What makes High-Fructose Corn Syrup the Bad Guy?
Current debates in the media prompts us to discuss the growing concern of the effect of High-Fructose Corn Syrup on our health. Its negative effects more often than not, remains disguised. Statistics report that an average American, in a year, increases his consumption of High-Fructose Corn Syrup from 0 to over 60 pounds. This consumption is mainly constituted of the sugar from aerated drinks and processed food.
Quite simply put, High-Fructose Corn Syrup as a food additive has negative effects on your health and increases your risks of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and atherosclerosis.
So what exactly is High-Fructose Corn Syrup all about?
Although High-Fructose Corn Syrup is derived from natural sources, the product itself is quite unnatural. Also abbreviated to be HFCS, it is a very commonly used sweetener used in packaged food products. It is known to be chemically similar to table sugar, however there is growing scepticism about the body’s ability to handle it differently.
Although pointed out to be similar, it is the level of Fructose present in both that makes the difference. Regular table sugar, also chemically known as Sucrose is a combination of 50-50% split of Fructose and Glucose. However, HFSC’s chemical composition adds up to 80% Fructose and 20%Glucose. Each type of sweetener, be it regular table sugar or HFSC, both contain 4 calorie per gram. However, it should therefore be understood importantly—it is not the calories alone that is a problem, it is rather the slow metabolism caused by excess fructose that is the major concern.
The Dangers that Revolve around HFSC
The increased consumption of fructose on processed foods causes havoc in your body, mainly because your body metabolizes fructose very differently from glucose.
Glucose is essentially a primary source of ready energy for the body, comprised with the breakdown of carbohydrates. Sucrose (Regular Table sugar) on the other hand is one molecule part glucose and one molecule part fructose. Therefore an increased consumption of sucrose, leads to a higher consumption of daily fructose.
Your body converts glucose comfortably to ATP for energy. It also stores the excess energy in your liver as carbohydrates can be converted to energy very easily. Fructose metabolizes faster in the liver, flooding the metabolic pathways and thus leading to increased triglyceride mixture and fat storage in your body.
The negative implication of this falls straight on your liver— the increased levels of triglyceride in your liver augments an atherogenic lipid profile and increase cardiovascular risks. The increased fat storage in the liver too has impounding chances of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fructose in your foods, contribute increasing to impact appetite— increasing weight gain, higher BMI, and eventually to obesity, a commonly known aftermath. The increased intake of fructose also leads to formation of uric acid in the liver that does contribute to causing gout in susceptible individuals.
It is also not commonly understood that an increased amount of fructose may also lead to hypertension. Hypertension is a part of a dangerous health disorders called the metabolic syndrome. It is characterized by body’s resistance to insulin and one of the major factors that lead to the development of vascular diseases. Fructose hinders the development of a key enzyme in the body—endothelial nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme is very crucial as it helps in the relaxing the healthy
blood vessels and ensures smooth flow of blood vessels.
Taking a Fructose Exit
High-Fructose Corn Syrup has conveniently found its place in our food chain today and thrives proactively with its presence. Fast-paced lifestyles are no help in your efforts to reduce the intake. However, the earlier you start to eliminate this poisonous substance from your diet, the better you prepare yourself to tackle health risks.
Here are quick tips to kick start your Fructose Exit plan.
- Avoid artificially sweetened drinks that includes aerated and fruit juices. Consider to switch your beverage to herbal tea, sparking water and fresh juices.
- Read the food labels. It is important you know what goes in your body.
- Slowly prepare your body to eliminate overall intake of sugar—both fructose and regular table sugar.
It is crucial that you take care of understanding the food you eat. The American Heart Association is of the opinion that one should not consume any more than 100 calories in a day from added sugars for women and 150 for men, ranging approximately from 6 tsp. of regular sugar to 9 tsp. However, if you are mighty concerned about your heath, you will cut the sugar our, irrespective of its type.
- Thomas Cox