Volume 3, Issue 47
December 9, 2010
Is the new “corn sugar”
good for you?
I recently read an article in USA Today entitled “Corn syrup producers want sweeter name: Corn sugar.” After reading the article, I had to wonder if the corn syrup industry paid for the article. It’s definitely biased toward convincing the reader that corn syrup is identical to cane sugar. But is it?
According to the article, “whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar.” The article even quotes Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, as saying, “Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same and there’s no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar.” Both of these statements are false for two reasons.
First, sugar produced from sugar cane is natural — just the way God made it. It works in your body like all natural foods are created to do, with intelligent purpose. However, corn syrup, notwithstanding that it is sweet, is completely different. Corn syrup isn’t natural. The manufacturers use genetically modified corn to make it.
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Genetically modified foods have two big concerns. One is that they produce certain antibiotic toxins. Technically speaking, these toxins are supposed to kill only the germs and fungi that can damage the corn plants. But common sense should tell you that eating germ-killing toxins is not going to be good for you.
Next, the genetically modified corn resists the toxicity from Round Up, a chemical insecticide Monsanto patented to grow more crops at a cheaper cost. This resistance means that the corn can survive heavy doses of Round Up. So when you eat this corn, you’re getting a huge dose of Round Up in your body. Does that sound healthy?
But even if they made corn syrup from organic corn, there’s still another difference. Cane sugar is primarily dextrose. Dextrose is a sugar that consists of a combination of glucose, the primary sugar that your metabolism uses, and fructose, a secondary sugar. Corn syrup, on the other hand, contains primarily fructose. In fact, that’s what they call it, high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is a natural sugar, but since it is a secondary sugar, high levels of it are toxic to the liver. It can cause the liver disease hepatic steatosis (a.k.a., fatty liver disease). Glucose does not cause this disease.
These differences have given high fructose corn syrup a bad reputation. So the industry wants to change the name of their product to “corn sugar.” According to the article, “They hope a new name will ease confusion about the sweetener.”
Let’s get this straight, there is no confusion. The science is clear. The food industry actually is trying to confuse you so you won’t be afraid of their concoction.
So what should you do? Go ahead and have a little cane sugar every now and then. It’s a natural food, and it tastes good. But only eat it every now and then. It can still make you gain weight. As for high fructose corn syrup, sorry, I mean “corn sugar” — avoid it at all costs. Eating a small amount every now and then won’t harm you. But eating 45.4 pounds of it a year (the average amount eaten by most Americans) could kill you.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Copyright 2010 Soundview Publishing, LLC
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