Beyond Gorgeous

All sugars are not created equal.  There is growing evidence that the sugar we eat most is the most deadly.

That form of sweetener is called high fructose corn syrup. There is a lot of confusion about this stuff. What is it and why is it so bad for us? Here is a non-technical explanation:

Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found mostly in fruit.  It’s not so bad, provided you don’t get an overdose of it, which you are not likely to do if you just eat fruit.  In fact, because it doesn’t cause an insulin dump, it has been suggested as a replacement for table sugar for diabetics.

Scientists developed a process by which fructose could be derived from corn. It involves several steps and three different added enzymes, so it is not “natural” as claimed by the big companies who love it.  The product is called high fructose corn syrup. It is very sweet and very cheap, and has other properties that make it popular with prepared food producers.  It acts as a preservative, giving foods longer shelf life, and it prevents freezer burn, which is a boon to the frozen food producers.

So now high fructose corn syrup has replaced cane or beet sugar in most products.  It is also added to products that we don’t normally think of as sweet, because of its preservative properties.  Start reading food labels and you will find it almost everywhere, from crackers to frozen meat.

You will find it in mass quantities in soda, so pop drinkers can hardly avoid an overdose.

Why is it so bad?  Research has shown that your body handles this sweetener in a different way than sugar.  It is processed mainly in the liver and goes straight to fat. A 2010 study by Duke University scientists showed a strong connection between high fructose corn syrup and non-alcoholic liver disease.

Another 2010 study with rats done by Princeton Neuroscience Institute showed that rats fed on a high fructose corn syrup solution in addition to regular rat chow ALL became obese.  Rats on the same diet but fed regular glucose solution did not.

Certainly the obesity epidemic started its meteoric rise at the same time HFCS hit the market.  Skeptics say that the connection is only that the cheap availability of the sweetener promoted the “super-size” movement which put money in the pockets of the promoters.  That may be true, but the evidence is there that this form of sweetener can be at best dangerous and at worst deadly.

So read the labels.  You don’t need this stuff!

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown

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