I’m sure we’ve all seen the commercials on TV talking about High Fructose Corn Syrup and its wide spread use as a sugar substitute. The casual offer of a Popsicle or a can of cola and the recipient shying away with a mention of this sweetener. The giver of said product proceeds to tell us all how HFCS is “just like sugar” and the recipient then accepts the generously offered product with a smile.
Many times, I’ve seen these commercials and thought, “Hmmm, makes sense” and thought nothing of grabbing that can of cola, frozen treat, candy bar, etc. and chowing down. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has taken the word of a commercial or public service announcement.
But now I’m beginning to question everything and here’s why: I, like so many Americans, am getting sick very easily and very often. My immune system is unhappy with me and I think it’s to do with the foods I consume. It’s a pretty simple concept really.
So let’s look at the details of High Fructose Corn Syrup and see if it really is as harmless as we’ve been told.
When looking at the website http://www.sweetsurprise.com/ you will see the argument seen in all the commercials I mentioned:
“Is a natural sweetener made from corn
Is handled by the body the same as sugar
Has the same number of calories as sugar
Is as sweet as sugar
Is fine in moderation
Whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar.”
Now, as I mentioned before, all these points make sense. It all seems very logical until you see that the owners of http://www.sweetsurprise.com/ are actually the Corn Refiners Association. What this says to me is that this information is biased. Their job is to promote corn based products, i.e. High Fructose Corn Syrup.
So, do we really want to just take their word for it? I don’t. So I dug deeper and here is what I found:
The Mayo Clinic did a study on the overall effects of HFCS on the body, as did Princeton and other accredited Universities. These institutions really have no ulterior motive regarding the final results of these studies, so I consider them to have much more validity than something promoted by the CRA.
Here’s what they found:
“Your body reacts differently to high-fructose corn syrup than it does to other types of sugar.”
“That high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain.”
“In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.”
And according to http://www.womentowomen.com/
“…over time, and in large quantities, HFCS and other manipulated fructose sugars can undermine your metabolism, leading to weight gain, high triglyceride levels, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Research continues to show that overconsumption of these altered sugars is a growing health hazard — at the same time food manufacturers make it increasingly hard to avoid them!”
This was all very compelling to me and in complete contrast to what we are being told on a regular basis. HFCS is near to impossible to avoid. It’s now in nearly everything we consume including savory items one would think would not even need a sweetener.
Here’s one last thing to chew on: In the 1970′s High Fructose Corn Syrup and Aspartame were introduced into the American food supply in effort to decrease the cost of foods to the public and since then numerous health issues are on the rise.
High Blood Pressure
Obesity in Adults and Children
So, the next time you reach for that can of cola, that candy bar, that bowl of cereal or any other food or beverage you choose to consume, look at the label and ask yourself, “Do I really want to put this into my body?”
Eat Healthy, Eat Safely, Eat Wisely.