal drugs, and are sometimes much harder to break in terms of habitual consumption.

A paper published in the journal PLOS ONE back in 2007, for instance, explains how rats given the option to choose between drinking water sweetened with saccharin (Sweet’n Low) or intravenous cocaine almost always chose the water. A shocking 94 percent of rats, according to the researchers, actually preferred the high that they got from saccharin as opposed to the cocaine rush.

The same study found that sucrose, or common table sugar, was also preferred by the rats over cocaine. Based on this observance, the research team noted that regardless of caloric content, the sheer intensity and pleasure of sweetness seems to be more addictive than even the sensitization and intoxication brought about by cocaine, which mainstream society still recognizes as being much more harmful than sugar.

“Refined sugars (e.g., sucrose, fructose) were absent in the diet of most people until very recently in human history,” wrote the researchers from University of Bordeaux in France and James Cook University in Australia. “Today overconsumption of diets rich in sugars contributes together with other factors to drive the current obesity epidemic.”

Sugar addiction is biologically equivalent to drug addiction

But is it just that the taste of sweetness is enjoyable, or is there something more going on in the brain to indicate actual dependency and addiction? Nearly 40 years ago, William Dufty helped answer this question when he penned a book entitled Sugar Blues, which highlighted the addictive properties of sugar and how sweets are a major driver for declining public health.

Many of the ideas presented in this groundbreaking book have been affirmed and reaffirmed by science, which has repeatedly demonstrated that certain neuroendocrine pathways are activated in response to sugar. The infamous “sweet tooth” and frequent sugar cravings are indicative of how these pathways drive obsessive consumption and addiction.

“In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants,” wrote the author of another study involving bees, which experienced cocaine-withdrawal-type symptoms when their sweet floral resources were taken away from them.

“The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.”

Wheat, cow’s milk contain opioid components similar to heroin

Wheat and processed milk are similarly addictive, according to GreenMedInfo, which documents how many processed foods made from these additives possess narcotic properties, acting in a similar way to heroin when consumed. Modern wheat actually contains psychoactive chemicals that bind to opioid receptors in the nervous system, literally acting as a drug inside the body.

Wheat contains a variety of opioid peptides known as gluten exorphins, while cow’s milk contains a variety of casomorphin peptides. Both of these component classes are highly addictive, and are part of the reason why foods made with them are often referred to as “comfort” foods.

“Fructose… is known to increase brain levels of endogenous morphine following ingestion, and may produce metabolic products in the brain very similar to those produced by morphine,” wrote Sayer Ji for GreenMedInfo about another highly addictive food additive prevalent in the American food supply.

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
http://www.greenmedinfo.com
http://science.naturalnews.com




More Bad News For Sugar – Research Confirms it is a Leading Cause of Heart Disease

(NaturalNews – John Phillip) Just in case you needed yet another reason to stay away from added dietary sugar sources, nutritional scientists now confirm that our obsession with consuming sweets is killing us by dramatically increasing risk of death from cardiovascular disease and heart attack. A host of known risk factors including elevated blood pressure and triglycerides, along with cholesterol abnormalities such as oxidized LDL cholesterol and poor HDL/LDL cholesterol ratios are all attributable to a diet filled with empty calories fueled by sugar consumption. Interestingly, researchers have determined that the increase in cardiovascular risk factors is not attributable to weight gain commonly associated with excess sugar intake; sugar directly raises heart disease risk independent of weight gain.

A research study team from New Zealand’s University of Otago, publishing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has conducted a review and meta-analysis of a large cohort of dietary studies comparing the effects of higher and lower added sugar consumption on blood pressure and lipids, both of which are important cardiovascular risk determinants. Lead study author, Dr. Lisa Te Morenga and her students have uncovered solid and documented evidence that eating sugar has a direct effect on risk factors for heart disease, and is likely to negatively impact blood pressure and blood lipids. Dr. Te Morenga noted, “Our analysis confirmed that sugars contribute to cardiovascular risk, independent of the effect of sugars on body weight.”

Sugar and refined carbohydrates increase risk of hypertension and cholesterol abnormalities

The scientists analyzed a total of 49 nutritional intervention trials conducted between 1965 and 2013. Comparing diets where the only intended differences were the amount of sugars and non-sugar carbohydrates consumed by the participants allowed for the measurement of the effects of these diets on lipids and blood pressure. 37 trials reported the effects of dietary sugars on lipid metabolism while another 12 yielded results on blood pressure. The team then pooled the available data to determine the impact on measurable risk factors that affect human health.

