We hear so much talk about how bad high fructose corn sweetener (HFCS) is for our bodies and then we find it in so many of the common foods we eat and the drinks we drink. What’s the big deal anyway? Let’s take a good look at it and see what we can find from research.
“The current media debate about the benefits (or lack of harm) of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our diet misses the obvious. The average American increased their consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food) from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During that time period, obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored.” Mark Hyman, M.D.
People, throughout the world are drinking soft drinks loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which increases a person’s triglyceride levels and their LDL (bad) cholesterol. Sugar from corn is a food that people get a lot of their calories from, primarily in the form of soft drinks. One of the reasons that HFCS is such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body more rapidly than other sugars, and, because a lot of fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are greatly magnified.
Years ago, in my nutrition studies, we were taught that fructose was a good form of sugar and it was more readily available for energy than other sugars. We used it in our recipes and taught others to use it. It’s use and promotion was quite prevalent in many nutritional circles. We believed it was better for you than sucrose. We discovered through many studies and research, that it definitely was a food that should be avoided, especially the HFCS form.
According to Dr. Mercola, “eating small amounts of whole fruit will not provide tremendous amounts of fructose and should not be a problem for most people, unless diabetes or obesity is an issue but fruit juices, sodas and other beverages sweetened with fructose should be avoided.To add insult to injury, the corn that the high fructose corn syrup is metabolized from nearly all comes from genetically modified corn which is fraught with its own well documented side effects and health concerns.High fructose corn syrup is is not something that should be in your diet at all. But HFCS is the primary caloric sweetener in U.S. soft drinks. Researchers estimate that most Americans eat 132 calories of HFCS per day, while the top 20 percent of sweetener consumers eat over 300. And some, they say, eat as much as 700 calories per day of HFCS.
Sodas, of course, are not the only source of HFCS (though they represent one of the main ones). This dangerous sweetener is also in many processed foods, including some whole grain breads and fruit juices, so to avoid it you need to focus your diet on whole foods, and, if you do purchase packaged foods, become an avid label reader.