High fructose fraud

News flash: High fructose corn syrup makes you fat and will give you diabetes.

Sure, I could point out that the obesity epidemic has coincided with a sharp rise in the use of HFCS. (Not to mention canola oil, processed foods, and other dietary garbage.)

And I could also describe the mechanisms by which HFSC sabotages your body’s delicate metabolic balance.

But I figure it’s better to start with the cold, hard truth in the plainest terms possible. Because no one seems to want to listen to either science or reason where this stuff is concerned.

Despite all the alarms that research continues to set off with every new study. Like this one, for example…

Researchers recently measured average HFCS availability against diabetes rates in 43 countries. Roughly half of the countries consumed little or no high fructose corn syrup.

The other half consumed anywhere between one pound each year per person (such as in Germany) to 55 pounds each year per person.

(In case you haven’t guessed, that latter number describes the United States. Just to make a point, I should mention that the obesity rate in Germany is 12 percent. In America, it’s 31 percent.)

Once researchers had accounted for body size, population, and wealth, HFCS consumption was still linked to a 20 percent increase in diabetes rates. Even when total sugar and calorie intakes were comparable.

And that, of course, points to an independent link between high fructose corn syrup and diabetes.

I mean really. Is anyone surprised by this?

What we should be surprised with is that there isn’t a total ban on the stuff by now. And why not? Because America produces it and exports it around the world. In fact, corn is the most subsidized crop in this country.

Which brings me to this study’s skeptics. Namely, Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association. (That’s the same group that petitioned to change the notorious corn “syrup” label to corn “sugar” on ingredient lists.)

This is what she had to say: “Just because an ingredient is available in a nation’s diet does not mean it is uniquely the cause of a disease. There is broad scientific consensus that table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent.”

The first sentence shows that she clearly didn’t read the results of the study. And the last sentence? Well, it’s an outright lie.

Just to put this in perspective, table sugar is about half fructose and half glucose. Labels don’t list the quantity of fructose in HFCS. But the range is typically as high as 55 percent–and according to one recent study, maybe even as high as 65 percent.

Furthermore, there’s a big difference between fruit-bound fructose (as you’ll find in nature) and refined fructose syrup. And there’s plenty of evidence that your body handles this latter form in a much different–and more dangerous–way than glucose, too.

Most notably, it doesn’t trigger insulin release in the same way. And while this sounds like a good thing, it’s not–because your body still has to deal with that surge of sugar somehow.

Ultimately, the burden falls on your liver to metabolize fructose. And when your liver can’t keep up with the load, that fructose becomes fat.

Fructose also overrides key satiety hormones that keep your hunger in check. And I doubt I have to explain why that’s a problem.

Needless to say, fructose creates quite a few challenges to your body in excess. And excess is exactly what you get with any “high fructose” product.

I could go on about this subject forever. But instead, I’m just going to wrap it up with one single word: Stevia. This time-tested, sweet-leafed plant is safe, simple, healthy, and all natural.

Pure Stevia is the only sweetener I recommend. And it’s the only sweetener you’ll ever need.

Goodman, Brenda. “High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Diabetes.” 27 Nov. 2012. Accessed at http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20121127/high-fructose-corn-syrup-diabetes.