Time after time, high fructose corn syrup has found its way into news headlines. With some food experts touting its dangers and food companies praising the stuff, knowing what the truth is can be hard. It’s just another food ingredient…what’s the big deal? As long as I don’t eat too much of it (i.e. too much junk food) I should be okay, right?
Scientists and experts in the industry have come out repeatedly to tell us that high fructose corn syrup is not only bad news, it’s also dangerous. As it turns out, us Americans are consuming huge amounts of it every year through the usual and not so usual culprits: sodas, breads, sauces, cereals, processed snacks, and a million more. But it’s just like any other sugar!!!
Actually, it’s not…
High fructose corn syrup is made from corn. It goes through some complicated extraction process to become the “sugar” that it is. That process is what makes it so dangerous. The reality is that HFCS is neither structurally nor chemically the same as plain old cane sugar.
You see, natural sugar is half fructose, half glucose, and these two halves are bound together.
HFCS, on the other hand, is 55% one, 45% the other, and they are not bound. This play on sugar does not require digestion to get to our blood…it’s absorbed more quickly than natural sugar.
And so, what scientists have discovered is that this simple difference actually makes a world of a difference. Once HFCS is absorbed by the body, it causes the liver to produce triglycerides and spikes insulin levels.
The result? We want more! Oh…and we have higher levels than normal of bad fats…
Not worried yet?
The differences in digestion and body reactions caused by HFCS eventually lead to increased appetite and weight gain. They also pave the road for several serious health complications (Think obesity, cancer, heart disease)
More immediate than this is that HFCS contains contaminants (think mercury) Do you really want nasty chemicals in your body just because you wanted a soda? I think not!
We can go into more details, but here’s the bottom line: HFCS paves the way to obesity through its impact on appetite. A study on rats showed that those who consumed HFCS gained more weight than those who consumed natural sugars. (And their calorie consumption was the same)
It also causes liver damage, ruins your intestines, and can, at minimum, cause tooth decay. (and eventually, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc)
So really, it’s not like the food companies are telling you. All sugars are NOT created equal, and all sugars DO NOT impact your body in the same way.
The more natural something is, the less likely it will wreak havoc on your body. (in moderation of course)
And so if you’re really trying to avoid a path to self-destruction, staying away from products with high fructose corn syrup is one way to achieve just that!