The team noted that some of the data provided by the studies was skewed as the research was funded by the food/sugar industries. When they factored out those biased results, they found a startling pool of data conclusively demonstrating the negative impact of high-sugar diets on cardio-metabolic risk factors. Small increases in blood pressure, as little as 20 mm Hg systolic and diastolic, can double the risk of a heart attack, while changes to cholesterol metabolism can alter the delicate endothelial lining of the arteries affecting plaque formation and blood clotting.

While the food industry and media outlets continue to promote a wide spectrum of processed, sugar packed foods as a means to boost their bottom line profit margins, millions of uninformed people continue to consume 156 pounds of added sugar each year. Recently, sugar has been making news as it has been associated with increased risk of many forms of cancer, as well as stroke and Alzheimer’s dementia. The evidence should be clear to any health-minded individual — eliminate all sources of empty sugar and refined food products in favor of foods in their natural form to dramatically lower the risk of heart disease and most chronic illnesses.

Sources for this article include:
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/05/07/ajcn.113.081521
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-05/uoo-sii051414.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515095633.htm




Is Yogurt the New Junk Food? Some Yogurts have More Sugar than a Twinkie

(NaturalNews – J. D. Heyes) If you are a fan of the 1990s hit comedy series Seinfeld, perhaps you remember the episode in which Jerry and his friends began to suspect that the frozen yogurt sold in a store that Kramer has invested money in was responsible for the comedian’s and Elaine’s sudden weight gain. Jerry and Elaine have a sample of the alleged “non-fat yogurt” tested, and sure enough, it’s loaded with calories. It’s a scandal that goes all the way to the office of the Mayor-elect, Rudy Giuliani.

Well, fast forward a couple of decades since that episode first aired in 1993, and it appears as though some brands of yogurt still are not the healthy breakfast or snack choice they are made out to be. In fact, new findings show that many of the brands have much more sugar in them than some junk foods that you’d never consider eating, The Huffington Post reports.

According to the news site, the American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar a day, and women no more than 20 grams. If you eat, say, just one Hostess Twinkie cake, that will make a huge dent in the recommended daily sugar max; the cakes pack in 19 grams of sugar each.

There are better options

“A Twinkie is not worth it, not just because of the caloric content–150 calories is adequate for a snack–but because it lacks fiber, which will provide satiety over a period of time and because it is loaded with sugar, which will cause you to crash and become tired 15 minutes after you eat a Twinkie,” Tracy Lockwood, a registered dietitian at F-Factor Nutrition, told Time. “You can choose so many other options, such as a handful of almonds or an apple and two table spoons of peanut butter, that will keep you full and will provide you with protein and fiber.”

Well, as it turns out, many of the top-selling yogurts have much more sugar content than a Twinkie.

Part of the reason for the high sugar content is because it occurs naturally in yogurt; however, the amount of naturally occurring sugar varies dramatically depending on the kind. In an interview with HuffPo, Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN, CNS, said that low-fat yogurt, for example, has a reputation for being notoriously high in sugar. Other experts agreed, and suggested alternatives:

The first 17 grams of sugar per serving, in lowfat varieties, is naturally occurring lactose. In original yogurt, it’s common to see anywhere between 12 and 15 grams of natural sugar, according to Heather Bauer, R.D., CDN. That’s why Bauer recommends going Greek. Greek yogurt, she said, has as little as 6 grams in plain flavors.

What really boosts sugar content, however, is what folks tend to put into plain yogurt. Fruit — and especially the high-syrupy kind that is put into store-bought yogurts — is one of the most common causes of increased sugar. Also, once you begin tossing in candied nuts or, say, sweetened granola, you will quickly find that your concoction contains far more sugar than that found in a Twinkie.

“If you’re going to add toppings, always stick to a plain flavor,” Bauer said.

Would-be yogurt eaters will say that one of the big reasons why they don’t care for plain yogurt is its bitter flavor. So, to make it more palatable to a wider group of people, just about all of the big brands — think Dannon and Yoplait — offer selections of yogurt containing fruits and sometimes even dessert-flavored choices.

And these sweet additions are usually what makes yogurts contain more sugar than a highly processed piece of yellow, creme-filled spongecake.

