Look at the list of ingredients on one of your drinks or products. I guarantee you will most likely find High Fructose Corn Syrup as one of the ingredients.
- soft drinks (Coca-Cola, Pepsi)
- fruit juices (Snapple, Ocean Spray Cranberry )and canned fruits
- breakfast cereals (Kellogg’s cornflakes)
- ice cream and dairy products (Dreyer’s, Yoplait yogurts)
- cookies and crackers (Nabisco Ritz crackers)
- soups and sauces (Campbell’s vegetable soup)
- condiments and salad dressings (Heinz ketchup)
- baking products and baked goods (Brownberry bread)
- candy bars and gum (PowerBar)
- jams, jellies and syrup (Smucker’s grape jelly)
- cough syrups and low-fat diet foods (Robitussin, Vicks
- and more....
Until the 1970s most of the sugar we ate came from sucrose derived from sugar beets or sugar cane. Then sugar from corn--corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, dextrine and especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)--began to gain popularity as a sweetener because it was much less expensive to produce. High fructose corn syrup can be manipulated to contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose. Thus, with almost twice the fructose, HFCS delivers a double danger compared to sugar.
(With regards to fruit, the ratio is usually 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, but most commercial fruit juices have HFCS added. Fruit contains fiber which slows down the metabolism of fructose and other sugars, but the fructose in HFCS is absorbed very quickly.)
In 1980 the average person ate 39 pounds of fructose and 84 pounds of sucrose. In 1994 the average person ate 66 pounds of sucrose and 83 pounds of fructose, providing 19 percent of total caloric energy. Today approximately 25 percent of our average caloric intake comes from sugars, with the larger fraction as fructose.4
High fructose corn syrup is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet and easy to store. It’s used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer as well as in "health products" like protein bars and "natural" sodas
Excess fructose intake has been associated with adverse health effects such as:
metabolic syndrome, elevated triglyceride levels, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, excess uric acid levels (associated with gout), and elevated levels of advanced glycation end products (linked with aging and complications of diabetes).
Excess fructose intake may contribute to hypertension. High blood pressure is a well-known comorbidity associated with obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperlipidemia
Reasons why you should avoid HCFS:
- Travels straight to the liver where it is metabolized to fat. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar.
- Contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage. A recent study presented at the 2007 national meeting of the American Chemical Society found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup contains high levels of reactive compounds that have been shown by others to trigger cell and tissue damage that cause diabetes.
- Does not stimulate insulin production or enhance, leptin, a hormone involved in appetite regulation. Because insulin and leptin act as key signals in regulating how much food you eat, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased food consumption and weight gain.
- Contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals; instead, it takes micro-nutrients from your body. The fructose in HFCS is different from the natural fructose you get when you eat a small piece of whole fruit, which contains the nutrients needed for your body to assimilate sugar.
- Increases your triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat found in foods and in your body. Studies show that elevated blood levels of triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease.
- Is almost always made from genetically modified corn, which may increase your risk of developing corn food allergies. The problem with corn allergies are that once you have a corn allergy from GMO corn you will have an allergy to even healthy organic corn products.
- Corn based products such as HFCS have also been shown to increase osteoporosis, tooth decay, anemia and osteoarthritis.
- Fructose interacts with birth control pills and can elevate insulin levels in women on the pill.
- Fructose inhibits copper metabolism leading to a deficiency of copper, which can cause increased bone fragility, anemia, ischemic heart disease and defective connective tissue formation among others.