What is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and why is it bad for you?
Ingredient name:High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Other names it might be listed under:
Possibly glucose/fructose, but typically just as high fructose corn syrup.
Why is it in food?
HFCS is a used as a sweetener. It is very cheap to produce and therefore is used abundantly.
Why is it bad for us?
HFCS is a form of sugar, and like any sugar it should be limited. It is very hard for our bodies to digest, and isn’t easily metabolized by the liver, leading to fat deposits on the liver. High fructose corn syrup contributes to a build up of plaque and therefore a narrowing of the blood vessels. Aside from cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease, high fructose corn syrup is connected to diabetes, obesity, an increase in the aging process, damage to the immune system, and even possibly exposure to mercury. An impaired immune system can lead to a variety of ailments ranging from asthma and food allergies to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.
What food can you find it in?
It might be easier to talk about which foods you can’t find it in, because good grief, this stuff is everywhere!
Unlike glucose, which the body stores in various tissues for use as fuel, fructose is sent to the liver for processing. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California-San Francisco, has shown that it causes a buildup of fats there, triggering a host of health problems including diabetes, gout, and heart disease. Most worrisome, Lustig says, it can lead to insulin resistance, a hormonal snafu that makes you feel hungry even when you're full. "The way fructose is metabolized leads you to want to eat more," he explains—no great revelation to anyone who's ever slain a pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting.
Prior to 1900, about 4 percent of America's calories came from fructose, while today's teens get roughly 12 percent of their calories that way. Since sugar and corn syrup are equally efficient as fructose delivery vehicles, the obvious conclusion is simply that we're consuming too many sweets. As for the HFCS-vs.-sugar smackdown, you might as well debate whether whiskey is healthier than rum. "In high-enough quantities, they're both poison," says Lustig.
Make sure you check all labels, and avoid this stuff whenever you can. And remember – try and buy organic whenever possible when it comes to corn products, as corn is one of the most heavily genetically modified ingredients in the country.
Also, is you have a cellphone, download the following apps: Buycott and Fooducate. If the government and the FDA will not protect the people against bioterrorism and eugenics through genetically modified organisms (GMO's) then it is up to the people to take a stand against Monsanto.
You can find out more about them here: Two Free Smartphone Apps That Will Eliminate Monsanto, Aspartame, HFCS And Processed Foods