High fructose corn syrup has been used as a sweetener in a multitude of foods and drinks that are commonly sold in the typical supermarket. High fructose corn syrup has a longer shelf life than cane sugars and therefore is cheaper to create and preserve foods, being one of the main reasons that large food manufacturers use this substance instead of old fashioned sugar. The other reason is that high fructose corn syrup is a natural appetite enhancer and entices people into eating more than they normally would otherwise.
During the past, it has been thought that obesity and the gaining of weight was closely connected to high fructose corn syrup. It is also known that high fructose corn syrup is more difficult than regular cane sugar, for the human body to break down, causing a whole array of health issues including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. An increase in the use of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in processed and packaged foods by the leading food manufacturers in the United States is thought by the Mayo Clinic, to be a contributing factor in the increase in both childhood and adult cases of obesity.
Insulin resistance is linked directly to high fructose corn syrup according to the American Medical Association, which naturally leads to diabetes. A high intake can also result in complications that are associated with diabetes, such as poor circulation of the extremities which can often lead to the need for limb amputations.
Diabetes is not the only risk of ingesting high fructose corn syrup; the liver and heart are also at risk. An increasing amount of cases of heart disease, congestive heart failure, liver disease and high blood pressure have been diagnosed in people who frequently eat products with the substance in it. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, a diet that is high in high fructose corn syrup has been found to raise blood pressure in males a significant and to an unhealthy level as compared to men who avoid it.
How do you avoid these health issues? The easy answer is to read all food labels carefully before purchasing products from the supermarket and if there is any high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients then don’t buy it. Opt for healthier options such as evaporated corn sugar, xylitol, Stevia and maltitol. Keep in mind that the labels sometimes can be tricky, as lately the processed food companies have started using the term “corn syrup” even though it is actually high fructose corn syrup. Opt for as many less-processed products as possible.
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