High Fructose Corn Syrup

high fructose corn syrupHigh Fructose Corn Syrup is not the cause of illness and overweight. It is our opinion that it is just another one of the unnatural foods that continually get put on the grocery shelves that can contribute to an unhealthy body. It is another type of sugar. But, McVitamins.com is also for those who want to eat the “fast food” and thus this website and this article. We let you make your own decisions.

What is it?

How much sugar does the average American consume? This question is more difficult than it seems as until the 1970s most of the sugar we ate came from sugar beets or sugar cane and was called sucrose. In the 70s, sugar from corn – corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, dextrin, and or high fructose corn syrup began to gain popularity as a sweetener because it was much less expensive to produce. Many publications have claimed that we are eating less sugar than ten years ago, but while we are eating less sugar, we are eating more corn sweeteners.

Corn sweeteners come under the subject of a processed sugar. You can find out the technical details for processing if you want on the Internet. Basically, you take corn treat it with an acid and it makes a sugar, of sorts.

Why do food processors use it?

High Fructose Corn Syrup {HFCS) is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet, and easy to store. Its used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer. It’s even used in “health products” like protein/energy bars and “natural” sodas. You sort of get the idea that you are eating something good for you.

HFCS is great for the manufacturers. It retains moisture, resists drying out, controls crystallization, prevents microbiological growth and blends easily with sweeteners, acids, and flavorings. Best of all for manufacturers, it makes sugar drinks taste better and is cheaper than sugar.

From the point of view of soda makers, HFCS is a revolutionary advance in food science.

Generally, baked products made with HFCS will be softer than those made with sucrose. This means if these products are “steamed” they may get gummy. Thus, if there is a fast-food hamburger place that precooks and wraps their product, they may prefer the firmer product (sugar). If you doubt that they use sugar at fast food restaurants, ask for their nutritional publications. They all have them available. You might be surprised.

So, what is it?

It’s a processed food and like any processed foods it creates problems. (See processed foods) There have been many things said about the properties of corn syrup and below are some things that we found.

According to a Wall Street Journal column by Michael Waldholz (February 20, 2003), childhood weight gain in America might be caused in good measure by “the sweetening of America.” When sugar is consumed in high quantities as “liquid candy” (HFCS in processed drinks and foods), unused amounts are stored as fat cells. If we were deprived of foods for long periods, these storage units would be adaptive or would be adaptive in an evolutionary sense. Yet, that’s not the case in the 21st century! Instead of burning this energy, sedentary kids store more and more of it, and that’s why they’re getting fatter.

Some problems created

Some recent studies have reported that “Rats normally live for a good two years,” explains Meira Fields, Ph.D., research chemist at the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland. “But the rats in my study fed a high-fructose, low copper diets are dying after 5 weeks.” One of the few human studies of low-copper, high-fructose diets was abruptly stopped when 4 of the 24 subjects developed heart-related abnormalities, according to Fields. High fructose diets have also been implicated in the development of adult-onset diabetes. Fructose, especially when combined with other sugars, reduces stores of chromium, a mineral essential for maintaining balanced insulin levels, according to Richard Anderson, Ph.D., lead scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

For more information about the body’s problems with dealing with sugars and becoming insulin resistant due to the enormous amounts of sugar being taking in read:

The Atkins Diet Center has done research that indicates sweeteners that contain aspartame (such as NutraSweet and Equal) stimulate insulin production (leading to unstable blood sugar, irritability and carbohydrate cravings). Sweeteners that use sucralose (marketed as Splenda) and saccharin (such as Sweet’nLow) stimulate insulin production as well.

Here is an educational video regarding artifical sweeteners which raise insulin Understanding Artificial Sweeteners.

Also information on Diabetes – the body’s inability to handle sugar

Helpful Nutrition:

Since you need both high fructose and low mineral levels to suffer ill effects, you’ve got two avenues of positive action. Here’s some ways to keep minerals high and fructose levels low

Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. While canned produce and jams and jellies frequently contain high-fructose corn syrup, fresh produce packs in minerals without processed sugars, providing a double benefit. Look to potatoes for extra copper, spinach and other leafy greens for a wallop of magnesium, and broccoli for chromium.
Limit sodas and processed fruit juices. A man who takes in 2,000 calories and drinks three and a half cans of soda would be getting 15 percent of his calories as fructose and no copper, magnesium or chromium. Check the labels for how much sugar is really in that product.
Keep sweets discrete. If you do indulge in a donut or cookie, try to eat it in combination with non-sweetened food or drinks like milk or nuts. Combinations of sugars, like fructose plus sucrose, really increase your chromium losses
Consider supplements. It’s been said that it is nearly impossible to get all of your chromium from food, thus, getting between 50 and 200 mcg. \of chromium a day should take care of your copper and magnesium requirements, too. A good source of all the vitamins and minerals you would need to offset this is a whole food vitamin and mineral. Getting the vitamins that you are missing from the food you eat is important. You can’t always get if from the food available and you aren’t always able to eat right. We suggest whole food vitamins. These are vitamins made from food, not chemicals made in a factory. So for optimum health get whole food vitamins. The body recognizes it as food and uses it.

Discover How Whole Food Nutrition Really Is Different… Click Here

Acidity – balance your diet with alkaline forming products
See article on the Acidity of the Body

For other types of sweeteners:

See Maltitol

See Aspartame

See Saccharin

See Evaporated cane juice

See Splenda

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