High Fructose Corn Syrup. We see it everywhere. It's in sodas, juices, and sweets. It can even be found in salad dressings, bread, granola bars, and yogurt (even when labeled fat free/low fat). HFCS is a sweetener manufactured mostly from genetically modified cornstarch and we should all know the problem with GMOs.
What's the issue behind high fructose corn syrup? HFCS is NOT natural and it's NOT healthy. There's a list of health problems that have arised since high fructose corn syrup appeared in the 1950's. It increases risk for chronic and deadly health problems like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Studies have shown that since companies started increasing use of high fructose corn syrup, the obesity rate has increased in America. HFCS consists of 5% more fructose than regular table sugar.
High Fructose Corn Syrup may cause some serious harm to the body when used for long periods of time. It can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome (large cracks and holes in the stomach lining that allows partially digested food and toxins to pass to the surrounding tissues). Eating multiple foods containing high fructose corn syrup can promote obesity which can lead to a higher risk for cancer and other diseases. It contains surprising amounts of health hazardous mercury, up to 570 micrograms per gram of high fructose corn syrup.
High Fructose Corn Syrup also can have a negative impact on the liver. Our livers are designed to filter blood from the digestive tract before passing it on to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs, and breaks down fat to produce energy. However, HFCS creates fat accumulation on the liver and blocks fat breakdown. When it enters the bloodstream, glucose & fructose molecules separate and the freed fructose travels directly to the liver and overwhelms its processing capacity. This causes unhealthy fat production in the liver called lipogenesis.
High Fructose Corn Syrup also has addictive properties. Think about when you buy a carton of cookies or cupcakes and eat one. Isn't it extremely hard to keep from eating all of the sweets? Well, that just isn't due to the great taste of these sweets. A study done by Dr. Francesco Leri (addiction expert & Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Guelph) showed that high fructose corn syrup causes behavioral reactions in rats similar to those using cocaine. Furthermore, the same rats responded to diets containing large amounts of HFCS in the same way cocaine addicts respond. This is another cause of the global rise of obesity: people are addicted to these foods!
Fun Fact: Do you know exactly what kind of syrup is going onto your pancakes and waffles? Most cheaper syrups are actually just straight high fructose corn syrup. Check the bottle very closely to make sure it is natural maple syrup that you are purchasing.
Always. Always, always take the time when grocery shopping to check your product labels. Cut back on sugary foods and still use caution especially with foods that are labeled low fat and fat free! These items can still contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.
**This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or disease. Also, seek the professional advice of a licensed medical professional before taking any advice listed here.