Some of the worst offenders:

— Yoplait Original Strawberry

— Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Blueberry

— Stoneyfield Smooth and Creamy Lowfat French Vanilla

— Brown Cow Nonfat Vanilla

— Activia Blueberry Probiotic Yogurt

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.imdb.com
http://healthland.time.com
http://science.naturalnews.com




5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Your Fruit Juice

(DrFrankLipman – Frank Lipman) Juice cleanses, juice bars, late night ads for juicing machines and the occasional celebrity endorsement all seem to be fueling a national juice-drinking craze. Fruit is healthy and fruit juice is a fast and convenient way to drink your nutrients, so what could possibly be wrong with a daily dose of orange, apple or cranberry juice or a trendy juice cleanse? More than you ever imagined! While I am a fan of green vegetable juices, most juices contain too much fruit and therefore sugar. Here are 5 thoughts on how fruit juice seriously undermines your health – and why you should quit the stuff:

1. Think of Your Morning O.J. as Soda – Minus the Bubbles

OK, so you swapped your favorite sugary soda for cranberry juice, thinking that it’s better for you. Though I applaud the effort to ditch the soda, replacing it with a fruit juice sugar-bomb is a lateral move. Unfortunately, most fruit juices – be they organic or otherwise — flood your body with just as much sugar as soda pop. For example, the average 12 oz. soda contains roughly 35 – 45 grams of sugar. The same amount of orange juice comes in at about 30 grams; apple delivers about 40 and pomegranate juice can top 45 grams. That is simply an insane amount of sugar to consume at one sitting, no matter what type of beverage it is. What’s an acceptable amount of sugar intake? Ideally, no more than 10 grams a day at the most, which certainly takes fruit juice off the table!

2. There’s Nothing to Chew On

Converting whole fruit into liquid requires a lot of processing. Along the way, the once healthy fruit gets pasteurized, pulverized, filtered, pureed and stored in massive vats for months at a time – all of which chips away at the nutrients, vitamins and belly-filling fiber the fruit started out with. Then, they pump the liquefied fruit full of sugar. All that added extra sugar spikes your blood sugar because there’s no fiber to slow its release into the blood stream. Next, you get the crash, followed by hunger and cravings, none of which you’d experience had you eaten the whole fruit instead. And be aware of clever marketing claims. No matter how they parse it, a glass of juice – with “pulp” or without, organic or otherwise – is not nutritionally equivalent to whole fruit, nor will it ever be. Remember, fruit juice consumption is not an acceptable short-cut on the road to good health – it’s more like the highway to health problems – so grab a real, whole, organic piece of fruit and start chewing!

3. How About a Tall Glass of Diabetes and Heart Disease?

Another problem with a diet that’s heavy on fruit juice? Recent studies have indicated that it’s linked with increased insulin resistance and diabetes risk, whereas whole fruit consumption appears not to have the same health-eroding effect. Fruit juices aren’t kind to your ticker either, according to one Harvard study. In it, researchers reported that daily doses of sugary drinks boosted heart disease risk in men. Fruit juices fall under the sugary drink umbrella, so my advice is to avoid all of them if you want to keep your heart, insulin levels, and waistline in check. 

4. Hope You Like Going to the Dentist

If sugar highs and lows, increased insulin resistance, heart disease and diabetes risk weren’t enough of a disincentive, then at least consider your teeth. The acids in fruit juices, not to mention the mounds of sugar, can take a big bite out our your tooth enamel, resulting in weak spots that can blossom into costly cavities, which will eventually need fixing. If the damage is significant enough, tooth bonding or crowns might also be needed to patch up the mess, so your wallet takes a hit as well. At that point you need to ask yourself if a fruit juice habit is really worth the damage, hassle and expense? Didn’t think so.

5. Did You Know 12 Oranges Died to Make Your Glass of Juice?

In other words, it takes a heck of a lot of raw fruit materials and resources to produce a bottle of juice. Considering the resources used to fuel industrial farming operations – the pesticides, the millions of gallons of water for irrigation and the trucking all that fruit and juice – your morning beverage gives the earth a black-eye as well. Once again, you have to ask, is it worth it to batter your external and internal environments just for a fix of bottled sugar water? 

