Obesity and High Fructose Corn Syrup

by Laurri on December 5, 2012

obesityResearch published this week shows evidence that the rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity is correlating with increased high fructose corn syrup usage.

Studies have shown that countries who use high fructose corn syrup are more likely to have an increase of  type 2 diabetes.  In  fact, the researchers have estimated a 20% increase among those countries that do consume it.

It may be no surprise to us but the US happens to the highest consumer.   We consume over 55 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year.

Not only do we see an increase in type 2 diabetes and obesity with the usage, research has also shown a direct link between this sweetener and pancreatic cancer,liver damage, kidney disease,gout, and heart disease.

The current theory is suggesting that the correlation between high fructose corn syrup and these illnesses (including obesity) is because of how we metabolize this type of  high fructose.   There is evidence that shows that high fructose corn syrup is metabolized without insulin. Without insulin, this type of fructose is stored directly as fat, primarily with the aid of the liver.

stomach fatAccording to Ulijaszek, a co-author of the study and professor at Oxford University, our metabolism is not able at this time to be able to metabolize the fructose out of high fructose corn syrup effectively mainly because of the amount that is being consumed.

belly fatThere are several reasons why high fructose corn syrup is replacing sugar in our food.

1. Appearance-  Baked foods that contain high fructose corn syrup are more attractive because there is a consistent brown color throughout.

2.  Flexibility-  Because high fructose corn syrup is a liquid, transporting and mixing it are much easier to do.

3. Stability – Processed foods are stabilized more effectively when high fructose corn syrup is used.

4. Cost – It is extremely cheap to produce high fructose corn syrup.  With import tariffs on foreign sugar and the subsidies from the US for corn production, the price to produce corn over sugar is a lot less expensive.

Avoiding high fructose corn syrup can be best accomplished by reading food labels before purchasing them.  Sometimes, the name for this sweetener can  be corn sugar as well.

Tim Lobstein, director of policy for the International Association for the Study of Obesity, said, “If high fructose corn syrup is a risk factor for diabetes, then we need to rewrite national dietary guidelines and review agriculture trade policies.

Hopefully, with more research and better education, high fructose corn syrup can soon join trans fats and other harmful substances that should be avoided for better health and to increase weight loss success and maintenance.




















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