(Health Secrets) Most of us know by now that using any artificial, low calorie sweetener as a sugar substitute is out of the question. But what about high fructose corn? The answer is that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may be the worst of all.
HFCS is a sweet deal for food processors and soda companies because it’s cheaper than sugar and even sweeter. It’s been easy to convince an unsuspecting consumer public that HFCS is healthier than sugar, even though is comes from genetically modified corn. But health hazards from GMO corn aren’t the only issues.
Why High Fructose Corn Syrup is Bad for You
Sugar is sugar, so what’s the difference? Well, virtually all living organisms like to use glucose for energy. Glucose is derived from carbohydrate foods or directly from sugar (sucrose). Our metabolisms are used to sugar, though obviously it can be overdone.
Fructose in fruits and vegetables comes as part of a digestible whole food package that contains much less isolated or stand alone fructose than soft drinks and other processed foods. The digestive system is not familiar with high amounts of stand alone fructose.
Dr. Andrew Weil states, “The body doesn’t handle large amounts of [stand alone] fructose well. You can maintain life with intravenous glucose, but not with intravenous fructose; severe derangement of liver function results. There’s also evidence that a high intake of fructose elevates levels of circulating fats (serum triglycerides), increasing the risk of heart disease.”
With glucose from beet or cane sugar, 20% is passed on to the liver to be metabolized. But the gut doesn’t know what to do with isolated high fructose. So it passes 100% of isolated fructose into the liver. Consequently, the liver metabolizes the high fructose content into mostly fats and triglycerides. High amounts of HFCS are apt to create non alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can morph into cirrhosis.
HFCS creates even more metabolic damage because it has no effect on ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and it interferes with the brain’s leptin communication. Leptin is the hormone that lets you know you’ve had enough to eat and tells you it’s time to stop. This disregulation of the body’s communication leads to overeating and ultimately to disease. Glucose suppresses ghrelin and doesn’t interfere with leptin. So hunger cravings are satisfied quickly with glucose from even regular refined table sugar.
Insulin resistance is another outgrowth of HFCS metabolic damage. Metabolic disorders from HFCS have been shown to induce type II diabetes and obesity, two manifestations of bad health that have increased dramatically since 1975 when HFCS was introduced. Ironically, these epidemics, along with rising heart disease, have occurred despite successful campaigns for increased exercise with decreased fat intakes over the last three decades.
And don’t forget the substantial traces of mercury found in HFCS from processing!
Wait, There’s More
As if HFCS is not enough, the “food and beverage” industry has recently one upped HFCS with crystalline fructose. It is further refined and more potent than HFCS, which is 45% sucrose and 55% fructose. Crystalline fructose is 100% pure fructose, making it even more difficult to metabolize, and it’s even more toxic with traces of chloride, lead, and arsenic.
Crystalline fructose is being used in sports drinks, flavored waters, and even special “health supporting” beverages. Vitamin Water seems the most popular, and there are others containing crystalline fructose, such as W2O for Women, FUZE, Mistic, SoBe, and Snapple.
What to Do
Avoid all corporate packaged foods and beverages. Drink pure water to rehydrate after exercise. Use Stevia as a sweetener, or moderate amounts of raw honey or organic raw cane sugar. Make your own juices. If you must by packaged juice, buy only 100% fruit or vegetable juice. Supplementing with Sugar Balance will help considerably as you withdraw from HFCS.
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