Articles: High Fiction Corn Syrup

Perhaps I’m more aware of corn syrup than the average person because of my sensitivity to corn. Corn isn’t just in the name! Before I learned about high fructose* corn syrup I noticed an immediate escalation of acne after I ate prepackaged snacks. It took awhile to connect the dots and trace the source of the problem.

*pronounced “FROOK-toh-ss” (sounds like “fruit toast”)

But more people I know are realizing just how problematic high fructose corn syrup is. With increasingly frequency, friends and family recount their physician’s recommendation of medication, which– to his surprise– became unnecessary after cutting out HFCS. Bolstering a healthy diet with fiber alone is beneficial; cutting out sugary starch helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

A common misconception is that carbohydrates and starches are automatically bad. Not necessarily. To avoid hemorrhoids, diverticulosis and certain types of cancer, many people deliberately omit carbs from their diet. They’re most likely thinking of bread and pasta (which they don’t realize can be made of truly “whole” grains, whose bran and germ remain intact, rather than overly processed bleached flour) when they should be avoiding cereal, canned fruit, candy and soda.

Carbs actually include beans, veggies and some fruit (e.g. bananas). A truly carb-free diet would omit both the fiber and nutrients these provide, whereas a diet rich in minimally refined carbs will provide more than enough fiber and nutrients to allow the body to properly function.

Like grains, such as wheat and rice, corn is type of complex carbohydrate, which takes longer than with a simple carbohydrates like sugar so there’s a more sustained source of energy in your bloodstream. Conversely, sweeteners present the risk of an addiction to the spike in blood sugar they provide; the inevitable crash prompts a desire for more.

Once the general public began to see through the “it’s a veggie mixed with fruit juice” marketing ploy, it was time for proponents to shuffle the facts again like a shell game. High fructose corn syrup (or any of the myriad alternative names, such as tapioca syrup, crystalline fructose and isoglucose, by which it now goes thanks to a recent legal loophole) is unique because of the process used to make it. Similar to xanthan gum, enzymes produced by bacteria and fungus are added. This makes it risky for those with a sensitivity to mold.

Furthermore, regardless of what a manufacturer calls it, HFCS is about 55% fructose, although now most versions are up to 90% fructose, which is extremely taxing on your liver and pancreas. This negatively impacts your body’s ability to metabolize fat, regulate cholesterol and can lead to insulin resistance and Diabetes.

Unfortunately, HFCS is used to flavor almost everything these days, most notably heavily processed starchy carbs, such as prepackaged bread and pasta; hence the confusion over the source of the excess sugar that contributes to weight gain. Don’t let an “all natural” label fool you: high fructose corn syrup is anything but healthy.

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Glucose metabolism in the brain

impact of fructose on the liver & heart

5 reasons HFCS will kill you

impact of sugar, fructose & HFCS on Gout

impact of HFCS on Diabetes

much evidence shows harm of HFCS but proponents fund favorable research

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