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The Continuing Battle Against High Fructose Corn Syrup — an article on the Smart Living Network
July 28, 2009 at 1:23 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Continuing Battle Against High Fructose Corn Syrup


More food manufacturers and expert sources are declaring the negative impacts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by means of publicized scientific studies and food labels covered in "made without high fructose corn syrup!" This is a good thing.

Even though many of these foods are processed, not organic or natural, the companies that make them are now recognizing the growing consumer trend of avoiding foods with HFCS. The change is most noticeable in basic foods that contain sugar, such as breads and bread products. In the past, consumers were content to buy foods labeled as "whole wheat" or "whole grain" with the idea that "whole" meant natural. While whole foods are in fact more complete in nutrition than refined (or "white") foods, there is no reason to assume they are even close to natural. A quick glance at the nutritional facts label will show that whole foods can still be packed with unnatural ingredients like HFCS.

"Researchers believe that HFCS contributes to the growing cases of obesity, diabetes and immune system complications."

A Closer Look

As the public increases its awareness of the vast amounts of chemical flavoring and preservatives added to even the most simple foods, people are looking more closely at the ingredients of what they buy. Currently, HFCS is one of the components under fire.

What do you really know about high fructose corn syrup? Most likely you've at least heard about it, but does anyone really explain what HFCS is, or how it operates in the body? According to the Mayo Clinic, HFCS starts as a sugar derived from corn, that is then processed into fructose. The end result is a combination of glucose and fructose. The product is used to sweeten and preserve thousands of food products on the market today.

When humans eat HFCS, it enters our systems and suppresses the hormone leptin, which is necessary for proper sugar metabolism and appetite control. It can actually cause your brain to tell you to continue eating! Because of this, researchers believe that HFCS contributes to the growing cases of obesity, diabetes, and immune system complications.

The Other Side

Those who support the use of HFCS say that chemically and nutritionally, the sweetener is practically identical to table sugar, or sucrose. Even if such a claim is true, it still falls short of its goal of converting the health-conscious, as most table sugar is highly refined and not at all good for our health.

It is important to consider that conditions such as obesity and diabetes are being linked to HFCS because diets that include high amounts of the substance (junk, processed, and fast food) also offer little in the way of the real nourishment our bodies need to stay healthy. Instead, they provide plenty of fat, salt, and empty carbohydrates, creating a double whammy against our body's natural health.

The Ball's in Your Court

The positive manufacture and marketing of foods without HFCS will hopefully continue to encourage consumers and other food manufacturers to end the use of the chemical entirely. Remember that as a buyer of goods, you hold the power to alter what items are available on the grocery shelves. How you spend your money on food is a direct message to those that make and market it. Tell them exactly what you want: it's a law, supply always follows demand!


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