You read labels that say “HFCS”, or High Fructose Corn Syrup, or corn syrup….but what does that mean? If corn is in HFCS...well, corn is a vegetable so it must be healthy, right? Well, don’t be fooled. HFCS is a form of sugar and like all simple sugars, gives our body empty calories that turn into fat without providing any fiber, vitamins or antioxidants.
HFCS, like ALL simple sugars, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and forces insulin to spike, leading to a mild hypoglycemia and then two hours later it makes us hungry and forces us to eat again...
This creates a Vicious Cycle of Hunger -
Hunger = Sugar Eating = Insulin Spikes = Hypoglycemia = More Eating
with the cycle repeating again and again, several times a day!
The result is all too well known: obesity, leading over time to type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, with the final result being heart disease and stroke. In this respect, HFCS is as dangerous and as unhealthy as cane sugar or any other calorie-containing artificial sweetener. But is it more dangerous than cane sugar?
Since the 1970’s, the use of HFCS as sweetener in sodas, baked goods and packaged products has increased dramatically in the US, as it cheaper and easier to use and more tasty. As the use of HFS has coincided with the dramatic increase in obesity, scientists and consumers alike legitimately questioned whether HFCS was behind the obesity epidemic. Well, after decades of serious scientific work, all the evidence points to HFCS being as bad but no worse than cane sugar in contributing to obesity. Too much added sugar of any kind contributes an excess of empty calories that lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and liver disease, several forms of cancer, and tooth decay. While HFCS is part of the cause of high levels of obesity and diabetes in our country, it is not the only villain; consider that from 1970 to 2000 the average person in the US has increased its consumption of fat by almost 50%, compared to sugars increased by about 25%.
The American Heart Association recommends most women get at most 100 calories a day of added sugar from any source, and men get no more than 150. That equates to about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men. Additionally, HFCS is not the only sweetener that contains fructose. Honey is approximately 50% fructose and 50% glucose and fruit and nectar-based sweeteners may have more fructose than glucose.
The corn industry will try to fool you to think corn syrup is ok. Please don’t fall for it. They have even gone so far as calling it naturally occurring corn sugar.
So what can YOU do to cut out HFCS and other fattening and dangerous sugars?
Check to see what is in the food you are eating
This will eliminate the chance you are eating genetically modified foods.
Eat whole foods
This means real food not pre-packaged food
CUT out sugary drinks
Think before you eat
You would be surprised to find out how many foods have corn syrup as one of their ingredients.
Be smart, be healthy!
To your health!