Thursday, February 3, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Death From a Laboratory




     Everyone who knows me will tell you I've been on the Anti-Corn Syrup bandwagon for years now.  This product, originally intended to replace sugar, has become a ubiquitous fixture in all the foods we eat.  Indeed it's almost nigh on impossible to get way from it unless you make a concerted effort to read labels.  It has only been coming to light more recently, however, just how dangerous this substance really is.  Let me convince you as well but first.

A Little History

     Corn Syrup was invented in the early 1900's by a pharmacist who was trying to find a way to increase the appetites of patients with consumption (Tuberculosis).  In an of itself, simple corn syrup is not sweet enough to replace sugar in packaged goods so scientists continued to work on a way to convert the starch in corn into sugars.  The breakthrough happened in 1957 when researchers invented a molecule called "glucose isomerase" which breaks down simple cornstarch and converts it to a very sweet sugar syrup.  At first is was not a popular alternative for sugar as it was more expensive but events were about to unfold that changed all that.

Path to Acceptance

     Revolution in Cuba followed by embargo and a government increase on sugar tariffs led to a steep rise of sugar prices.  Finally by 1977 the die was cast and the food industry gave up on sugar in favor of HFCS.  By the mid 80's sugar in manufactured foods had virtually disappeared, and while the public was at first wary of the change, they soon just forgot about it and got on with their lives.  Anyone old enough to remember when Coke changed their formula in 1984 knew that the taste was just not the same anymore.  Due to this increased usage, production grew from 3 million tonnes to 8 million tonnes in just 15 years.  It was a boom time for the corn industry.

Decline in Public Health

     From the early 1990's until the present day the USA has seen it's worst decline in public health ever.  Obesity and Diabetes have grown to plague proportions among the population with no end in sight.  In an attempt to find a scapegoat the government has look everywhere for an answer why but yet conveniently hides the facts about HFCS.  Remember I told you corn syrup was first invented to increase the appetites of consumption patients?  Well in that manner it was wildly successful and its a trait shared by HFCS as well.  See, HFCS is not a simple sugar it's lab created and the body doesn't know how to deal with it when encountered.  The answer is the body does what it does best and that's produce insulin to deal with the influx of complex sugars.  However this creates a cycle where you blood sugar bottoms out so fast you naturally get hungry again.  And so the endless cycle begins, where you eat, blood sugar lowers, you get hungry to end up eating again.  This is a natural body response to and sugar or carbohydrate intake, but in the case of HFCS, the amount of insulin produced is far in excess of what the body needs.  This in turn leads to 3 dangerous side effects, the first is excess insulin in the body which when not used attacks the organs and causes damage.  The second is a gradual resistance to insulin where the body will need more and more to process the same amount of sugar eventually ending in diabetes.  Thirdly an addiction cycle is born where you can literally get addicted to the carbs in HFCS.  Some studies have show it to be as addictive as Crack Cocaine.

What To Do

     Attitudes are slowly changing as people wake up the danger lurking in our food.  If we want this to change however we must do it a grassroots level as the government will not take action because congress is in the back pocket of the corn lobbyists.  The first thing you need to do is eliminate HFCS from your diet.  You're going to have to read the ingredients list of each and every product you buy. Go ahead and try it, you'll be amazed at just how many products have HFCS lurking in them.  After getting away from HFCS your body will start to repair the damage done and you'll find yourself not as hungry as before.  If you couple this with a balanced diet plan you'll find yourself healthier and more energized.  If you're convinced I invited you to spread the word, only with a nationwide boycott of goods containing HFCS can we convince manufacturers to eliminate it from their products.


10 comments:

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  2. Interesting...I have read that corn syrup is bad for you and I'm interested in taking the challenge. I just have one question. Can you elaborate on why corn syrup is worse for you than sugar? Recently I've seen commercials about corn syrup, no doubt from Corn industries saying that Corn syrup is fine in moderation just like sugar....its kind of a "well duh" commercial, but I am failing to understand how the body processes corn syrup differently than it processes sugar.

    P.S. New follower from The Weekend Blog Hop.

    Heather From and Mommy Only Has Two Hands! and Lynhea Designs

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  3. I know well the commercials, they are sponsored by the USA Corn Board (suprise, suprise). The difference lies in 2 distinct types of sugars. Regular Sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets is sucrose, and while it is a refined sweetener and maybe not the best thing for you it shares the same chemical bond as all natural honey or maple syrup. The body knows well how to best make use of this and process it. HFCS on the other hand is fructose and while fructose is a natual sweetener found in fruit it has no commonality with the fructose found in corn syrup. The body is confused on how to handle HFCS and surges insulin production beyond what is needed to process this unnatural sugar. The whole process is very taxing on the body and leads to a slow degredation of insulin production. Also free insulin in the body is not doing what it's supposed to do and is instead attacked by your immune system, leading to the host of immune disorders that are becoming the plague of our time.

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  6. If you look at the obesity epidemic, and the sharp increase in obesity, it goes along with when high fructose corn syrup was introduced into the market. After HFCS started to replace real sugar in almost all foods, we all started to get fat. Just look at the obesity charts, you can definitely see that HFCS plays a role in the obesity epidemic in this country.

    Anyway, I hate HFCS. It's awful for everyone's health. I will have to blog about it sometime.

    Great post! :-)
    -DP
    Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

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  7. We try to avoid corn syrup too. It is hard sometimes it so ubiquitous! I had a boyfriend quite a few years back who was raised in Nebraska ... he ate straight corn syrup on his pancakes instead of maple syrup!

    New to following you from MBC!
    Danielle
    www.DaniellePender.com

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  8. I never liked the Karo on pancakes taste. Prefer maple syrup or if it's buckwheat pancakes, blackstrap molasses.

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  9. Great post! So informative. I I have read that high-fructose corn syrup was invented in 1967. Do you know if that was separate from the 1957 invention of "glucose isomerase" you mentioned?

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    Replies
    1. Glucose isomerase was the first attempt at creating HFCS. Companies had been dabbling in trying to invent a new kind of corn syrup sweetener for decade before.

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