The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup

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The-Truth-About-High-Fructose-Corn-SyrupHigh fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a cheap, commercially produced sweetener made from cornstarch and used to sweeten many processed foods, juices and sodas available today. If you look at your food labels closely, you will probably find this man-made sugar in your snacks, desserts, baked goods, breakfast cereal, condiments like ketchup, even salad dressings and pasta sauces. 

High fructose corn syrup is not a naturally occurring sugar and is linked to a variety of health issues including obesity, liver damage, insulin resistance and hypertension. These problems are believed to be caused by your body’s inability to process corn syrup combined with the quantity ingested. The “sugar” found in high fructose corn syrup is often produced from genetically modified corn, and also seventy five percent sweeter than natural sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets. Corn syrup contains many calories but absolutely no essential nutrients.

HFCS And Obesity – Glucose (sugar) is easily transported into and used by every cell in your body as a fuel source for exercise or metabolism. In contrast, the fructose from high fructose corn syrup must first be converted to fat or glycogen by your liver before it can be used as fuel. Once converted to fat, if not used immediately as fuel, the fat will be stored in your liver, then around your waist. Your liver has limited storage capacity and excess fructose converted to fat must be dispersed throughout your body. This fat accumulation can lead to fatty liver disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fructose related fat increases visceral fat accumulation. Visceral fat, better known as “belly fat” stored around your waist surrounds your internal organs and has been linked to health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes – When you eat sugar, your body produces and releases insulin to carry that sugar into your cells. HFCS and the sheer amount of fructose eaten overstimulate your adrenals and pancreas to overproduce insulin and over time, the constant high blood sugar results in insulin resistance – your body’s insulin no longer carries sugar into your cells. Your sugar level remains high, your insulin levels remain high (and ineffective) leading to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Virtually all processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup or some version of it. Limiting or avoiding high fructose corn syrup may be one of the most effective ways to improve your health and lower your risk of metabolic and chronic disease. Check your food’s nutrition labels for corn syrup, added fructose, glucose syrup, crystalline fructose, chicory or tapioca syrup. Many of these added HFCS sweeteners falsely claim to be “100% natural”.

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