Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Makes You Fat

The corn industry and their paid advertisers, the American Dietetics Association, would like people to think that high-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS is natural and is just like any other form of fructose. This is simply not true.

Corn syrup is made from a grain and not a fruit. Most natural, non-HFCS fructose consumed comes from fruit. It is irresponsible to think a chemically-altered grain sugar would act the same way as a natural fruit sugar would in the body. HFCS is present in an alarming number of processed foods. It is extremely difficult to find a food label that does not contain HFCS. The prevalence of HFCS in processed foods is dismaying and is greatly responsible for the prevalence of diabetes, food allergies, and metabolic disorders worldwide.

Even though HFCS is found in nearly every processed food (and corn is present in other forms in the rest), the most common delivery method for HFCS is still as a liquid. This is detrimental to the body because the sugar is not being consumed along with fiber, and so it is free to be absorbed immediately by the body. HFCS also doesn't stimulate insulin, leptin, or grehlin in the body. Low insulin response leads to diabetes. Leptin and grehlin work together to signal to the body that it has had enough to eat. Leptin acts on receptors in the brain to suppress appetite. HFCS suppresses leptin production for several hours after consumption, leaving the consumer feeling voracious and unable to obtain satiety. HFCS also affects grehlin. Grehlin is a hormone produced in the stomach that signals fullness when a person has consumed enough food. Because HFCS inhibits both hormones, a consumer of HFCS is left feeling extremely hungry, but with no mechanism to let them know they have eaten enough food. It isn't hard to see how this could lead to obesity.

It is misleading to compare HFCS to sugar, or sucrose, but that is what proponents of HFCS want the public to believe. They are lobbying for the ability to label HFCS as "corn sugar", a move with a danger of misleading the public into thinking they are consuming sucrose instead of HFCS. Fructose converts to fat more than any other type of sugar. Researchers from Loyola University have also found that preadipose cells (precursors of adult fat cells) in children that were exposed to HFCS aged more quickly and than those exposed to glucose. Essentially, they matured into fatter fat cells than those exposed to regular sugar. They were also more resistant to insulin.

Corn Is Omnipresent In Processed Foods

Corn is not only overly-present in processed foods through the overuse of HFCS. It is present in corn oil, corn starch, modified food starch, vegetable oil, and thousands of other additives. Even if a person were to avoid grains and processed foods, they would have to change the way they buy their meats; most beef cattle are fed diets high in corn. "Grain-fed" beef is not the desirable label the consumer is led to believe it is.

HFCS has resulted in obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and hypoglycemia, but what is the result of the sweeping prevalence of corn in the western diet? The overuse of any one item in a diet always leads to nutrient deficiencies, allergies, and food sensitivities. When corn was introduced into the American diet, it led to pellagra, anemia, and other deficiencies. Corn is not a complete food. It is deficient in at least two amino acids. HFCS, like other processed sugars, is devoid of all nutrients except for carbohydrates. And its consumption is high. HFCS is the number one source of calories in the United States. This is interesting, considering that fats have 250% more calories than do carbohydrates.

A great many people are likely to be allergic to corn and not even know it. Allergy symptoms aren't always anaphylactic. They can present in digestive difficulties, inflammation and bloating (increasing the "fat" appearance), intense craving for the allergen, rashes, eczema, sleep disorders, mood disorders, leaky gut syndrome, and a host of other symptoms. A good way to determine if a person is allergic is to cut the allergen out of the diet for at least two weeks and then introduce it back into the diet and monitor the symptoms as they present. To cut corn out of the diet would mean eating a diet of strictly whole foods and grass-fed meats, non-vegetarian eggs, and grass-fed dairy. It is just as difficult to remove corn from the diet as it is to remove gluten. It requires an entire change in lifestyle.

The demand for HFCS and corn products is also adding to farming practices that are harmful to the environment. Corn is grown in a monoculture, which means there are millions of acres in the United States alone dedicated to growing only one thing. This is against nature's inclination to balance through diversity. To grow corn this way, it is necessary to use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and often irrigation. This affects the environment, the economy, and the lives of farmers in ways that are getting harder and harder to reverse the longer they are practiced. Most corn is also genetically modified. GMO products are not labeled and they are so new there is no telling the extent of their harm on people and the environment.

HFCS is making people fat and sick. Because it tastes good and limits the body's ability to feel full, people are letting themselves become fatter and sicker. Food lobbyists can change legislation and food manufacturers can find new ways to hide corn and HFCS in their foods, and there is little the public can do to stop them. The only true power the public holds lies not in politics or lobbying; it lies in their spending habits. If the public stops buying and consuming HFCS, its producers will take note and the public, the land, and the economy will start to heal. For more please visit; WholeNews.Org Please feel free to visit; WholeNews.Org an independent media and alternative health blog.

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