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What you NEED to know about High Fructose Corn Syrup

January Health IQ Question of the Month:

What is the common ingredient most responsible for weight gain, high cholesterol, increased heart attack risk and hyperactivity?

Answer: High Fructose Corn Syrup!

The Facts

Since the late 1970’s when it first came on the market, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has replaced sucrose as the number one sweetener in the American diet.

In comparison to sucrose, HFCS is significantly cheaper, sweeter and easier to transport and use (primarily because it is liquid). HFCS brings in almost 5 million dollars worth of sales per year. And there’s no end in site. Back in 2001, the average American consumed close to 63 pounds of the sugary substance- that’s 63 pounds of empty calories in one year…and we wonder why this country has
weight and health problems!

Yet there are some things about HFCS that you should know if you care about your health and want to stay or get thin.

What Is It?

HFCS is made from the starch of corn through a very complicated manufacturing process. It is a super, super sweet, artificial, man-made substance that is very different from regular table sugar and much worse for you. Many people get fooled by the word “fructose” and think it must be OK because fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit. But HFCS is dramatically sweeter than
regular fruit sugar and behaves quite differently in the body.

Why Your Hips Won’t Like It

As described by Peter Havel, associate professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis, “HFCS actually behaves more like fat” in the body when it comes to hormone activity and the resulting weight and hunger regulation mechanisms. This means that HFCS does not stimulate two key hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which regulate appetite/hunger and satiety. Therefore, when you eat something containing HFCS, you never get the message from your body to STOP EATING OR DRINKING IT, so you overeat, and we all know what happens when we do that!

How It Can Increase Heart Disease Risk

Unlike glucose which is absorbed and used by every cell in the body, HFCS bypasses the pancreas and is metabolized in the liver. The large influx of sugar overwhelms the liver and much of it is metabolized as triglycerides and is stored in the fat cells. Livers of test animals fed HFCS present fatty acid deposits and even cirrhosis. Elevated serum triglycerides is a common risk factor for heart disease. HFCS also increases the concentration of uric acid which is can be an indicator of heart disease and it also disrupts the metabolism of copper which is essential for proper collagen and elasin formation. In addition, HFCS has been implicated in elevated blood cholesterols and blood clots increasing the risk of heart disease and arteriosclerosis.

Blood Sugar Blues

As a highly processed, extremely concentrated form of sugar with absolutely no redeeming qualities, high fructose corn syrup wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels. This results in hyperactivity, nutrient deficiencies, mood swings, food cravings and addiction and of course, weight gain.

Beware: Hidden Sources!

It’s your body; you must read labels!

HFCS is commonly found in soft drinks, fruit juices, beverages, sports and energy drinks, ice cream, frozen yogurt, candy, baked goods, cookies, jams, jellies, ketchup, pasta sauce, salad dressing, bread, bacon, mayonnaise, beer, croutons, flavored almond slices and “healthy foods” such as protein bars and “natural sodas”. Before you eat any of these foods, be sure to check the ingredients so you can either make another choice, or at least be aware of what you’re getting.

What to Do

As mentioned, always READ FOOD LABELS and look for sources of high fructose corn syrup. You will be amazed at how prevalent it is! If you suffer from any of the problems mentioned above, have Type II Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance, hypertension, are postmenopausal or have an issue with your weight, you are best to avoid it completely.



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