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High Fructose Corn Syrup – Why Is It So Bad For Our Health?
High fructose corn syrup is a subject that has a lot of people talking. Is it healthy or not? If you listen to the commercials on t.v and radio you would think there is no harm in high fructose corn syrup but let me give you the real facts.
How Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Made?
With the US. Government subsidizing corn growers, high fructose corn syrup made food cheaper and easier to sweeten. It is a man-made sweetener that chemically modifies the glucose (sugar) in corn syrup with enzymes and turns it into fructose. Fructose is one of three types of sugars – the others being sucrose and dextrose. Both sucrose and dextrose are are easily broken down into our bodies long before they ever make it to our liver but fructose does not breakdown and when it reaches the liver it is almost fully intact. The fructose in high fructose corn syrup has a higher concentration and thus is pushed to the liver.
The Effects Of High Fructose Corn Syrup On The Body
Once the high fructose corn syrup reaches the liver, it builds triglycerides which imitate insulin and forces the liver to release fatty acids into the bloodstream causing our muscles to develop a resistance to insulin. High fructose corn syrup does not stimulate the production of insulin, leptin or ghelin. These tell the body how much food to eat. So, in essence, high fructose corn syrup is a powerful appetite stimulant. This gives people an increased desire to eat more.
But that’s not all. High fructose corn syrup causes the body to burn sugar not fat which leads to obesity. It also throws off the good HDL/bad LDL cholesterol ratio by increasing the LDL and lowering the HDL. To make matters worse, high fructose corn syrup is 6 times sweeter than sugar and has 10% more fructose than sugar. This means you could eat the same foods that are sweetened by sugar but you would be consuming 10% more sugar.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Too Much High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Eating too much high fructose corn syrup has been linked to the following health problems.
- Weight gain
- Dental cavities
- Higher triglyceride level (boosts your risk for heart attacks)
Since the 1980’s, overweight and obesity rates have simultaneously risen with the increased usage of high fructose corn syrup. And since the 1990’s, there is also an increase in diabetes cases.
There is a direct correlation between insulin resistance syndrome and an increase in heart disease. The main reason why obesity can turn into diabetes is based on the fact that our pancreas (the organ that controls digestion) secretes insulin in response to higher glucose levels and those who consume too many calories have higher levels of glucose. After awhile, the body stops releasing insulin and there is reduced circulation in their extremities because of a lack of nutrients and antioxidants. This reduced circulation can and often does lead to amputation!
What Can You Do To Avoid Eating High Fructose Corn Syrup?
High fructose corn syrup is an unnatural food that our bodies were not made to handle in large quantities. In 1970’s, the average person consumed about 120lbs of sugar per year with most of that being regular sugar but now we consume over 150lbs of sugar with 60lbs. of that being high fructose corn syrup. So how can we avoid eating so much high fructose corn syrup when just about anything and everything (including items like meat and crackers that don’t need to be sweetened) we eat contains it.
- Avoid sugary sodas and juices.
- Cut back on all processed and packaged foods.
- Eat more one ingredient foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and stick to freshly squeezed juices other than those sweetened juices from the store.
- Read your food labels and be aware of what’s in the foods you eat.
As long as you are wise to what is being fed to you from the commercial food industry you can do your part with your wallet. Be a smart consumer and show theses companies you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on junk foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.