High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sugar substitute made from corn. It is chemically similar to sugar and used extensively in processed foods in the United States because it is much cheaper than granulated sugar.
Doctors and nutrition experts point to the increased use of high fructose corn syrup and rising rates of obesity. A study done at Tufts University in Massachusetts claims that high fructose corn syrup is the source of more calories consumed by Americans than any other food. But it’s actually thought to be much worse than that.
There is a huge controversy about whether the body processes high fructose corn syrup the same as ordinary table sugar. The chemical nature of high fructose corn syrup sends it directly to the liver. As a result, people who consume an excess of high fructose corn syrup have increased the risk of fatty liver disease.
High fructose corn syrup is also connected to insulin. In some cases, it can cause a large spike in the body’s production of insulin, which impacts appetite, weight gain and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and more.
Dr. Mark Hyman, Director the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and #1 New York Times bestselling author, wrote an article about the dangers of consuming high fructose corn syrup. He titled it “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”.
In it, Hyman details the confusing consumer education put out by representatives of the corn industry and asks, “Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product?” He emphasizes that HFCS is not food as much as it’s “an industrial food product”. He asserts that “HFCS often contains toxic levels of mercury” as a result of its manufacturing process.
All the biochemistry aside, the practical reason is to avoid foods that contain HFCS is because they are almost always the most highly-processed, poorest quality food choices one can make.
By definition, any food product that’s processed with HFCS is neither whole, nor real nor fresh. And whole, real, fresh food is what ultimately nourishes the body best.
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Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.