For some reason I assumed that everyone knows to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup. I guess I hang out in my crunchy circles too much to realize that people are swayed by the corn industry’s claim that HFCS is “just sugar”. It’s not just like sugar! Sure maybe under the microscope it looks a lot like sugar. It’s pretty close. Sucrose aka table sugar is 50% Fructose, 50% Glucose. HFCS on the other hand is 55% Fructose, 45% Glucose. Pretty close but that right there will tell you that it obviously isn’t just like sugar.
I’ve been avoiding HFCS for a while now but I thought I’d share why I avoid it. Once I started researching HFCS I even found more reasons to keep the stuff out of our diets!
Reasons to avoid HFCS
It’s likely to be genetically modified (GMO) Most corn is GMO now.
When HFCS is being processed, mercury
can be produced as a by-product. Mercury is toxic.
It is not processed by the body in the same manner that sugar is. Sugar is made of molecules that are tightly bound together (50% glucose, 50% fructose). When consumed the body breaks down that bond and absorbs glucose and fructose more naturally. HFCS has a similar ration of glucose to fructose (45-55), however they are not bound and thus no digestion is needed and they quickly get absorbed into the blood stream. This rapid absorption causes issues such liver problems like “fatty liver” and insulin spikes.
Due to the way HFCS is digested, it can cause weight gain. The studies
that have been done are quite fascinating as you can see that rats which were fed HFCS (at levels comparable to human consumption) became obese every time. While rats that were fed sucrose did not.
HFCS slows down the secretion of leptin in the body. Leptin is what signals your body to stop eating because you are full. So not only can HFCS cause weight gain but it can cause you to eat too much in general!
Since HFCS is much cheaper to produce, it is used in a plethora of foods. Ketchup, soup, cereal, yogurt, bread, juice, soda they all contain HFCS. So even if you aren’t too worried about how the body handles HFCS, you can see that you are consuming a TON of “sugar”. This also contributes to the obesity we see on the rapid rise in America.
Increases bad cholesterol. This makes me think that perhaps doctors should stop hating on eggs, milk, and steak and instead focus on HFCS. Think about it!
If it’s not a real food that is, something that you yourself could at least in theory grow, raise, or make then you shouldn’t be eating it.
On the environmental side of things, the mass amount of corn that is grown causes problems. The corn grown is usually not rotated with other crops and because of this they tend to need more pesticides to grow. The pesticides pollute the soil and ground water (to say nothing of what it does to our bodies) and the fact that corn is the only crop grown means that nutrients are depleted from the soil and cause erosion.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to keep HFCS our of your diet. Obviously it is probably near impossible to completely avoid it since you occasionally eat out or eat at a friends house. However, I would definitely encourage you to at the very least not buy any product with HFCS for your home. If it’s not in your house, you will lower your HFCS consumption greatly.