Corn is used for many purposes but its use in making High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has exploded by 4000% since 1973. It is now the most frequent sweetener used in our food and beverage supply.
The use of HFCS in sodas, fruit and sports drinks and most processed foods has made this the most common sweetener in the US.
HFCS yields an immediate “high” but leads to a severe energy crash within 2 hours. Not only is HFCS directly leading to weight gain but the crash leaves the consumer craving more food. No wonder over 60% of our population is considered over weight and almost 25% are classified as obese. Unfortunately fructose in alarmingly prevalent.
It is easy to see why our Health Care System is overtaxed and our population is one of the unhealthiest in the world.
In 2009 it was estimated that 25% of the average diet was sugar, most of which was HFCS, all very unhealthy calories.
There is a saying for computers- “Garbage in yields garbage out.” This can be applied to our bodies where by when you put in garbage food with little nutrition you get “garbage” or illness from the body.
When you look at labels of processed foods (these are located in the middle aisles in the grocery store) over 75% contain HFCS. Even a little HFCS is alarmingly unhealthy and should be avoided but only if you want to be healthy. HFCS will move you in the opposite direction.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is made by chemically altering already unhealthy corn syrup. This alters a simple sugar (glucose) to a corn syrup which is 50% to 90% fructose. Fructose is known to pack on the weight while damaging many of our critical metabolic processes.
The dramatic increase in the use of HFCS by the food industry corresponds directly to the rise in obesity.
Fructose is easily converted to fat ( weight gain easily follows fructose consumption), dramatically increases triglycerides (this leads to heart disease), leads directly to insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes) and directly enters cells without the need for insulin. Every cell in your body is at the mercy of the damaging effects of fructose, a recipe for the quick development of chronic health conditions.
Another predictor of the damaging potential attributed to fructose and HFCS is that when fructose is consumed it does not signal the brain that you are full and to stop eating. This is just the opposite of the glucose which signals the brain you are full and to stop eating.
HFCS is produced from GMO corn which brings its own problems. Additionally, more than half of HFCS products also contain mercury a powerful nerve and fetal toxin.
What Should Be Done
In my opinion HFCS and all fructose loaded products should be avoided if you value your health. There are other healthier substances to sweeten drinks and foods without this low cost sweetener.
Because the obesity and diabetes epidemics can be directly related to the use of HFCS I feel the food industries should be held accountable for much of our Health Care System’s failure and the deplorable overall health of the US population. For now it is critical to read labels and avoid fructose/ HFCS but only if you really want to be healthy.
Looking out for your health, Dr Bob