This Common and Deadly Ingredient Can Cause Major Health Problems.
Why all the attention to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? Did you know the Corn Refiners Association applied for a permit to change the name from HFCS to Corn Sugar on food labels because so many people are worried about it? The industry is even doing TV commercials and printed media in an attempt to convince us it is just the same as sugar.
Well, it’s not as simple as they’d like us to believe. When HFCS is ingested in the human body, it goes straight to the liver, turning into fat. Unlike other carbohydrates, HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin, which would then act to stop our hunger. About 2/3 of the HFCS is ingested in the form of beverages, mainly soft drinks and juices.
Unfortunately, HFCS is also in just about every type of processed food we eat on a daily basis: soft drinks, powdered mixes, bread, breakfast cereal, stuffing, chocolate milk, yogurt, candy, gum, salad dressings, catsup, relish, lunch meats, crackers, protein bars, pasta sauce, cookies, jelly, peanut butter, ice cream, barbeque sauces, marinades, soups, and even low fat frozen “healthy” diet dinners.
You’re probably asking yourself WHY the food manufacturers would even use HFCS. Well, for one, it’s about 20% sweeter, it’s much less expensive than sugar, it’s easier to blend into liquids and it has a long shelf life. Some studies indicate that HFCS may alter the body’s metabolism of magnesium, thereby increasing bone loss. It’s also implicated in metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes, not to mention the heart problems and hypertension, as the HFCS causes high triglycerides in the blood.
In a University of California (Davis) study, researchers found that “Dietary HFCS significantly increased serum triglyceride concentration across the life span in rats.” This increase occurred in both the rats who had calorie restriction and those who had free access to food.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2000; 72: 1128-1134 and Journal of Nutrition, December 2000;130:3077-3084
So, how important is it to read the labels? VERY important! While you have little control over the restaurant food you consume, you do have complete control over your home prepared meals. Fortunately, some processed foods will now have an obvious “No HFCS” right there on the label.
For those of you who wish to restrict your consumption of HFCS, here’s a link to HFCS free foods