• Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad For You or Not?

    You’ve probably seen the commercials put on by the Corn Refiners Association claiming that corn syrup is natural because it comes from corn and that it is therefore perfectly fine in moderation. These commercials have contributed to a war as people debate both sides, and you’re probably wondering, “Is high fructose corn syrup bad for you or not?”

    The truth of the matter is that high fructose corn syrup is not natural and that it is almost impossible to have it in moderation these days if you consume a typical American diet.

    Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad For You or Not?In an article by USA Today, they quoted Adam Fox, an attorney for the sugar industry, who said, “It is not natural, it does not exist in nature. Sugar comes from cane and beet, high fructose corn syrup requires advanced technology.”

    Another article published in Time Magazine pointed out that “Because high-fructose corn syrup extends the shelf life of foods, and farm subsidies make it cheaper than sugar, it’s added to a staggering range of items, including fruity yogurts, cereals, crackers, ketchup and bread — and in most foods marketed to children. So, unless you’re making a concerted effort to avoid it, it’s pretty difficult to consume high-fructose corn syrup in moderation.”

    Most people look at corn syrup as being a reason for the increase in obesity, and while there are people debating both sides of that issue, what most people don’t realize is that high fructose corn syrup causes many more problems than possible obesity. Dr. Joseph Mercola pointed out in his article titled, The Amazing Similarities Between this Toxic Sugar and Alcohol: “Fructose causes most of the same toxic effects as ethanol because both come from sugar fermentation. Both ethanol metabolism and fructose metabolism lead to visceral adiposity (belly fat), insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.” It overloads the liver causing health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart conditions, painful inflammation, gout, pancreatitis as well as habituation (and sometimes addiction) and many others.

    The food we eat nowadays is completely different than the same food consumed 100 years ago. Back then, people didn’t eat processed foods, and their natural foods were actually natural. Now, so many chemicals and processes are involved in our food production (even the “natural” foods), making eating a healthy diet extremely difficult. For example, back then Americans consumed about 15 grams of fructose per day on average. Now, the average is over 135 grams per day.

    The problem is the excess. Fructose in unavoidable, but it is the excess amounts consumed that do us harm. Soda is one of the largest culprits. Simply eliminating or reducing your soda intake can do wonders for your health. Keep in mind, however, that fructose is even in things that most people would consider healthy like honey, agave syrup and fruit juice.

    Moderation is always the key to a healthy diet, even when you are consuming seemingly healthy things. People have been known to overdose on a normally healthy herb or vitamin simply because they found out it had health benefits and went overboard. Our bodies need a variety of nutritious foods in moderation to be healthy.

    So how do you know how much fructose you should be consuming? According to Dr. Mercola, if you want to shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight long term, and radically reduce (and in many cases virtually eliminate) your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, then start getting serious about restricting your consumption of fructose to no more than 25 grams per day. If you’re already overweight, or have any of these diseases or are at high risk of any of them, then you’re probably better off cutting that down to 10-15 grams per day.”

    As is usually the case when talking about how to be healthier, the way to consume less corn syrup is by eating less processed foods and more raw foods. Go for organic whenever possible, and read the labels before you buy food items. We can’t trust commercials or advertisements, just taking their word for it that something is healthy. Read the labels so you know what ingredients you are consuming and how much of them per serving.

     

    Sources:

    Bitter Battle Over High Fructose Corn Syrup Claims – USA Today

    Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Really Good For You – Time

    Ethanol, Alcohol and Fructose

    Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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