Thursday, December 15, 2011

Foodie Pick: Corn Syrup & High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

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First I will begin with what is Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Corn Syrup is manipulated from the starch of corn. High Fructose Corn Syrup under goes a process that has to create a chemical reaction. The molecules have to change and convert into different molecules. The enzymes also have to change. With this many different reactions taking place before someone consumes it, this makes you wonder what reactions are taking place in your body after you digest it. This causes concern for what it can do to your enzymes, hormonal balance and the health for your over all cells. You can see how High Fructose Corn Syrup looks like a science experiment when the guys from King Corn make Corn Syrup themselves. (This weeks Pick of the Week)

In 1882 Corn Syrup was refined and the production of dextrose (glucose) from corn starch was started. In 1967 High Fructose Corn Syrup was created. By the mid 1980's HFCS was the sweetener used in many soft drinks. From 1977 to 2001 America's consumption of sweetened drinks went up 135%. Corn Syrup now is being re-branded as “Corn Sugar.”

High Fructose Corn Syrup is used in a wide variety of foods, in place of sugar. It is estimated that 78 pounds of Corn Syrup is consumed a year per person. This number wows me! It is said that Corn Syrup is being used in place of sugar for economical reasons; but other countries are not using High Fructose Corn Syrup. What is interesting is that most drinks made outside of the USA don't have Corn Syrup as an ingredient. What else I find confusing is that Coke makes a soda without corn syrup, that has a yellow cap; but only around the time of Passover. Why not give consumers the opportunity all year long?

Beverages that have High Fructose Corn Syrup have high levels of carbonyl that has been linked to cell and tissue damage that contributes to Diabetes. High Fructose Corn Syrup is rapidly absorbed in the blood stream and there is not much of a question of how it has been linked to obesity. It leaches micro nutrients from the body and also increases your appetite. In other studies there have been high levels of mercury found in Corn Syrup. With high levels of Mercury, it can harm the: brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and over all immune system.

With trying to stay away from Corn Syrup, start by reading all labels because Corn Syrup will be where you least expect it. This can be found in foods that are not sweet like: any processed foods, snacks, breads and meats. Most of the bottled and canned beverages contain Corn Syrup. These include: soft drinks, sports drinks, lemonades and ice teas. You will find that a lot of fast foods contain Corn Syrup. There are a lot of people out there that are Diabetic. Big or small you don't have to join them. When the body can no longer filter the 78 pounds of syrup, your blood becomes syrup.