High fructose corn syrup: Why it needs to be excluded from your diet
Lately there’s been a bunch of buzz surrounding the subject of high fructose corn syrup. Some of you may ask what is high fructose corn syrup? High fructose corn syrup is a processed sweetener made from corn syrup. It is the predominant sweetener found in processed foods and drinks such as jams/jellies, soft drink, sauces and salad dressings, breads, canned fruits, breakfast cereals and cereal bars, and of course, pastries and cookies. HFCS is much cheaper and is able to be made sweeter than conventional table sugar. For these reasons it has become the number one sweetener for a manufacturer’s processed foods and drinks.
The problem with HFCS is its chemical makeup. Unlike regular cane table sugar which is made of two sugar molecules bound together (fructose and glucose); HFCS is made from unbound fructose and glucose. So what does this mean? Being that the fructose and glucose molecules are bound together in table sugar, it takes digestive enzymes to break them into separate molecules. This digestive process slows the amount of time it takes for the fructose and glucose to be absorbed into the body. The fructose and glucose in HFCS is unbound and requires no digestive enzymes. This allows fructose and glucose to be rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. The fructose is delivered directly to the liver, where it is processed as fat. This fat production process of the liver is called lipogenesis. All of this can lead to an increased appetite, weight gain, heart disease, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
High fructose corn syrup is a serious problem in America today. It is a product that is in so many manufactured foods that it’s hard to avoid. The easiest way to help remove HFCS from your diet is to eat clean. Clean eating (eating as close to nature as possible) eliminates most of the processed foods that HFCS in found in. It is not easy but it is doable. To start, stay away from the center aisle of the grocery store where most of readymade processed foods are kept. Remember, if it’s sweet it probably contains some HFCS.