Like it or not, high fructose corn syrup has taken over America’s packaged food supply. Siphoned through our highly popular processed food industry, HFCS has become a welcome additive. Are we even clear on what HFCS is or why we are so comfortable with it added to our foods?
The down and dirty on high fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup is a cheap alternative to sucrose. We have seen its explosion among prepared foods, drinks, candies and most everything imaginable. The average American consumes a staggering 35 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Could HFCS also be a player in widespread insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome taking root in America’s children and adults?
Studies point to the fact that HFCS leaves us hungry unlike glucose due to differences in metabolizing these sweeteners. It isn’t just a matter of eating less, feelings of satiation must be met as well. Interrupting this normal process, HFCS may set the ball rolling in a destructive course of metabolic madness.
Allergies and sensitivities to HFCS
For those allergic or sensitive to corn this sweetener is a true nightmare as so many foods are now populated with it. People with other food allergies and celiac disease also have frequent complaints of stomach upset after consuming high fructose corn syrup. Have we become so accustomed to seeing this ingredient that we aren’t bothered by it unless there is a physical aversion or mental decision to avoid it?
“High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was first developed in the mid-1960s and, because of its unique physical and functional properties, was widely embraced by food formulators. As scientific research continues to mount over its role in obesity, so does the controversy over this man-made liquid sweetener and preservative, and the corn industry is ramping up an ad campaign to counter the negative publicity.” ~According to the Allergy Kids Foundation
Here’s a few concerning quotes from Corn Naturally that make me scratch my head… Is this how far the food industry has pulled the wool over our eyes?
- “96% of consumers aren’t avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup”
- “Consumers look for fats and oils 12x more than they look HFCS.”
- “HFCS represents only 1% of social media conversations about nutritional ingredients”
I know there is a lot to think about when you are feeding yourself and your family but there is nothing “natural” about HFCS. HFCS may start with corn but its a far cry from chewing on an ear of it. The environmental impacts of HFCS due to overfarming, runoff, pesticides and lack of crop rotation are also stunning.
What exactly constitutes high fructose corn syrup?
High fructose corn syrup is essentially made by extracting corn starch from the corn and altering it with enzymes to turn the glucose into fructose.
The Corn Refiner’s Association attempted to rename HFCS “corn sugar” but was denied this request in 2012 by the FDA.
Dr. Ponder a Pediatric Endocrinologist states “high fructose corn syrup is to sugar as trans-fats are to fat”.
Watch his lecture on HFCS titled “Children of the Corn Syrup”. Although this lecture is from 2009 it is a compelling watch.