August 18, 2010

Is high fructose corn syrup really harmless?

You may have seen a lot of ads on TV lately about high fructose corn syrup. Its makers are doing all they can to make you believe their swill is harmless. But don't listen to the commercials. High fructose corn syrup really is a poison.

"Poison?" you ask. Yes. Anything that damages your body's normal physiology is a poison. And a new study proves that high fructose corn syrup does indeed damage your body's physiology. Worse, it makes you fat.

In this study, the researchers studied the effects of high fructose corn syrup on rats. When they're fed the stuff, even at levels way below that which you'll find in your every day soft drink, they become obese. And it happens to every single animal across the board.

In fact, they get fatter on high fructose corn syrup than if they ate actual fat!

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What's really amazing is that rats eating high fructose corn syrup gain weight far more quickly than rats fed equal calorie amounts of sucrose (table sugar). Actually, they gained weight faster on half as much high fructose corn syrup as the rats eating a full soft drink dose of sucrose.

A second experiment followed rats consuming high fructose corn syrup over six months. Compared to non-high fructose corn syrup controls, the experimental rats developed the human equivalent of metabolic syndrome. That is, they got belly fat, high triglycerides, abnormal weight gain, etc.

High fructose corn syrup and sucrose are very similar. But they have one key difference. Sucrose has equal amounts of glucose and fructose. High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 42% glucose (with larger molecules making up the remaining 3%). More fructose means more belly fat. Here's why:

The manufacturing process of high fructose corn syrup leaves the fructose molecules unbound. They are ready for instant absorption. In contrast, all fructose molecules found in sucrose are tied up to a glucose molecule. They have to go through an extra step before your body can absorb them. This extra step provides a delay in absorption, which may improve your insulin response. Also, your body may directly convert the extra free fructose into dangerous visceral (belly) fat, while your body burns the glucose for energy. That's why the added fructose in high fructose corn syrup leads to more belly fat.

In the 40 years since high fructose corn syrup hit the American market, obesity figures have more than doubled. They've gone from 15% to about 33%. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the stuff every year.

Action to take: As I have repeatedly advised, please immediately stop eating all fast, fried, refined, and processed foods. Anything with high fructose corn syrup fits this picture. Doing so will help you lose weight fast!

Ref: ScienceDaily, March 22, 2010.

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