High fructose corn syrup gets a PR makeover
September 24, 2010 7:17 PM
It's in just about every packaged food you find and even if you haven't noticed, you're still probably consuming it.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup, a synthetic goop and substantially cheaper alternative to sugar; has gotten a bad rap as of late because it is largely believed to be the culprit behind the obesity epidemic in the United States.
The Corn Refiners Association has sensed the bad publicity and recently petitioned a name change to the Food and Drug Administration to give the much-maligned sweetener a more natural and pleasant-sounding name: corn sugar.
A sneaky move indeed. The CRA, aware that negative consumer feedback surrounding the sweetener is growing, has resorted to flat-out deception, tricking consumers into thinking that "corn sugar" is natural and free of detrimental effects.
HFCS, a fructose and glucose mixture, has been proven in multiple studies to disrupt the metabolism while shutting off the appetite control center of the brain making you consume more food than you normally would.
And more food equals more fat.
According to a 2007 report by the Center for Disease Control, more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight and 26 percent are obese. To top it off, obesity-related medical expenditures cost Americans more than $75 billion in 2003.
A recent Duke University Medical Center study also showed that increased consumption of fructose, "may also be responsible for scarring of the liver."
These are clearly detrimental effects.
What has happened to this country? Nutritious foods are widely available. It's amazing to see wholesome lentils, chickpeas and brown rice sit forlornly on grocery shelves, while two sugar-crazed yahoos fight over the last pack of $5 double-stuffed creme cookies.
Interestingly enough, those three nutritious foods combined often cost less than $5 and are free of HFCS's lasting side effects: fatigue, irritability and a higher risk of contracting diabetes.
Additionally, "corn sugar" is a particularly American phenomenon; nearly every country in the world uses cane or beet sugar as sweeteners in their foods.
Even if consumption of HFCS is not the only factor contributing to this nation's obesity epidemic, there is no denying the correlation.
Since the United States made the switch from sugar to HFCS roughly 30 years ago, obesity rates have more than quadrupled.
It's tempting to buy that two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola but why don't you ditch the "corn sugar" for once, and eat a piece of fruit. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
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