BE WELL BONUS: 5 Tips to Help You Kick The Habit

For those of you with a serious juice jones, kicking can be easier said than done, so here are a few pointers on how taper off and kick the juice bottle for good:

  1. Buy green juices with as little fruit and sugar as possible. The less sugar the better.
  2. Cut your dose. In a tall glass, add lots of ice, plus 3 – 4 parts water or seltzer to 1 part fruit juice.
  3. Make your own. Blend your (unpeeled) fruit and add water. Toss in spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and a drop of stevia if needed.
  4. Try a shot glass of portion control. In the morning, drink your O.J out of a 1-ounce shot glass, and only one of them!
  5. Grow up – and switch to tea. It’s time. Tea is where it’s at. It’s tastes great and its body benefits are legion.

For a few pointers on making the switch to tea, check out my Drink Your Way Healthy post.




4 Reasons Never to Drink Soda Again

(DrFrankLipman – Frank Lipman) In 1946, there was a famous ad that read “more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” In 1976, Coke’s slogan was “Coke adds Life!” Fast forward a few decades, and we all know better. Both of those ads, however amusingly anachronistic they may now seem, fooled a lot of people and helped damage the bodies of millions of people, the only upside being that now at least, there’s a warning label on cigarettes. I think Coke should have one too. A few years back former Mayor Bloomberg got close by banning sales of super-sized sodas in NYC, a move applauded by all of us in the health community. Not surprisingly, soda manufacturers fought the measure, hoping to shout down health and safety concerns, but the word got out and finally, soda’s getting the bad rap it so richly deserves. With this in mind, just in time for summer, I want to remind you to eliminate soda and soft drinks, sugared or diet, from your life and your family’s. Here are 4 simple reasons to make your soda break-up a no-brainer:

1. They Do a Number on Your Body

There is no conceivable benefit to drinking soft drinks, and their health drawbacks are legion. For starters, they significantly increase diabetes risk and put you at higher risk for cancer, not to mention the added bonus of increased heart attack and stroke risk for daily diet soda drinkers. If that weren’t enough, the phospohoric acid in soft drinks contributes to tooth and bone weakening by facilitating calcium loss. Osteoporosis anyone? A “Coke and a smile?” I don’t think so.

2. There are Toxins in Every Sip

I get it. It’s hot. You’re thirsty and you’re thinking a Coke would taste good on a hot summer day. But would it be as appealing if you took a moment to consider the toxins floating around in that bubbling brown witches brew? Though the actual recipe is a closely guarded secret, there are several alarming ingredients whose damaging effects on your health should stop you in your tracks. Among them: benzene, a known carcinogen; the preservative sodium benzoate which can damage your DNA; high fructose corn syrup, which in addition to encouraging diabetes and obesity, can contain traces of mercury. Add to that the recent questions that have been raised about the presence of 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI) in Coke and Pepsi – which has been shown to cause cancer in lab rats – and perhaps your ice cold soft drink might be better described as a hot mess.

3. The Can isn’t Doing You any Favors Either

Would you like some gender-bending endocrine disruptors with your drink? Then you’ve come to the right place because perennial favorite bisphenol-A (BPA) comes free in every can! So what’s a little BPA between friends? Well, for the soda makers, it means continued profits. For you, however, it can mean ingestion of a chemical which interferes with your hormone function and has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer and neurological problems in lab animals. How’s that Coke tasting now?

4. Sodas are Unkind to the Earth

Soda production isn’t a very clean or green business. Between the chemical needed to produce this junk, the fuel needed to transport it, and the tons of plastic bottles created to contain it, one has to question if it’s worth it, just to get a hit of health-destroying, liquid sugar. Take it a step further and consider that even though you may be a rigorous recycler, your bottle may well wind up in the water and polluting the ocean. Bottom line: don’t be part of the problem – just let soda go.




Sports and Energy Drinks are ‘Essentially Sodas Without Carbonation,’ State Researchers Exploring Health Risks of Sugary Beverages

(NaturalNews – L.J. Devon) Professional athletes who rely on popular sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are really doing themselves a disservice, impairing their performance potential. Once in the body, these dye-filled “Kool-Aid-like” drinks actually acidify the cellular environment, restricting oxygenation of cells while limiting ATP energy production from the mitochondria. Still, drinks like these are promoted by athletes and marketed as replenishing sports beverages that enhance athletic performance.

