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High Fructose Corn Syrup Getting You Fat?

Published September 19, 2004 in WHAT YOU EAT
By Ryan Parsons | Men's Health, ABC News

Ahh, light corn syrup looks good enough to drink
All right, the world is growing more and more health conscience while it is also growing fatter. Now, I know many people would rather blame their 'addictions' to fast-foods [or fast food in general] instead of themselves but this is probably not the best way to go about staying fit and keeping weight down. However, there has been some interesting debates about our intake of HFCS [High Fructose Corn Syrup] which exists in most of our sodas, candy, and other edibles. This product alone may be attributing to obesity on a whole other level.

Some Prefer to Call HFCS Fat Syrup

First, lets get an understanding of the sugars are body takes in. There are three main sugars, which include sucrose [common table sugar], glucose, and fructose. Sucrose is approximately a 1 to 1 mix of glucose and fructose bonded together. High amounts of fructose can be found in various fruits such as raisons. High Fructose Corn Syrup is meant to be replacement of sucrose as it also attempts to combine fructose [in some cases a larger ratio] and glucose.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a great invention as it replaces ordinary sweeteners, such as table sugar, and offers producers a cheaper, and longer lasting additive. This trend has obviously caught on with the total consumption of HFCS being approximately seven tons in 1994 and twelve tons in 1999. While we used to have a more limited intake of fructose, now this sugar represents one-third of all our consumed sugars.

Give Me a Taste of the Sweet Stuff

In various studies it has now been shown [at least in one trial] that the increase of fructose or HFCS consumption may lead to health consequences; the first consequence obviously being obesity. For those of you who would rather blame the food than yourselves, fructose can be up to 75% sweeter than regular sucrose causing people to want the item containing HFCS more often[what some call an 'addiction']. An example of this is the use of HFCS in soda.

Soda contains HFCS that gives a twelve ounce can of pop the equivalent of approximately 10 teaspoons of table sugar [calories]. I have been told I put a lot of sugar in my iced tea, but not even remotely close to these amounts. Imagine if you are drinking three-plus of these a day! Because of this, sweeteners such as HFCS are representing up to 45% of your carbohydrates.

Another study tried to find the role fructose plays on your metabolism. Unlike sucrose, fructose is not handled as efficiently by the pancreas. Instead, the liver metabolizes the fructose for use, foregoing the release of insulin from the pancreas. And, fructose converts to fat more easily than any other sugar. These two aspects confirm that fructose could be a culprit in obesity and childhood diabetes.

Stay With Fructose and Avoid High Fructose CS

There has been other reports that claim that fructose alone cannot be blamed. Since HFCS is a replacement for sucrose, you should be getting your fructose at the same levels you had with ordinary table sugar [if eating at the same rate]. However, some have stated that the problem lies directly on HFCS. In HFCS, glucose and fructose are not bonded the same way they are in sucrose. Therefore, there exists unbounded fructose that can be the main problem causer. Men's Health claims that this type of sugar can complicate and interfere with the heart's use of key minerals.

In a study conducted by Meira Fields, it was found that rats who were on a high-fructose, low-copper, diet died only after five weeks while the rats that had lower levels of fructose could live their full life expectancy of two years.

There Are Those Who Call BS

Now that we have told you enough bad news, here is some better news. A study done by Virginia Tech researchers found that there was no specific evidence that linked HFCS with obesity or other health related problems. It was also shown that even though more HFCS is being used in soda, that is only to match the caloric content of soda when the sweetener was sucrose.

The study also points to other studies by calling them flawed in their attempts to understand how HFCS metabalizes in the body.

What we think? Well, this is a massively produced additive that enables costs to be kept low and passed onto the market. So, there is a lot riding on HFCS in a giant commercial industry with benefactors that can lose out on a lot. Does this mean some of the studies may be biased? Probably not, but we really cannot say.

CanMag's Solution

If you are worried about your weight or the health consequences to eating certain foods, than do not eat them. It is up to you, no one is making you eat these foods. Do not blame an 'addiction' to fatty foods as the reason your fat, and do not sue the fast food chains for making you that way!

Our best tip is to get off your ass and lay off the constant snacking and soda drinking. Also, getting two double-doubles with a large fry and a diet coke does not count as dieting [this order is more common than you know]. Besides, how much better do you think HFCS is when combined with saccrine in your diet soda?
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Compiled By (Sources)
Ryan Parsons
Sources: Men's Health, ABC News

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