For several years now, the government, and medical profession has stated that we have an epidemic of obesity in the United States. Furthermore several news stations such as Fox, ABC, and CBS have aired reports of obesity in adults as well as children. The culprit, in question, causing this over weight epidemic was reported to be fast foods. Many Americans now have more than one place of employment, and are filling up on fast food, as they run from job to job.
Now it appears that fast food is not the only factor contributing to obesity. One chemical is question is high fructose corn syrup. The American Diabetes Association and several nutritional professionals believed that high fructose would be a better choice to use instead of sucrose or regular table sugar. The high fructose did not cause a great increase in the rise of blood sugar and it had a low glycemic index. However, through newer information, these experts changed their minds concerning high fructose.
Apparently, a small amount of high fructose, found mainly in fruits and vegetables, does no harm and increases energy. However, today, it is estimated that 10% of our diet comes from fructose. However, with the development of HFCS or high fructose corn syrup, the use of sucrose has decreased. HFCS is made up of 55% fructose, and 45% glucose. High fructose corn syrup is inexpensive and abundant due to the large amount of the commodity corn grown in the United States today. HFCS, because of being inexpensive, is found in a vast majority of food items, including baked goods, cereals, candy and soda.
Sugar, when entering our blood stream causes the body to produce insulin which regulates the sugar. However, fructose is processed in the liver, changing it to energy. When too much fructose enters the liver, the liver starts to make fats from the excessive amount of fructose. This fat labeled triglyceride enters our bloodstream, and too much triglyceride in one of the major causes for heart disease.
Furthermore, too much HFCS may interfere with the protein, leptin that regulate appetites. This protein signals that we are full, however HFCS curbs this protein and a person will overeat, thus the weigh gain. (Information from research, concerning the effect of HFCS on rats, at the University of Florida.)
Growing evidence has shown that HFCS may increase insulin resistance, thus causing Type 2 diabetes; yet some experts believe that the chemicals in sodas react with HFCS causing insulin resistance.
Consumer Reports health blog stated that the Corn Refiners are trying to turn the tables on the bad rap given to HFCS. They have been quick to point out that HFCS contains not artificial ingredients, is natural and made from corn, and is fine if not over used. The natural is only true to a certain point, according to the Us Food and Drug Association. Some of the manufactures use glutaraldehide in the manufacturing of HFC.
In 2004 Louisiana State College and the University of North Carolina released a paper that showed correlation between sodas containing HFCS and obesity, stating the HFCS may play a role in the obesity epidemic.
According the Department of Agriculture, adults should not consume more than 40 grams of additional sugar per day, excluding the natural sugars found in vegetables and fruits. However, the average adult consumes more than three times that amount is 2000, and this amount has increased more so in today’s society.
As adults we can cut back on the additional added sugars by reading the labels on what foods we purchase. Furthermore, we can cut back on the amount of soda we and our children drink, by replacing it with natural fruit juices and water.