August 23, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Not The Same As Sugar

According to the National Corn Growers and their web site, sugar is sugar. They have petitioned the USDA for a name change from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to corn sugar which to date has not been granted. The sugar industry is considering a law suit to prevent the change and you may read about this here.

Sucrose (aka, table sugar) contains one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose, which are bound chemically. HFCS also contains one molecule of each, but they are not bound together chemically. HFCS is also used in more foods than sugar would ever be used. This is the primary reason many of us with type 2 diabetes try to avoid it at all costs. This means that we avoid most highly processed foods because it has been added, whereas sugar itself, often would not have been added. True, some processed foods do add sugar, but not as often or in the quantity of HFCS.

I still detest the ads the corn industry uses promoting HFCS when they say sugar is sugar. Although the corn industry claims this they are wrong as pointed out above. Sucrose must go through several intermediary steps to be broken into separate molecules of fructose and glucose. The fructose in HFCS does not need these steps and heads directly for the liver where is starts being used in the liver as a building block of triglycerides.

Because the liver is flooded by an excess of fatty acids, the liver releases them into the bloodstream. Now the muscles find themselves facing an overdose of these fats and the cells develop insulin resistance. With the increase insulin resistance comes an increase in visceral adiposity in overweight/obese adults. Not a pretty picture about what HFCS does to us.

Read what the corn industry does not want you to know here. More information on HFCS can be read here, and about fructose from fruit here.

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