The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup Found in Many Of Our Foods
by Dr. Helen Lee, D.C.
Disagreement in regards to the health effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has existed for years, but data shows that this substance may do more harm than good. High fructose corn syrup is a sugar substitute made from converting corn starch into a combination of glucose (45%) and fructose (55%). It became widely used as a sweetener because it is comparatively less expensive to make, easier to distribute and can increase the shelf life of a product. It can be found in just about everything from soda to salad dressing, condiments like ketchup, yogurt, cereals, “healthy fruit” juices, cookies, any processed food, etc. Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee, D.C. offers her knowledge about the startling hazards of consuming this popular sugar substitute.
HFCS has a potential effect on weight gain and overall stress on the body. Initially, it was thought that fructose would be a better sugar alternative; especially for diabetics since it was found to absorb only about 40% as quickly as glucose. However further research on its affects on the hormonal system revealed that fructose has to be metabolized in the liver, instead of all cells like glucose. This can lead to the following complications:
- Increased stress on the liver
- High levels of body fat
- Challenges with cholesterol & triglycerides
- Increased amounts of uric acid, which stresses the kidneys and can create mineral deficiencies
Weight Gain Risk
A Princeton University research team found that rats gained significantly more weight on HFCS than on the same quantity of sugar. In 2001, the average American consumed almost 63 pounds of HFCS (up from zero in 1966). This is a serious issue for adults and children alike, especially with children being a major consumer group of sodas & processed foods made with HFCS. These health concerns are reflected by the increase of childhood diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, and much more.
- Limit or eliminate sodas and other HFCS beverages and increase WATER
- Use honey instead – It is a natural, whole food sugar that contains minerals, enzymes and a range of vitamin B [Note: Vegans avoiding honey can use agave nectar or maple syrup]
- Limit or eliminate processed foods; increase fresh fruits & vegetables
- Choose unrefined raw organic sugar and use minimally
- Read labels and choose fruit juices that are made mainly from the fruit!