According to a new report by UC Berkeley, these sports drinks aren’t much different from soda. After exploring their sugar content and related health risks, the researchers described the beverages as “essentially sodas without the carbonation.” In the study, 21 popular drinks with health claims were investigated, as researchers compared flowery marketing with the drinks’ actual compositions.

“We often see labels on energy and sports drinks that tout health benefits, but the sugar levels in these products rival that of sodas,” said lead author Patricia Crawford, director of the Atkins Center for Weight and Health. “They are essentially sodas without the carbonation, but they give the misleading impression that they are healthy,” she said.

Synthetic vitamins, fake energy, and loads of dyes and refined sugar

The beverage industry tries to convince the public that drinks like these are healthy, but they are often loaded with sugar; in one drink, there were 18 teaspoons of sugar in the container. Other drinks are fortified with vitamins, but these often go unused by the body, because they are often synthetic derivatives that aren’t readily broken down, absorbed and utilized by the body. Vitamin and herb content of some of these energy drinks fools some people into thinking that they are getting a fair share of nutrition for the day, when in reality, they are being inundated with nothing but loads of refined sugar that acidify the cells.

The researchers concluded that common sports drinks on the market are also contributing to diabetes and obesity in youth, because they contain so much added sugar. Energy drinks provide short-term energy with heightened caffeine levels, but that energy is quickly lost, addicting youth to want more of the beverages which give nothing but headaches and heart arrhythmia.

A true energy drink is simply fresh fruit and vegetable juice, which neutralizes excess hydrogen in the cells as it enters the body. The OH molecules from the juice combine with excess hydrogen in the acidic environment to form water (H2O); thus flushing the cells, reducing edema and allowing mitochondria to produce more longer-lasting ATP energy.

Study debunks marketing claims of sports and energy drinks, highlights their negative effects

A marketing analysis conducted at Yale University’s Rudd Center picked apart the beverages’ marketing claims and refuted them here in a simple, straightforward chart.

For example, the researchers showed that Gatorade G Series Recover is marketed as “providing hydration and muscle-recovery benefits with its specially designed protein replenishment formula,” but the researchers refuted, saying, “Water is the optimal beverage of choice for hydration. The average diet is already high in protein and adequately supports physically active adolescents’ muscle rebuilding and growth.”

Energy drinks like the popular “RockStar” claim that the beverages are “Double Strength, Double Size. Bigger. Better. Faster. Stronger,” but according to the researchers, the level of caffeine and guarana in these beverages “stimulate the cardiovascular and nervous system, and can have detrimental effects (such as tachycardia).” On top of that, the researchers correlated energy drinks with increased stress, nervousness, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and reduced academic performance. They were even found to cause hallucinations, tremors and seizures.

In fact, the researchers found that all the drinks have one thing in common: explicit sugar content. Anything from popular fruit drinks to flavored water and from sports drinks to flavored teas all contained deleterious amounts of sugar and were determined to be fueling the increase of obesity and diabetes in today’s culture.

Sources for this article include:
http://newscenter.berkeley.edu
http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org
http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org [PDF]
http://www.naturalnews.com
http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org [PDF]
http://science.naturalnews.com




Could Eating a Low Fat Diet Make You Fat and Sick?

Low fat & low calorie diets aren’t just something that weight loss experts recommend. The Center for Disease Control even recommends that in order to stay healthy and lean you should eat a low fat, low calorie diet.

I am going to show you how eating a diet that is low in fat and calories could be making you fat, sick and frustrated!

Fat free foods, or low calorie foods are so easy to find at any grocery store these days. For just about every full-fat version of a food, there is likely to be a reduced version of the same food. And it is no secret that eating a diet lower in calories and fat is the key to weight loss, so why are obesity rates at an all-time high?

Let’s take a look at a pretty typical day of eating a low fat, low calorie diet. For this example you would be eating three meals per day and of course a low calorie snack for dessert, because everyone deserves a treat now and then, right? Since losing weight is the goal, I want to make sure this diet is fairly low in calories, so let’s aim for about 1,500 calories per day.

The meals that I found are random and were found by simply searching the internet for low fat or low calorie food options. These items would be present in any grocery store in the country and would generally be considered to be healthy by many shoppers.

Breakfast: (Calories/Grams of fat)

1 cup Special K Cereal – 120 calories and 0.5 grams of fat

1 cup skim milk – 86 calories and 0.4 grams of fat

Starbucks 12oz cafe latte with skim milk = 126 calories and 0 grams of fat

Lunch:

Lean Pockets Ham and Cheddar – 280 calories and 7 grams of fat

Baked Lays BBQ potato chips – 123 calories and 3.1 grams of fat

Dinner:

Lean Cuisine Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli – 270 calories and 4 grams of fat

Dessert:

Chips Ahoy 100 Calorie Thin Crisps – 100 calories and 3 grams of fat

I think this is a pretty light day of eating, but if you really had some willpower this would be totally doable. You have your three meals for the day, your protein, a coffee treat and even a snack! So let’s count up those calories and grams of fat and see where we are at.

Total Calories = 1105

Total Fat = 18 grams

This is pretty great news, right? Not only will this diet give you less than 20 grams of fat in a day, but your total calorie count is well below the 1,500 mark. At this rate, you could safely eat another 400 calories of food, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

The reason that this diet is going to fail and make you fat and sick is very simply because when you concentrate only on low fat, low calorie foods, you miss a really important part of the bigger picture. There is an ingredient that is added to more of your food than you may be aware of, and it is hiding in plain sight under the disguise of lower calories and healthy foods. And that ingredient is sugar. More specifically, high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup was introduced in the mid 1970’s as a cheap alternative sweetener that could easily be added to soft drinks. You may have heard that HFCS is a safe product because it is natural, and comes from corn.

While it is true that HFCS is made from corn, it should not be considered safe to consume in any quantity, let alone the quantities that many Americans and people from around the world are consuming it. The truth is, the human body could survive without HFCS without a single negative effect whatsoever.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) obesity rates in this country doubled between 1980 and 2000, to about 60 million adults.[1] While correlation does not equal causation, it is certainly something to think about when you consider this happened just a few years after high fructose corn syrup started being added to a large portion of our soft drinks and processed foods.

And since it is cheaper to add to food than traditional granulated sugar, it is safe to assume that you will be quite likely to find it in a lot of your food that you buy in the grocery store. Low fat, and low calorie foods are no exception to this.

So how much sugar, or high fructose corn syrup is in all of this wonderful low fat, low calorie food that you just ate for your recommended diet?

54 Grams which is about equal to 13.5 teaspoons!

The World Health Organization recommends that a person with a normal body mass index (BMI) consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, which is about 6 teaspoons. [2] So right from the start, when you eat a diet similar to this example, which is low in calories and fat, you are consuming twice the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

But that’s not all. Researchers at Princeton have found that high fructose corn syrup is actually worse for your health than regular sugar. In the study, researchers gave two groups of rats the same amounts of “rat chow”, but changed up their beverage a little bit.

One group got ordinary table sugar in a water solution, and the other group had access to high fructose corn syrup. What they saw was that the rats who consumed the high fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than their regular sugar-water rat counterparts [3].

But that’s not all. The researchers also found that the high fructose corn syrup rats had abnormal increases in fat in their abdomen, as well as a rise in their triglycerides. In other words, they were becoming fat and sick. And if that’s not all, they also noted that another group of rats who were given the HFCS over a period of six months began to show signs of metabolic syndrome in comparison to rats who only were given the rat chow.

It is estimated that about 20 to 25 percent of adult Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome. Below are some metabolic risk factors. While it is possible to have any number of these alone, you are considered at risk for metabolic syndrome if you have three of the following conditions:[4]

  1. Abdominal obesity, or having an “apple” shape
  2. High triglyceride levels
  3. Low HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High fasting blood sugar

Is high fructose corn syrup the smoking gun in the fight against obesity? The research is not in just yet on that, but researchers are tirelessly working on it. Do you think there may be enough data to show that it is a major contributor to obesity and a wide array of diseases that are costing our society billions of dollars to treat?

This is for you to decide, but you must also decide if it is worth the risk of taking the chance.

If you have ever wondered if weight loss and better health can really be easy, maybe it would be worth it to try a diet that is a way of life, and not the newest fad. Counting calories and grams of fat may mean you eat foods with low amounts of both calories and fat, but if there is even a small chance that you could be at risk for metabolic syndrome and the conditions that come with it, perhaps it is not the best answer.

Sources:
  1. Facts About Obesity in he United States
  2. Consultation Sugar Guidline
  3. A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find
  4. What Is Metabolic Syndrome?