Fact or Myth: Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Making You Fat?

This is a FACT.

With recent studies being released on the supposed safety of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our diets, it seems the obvious effects of our overall sugar consumption are being overlooked.

There is no longer any beating around the bush: America has an obesity epidemic. corn syrup nutrition

Several findings from reputable scientists have stated there is no correlation between HFCS and the obesity epidemic in the United States. Yet almost every study ended with the statement that more research should be done. Another reason you should question their findings: The corn industry funded most of the research.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 68% of Americans are overweight or obese and the numbers are continuing to rise.

As our weight increases, so do the health costs caused by diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Type II diabetes statistics have climbed alongside the rise of obesity, and complications from obesity lead to more doctor visits annually than smoking.

Despite the food industry’s claims that gluttony and sedentary behavior are the keys to obesity – there was just as much food available before we started putting on the pounds nationwide – many nutritionists and dieticians are saying there are other factors to consider. They urge consumers to remember nutrition isn’t all about “quantity” of food but also “quality.”

The bottom line: Sugar converts to fat, fat gets stored and we have larger waistlines.

According to the University of California, San Francisco, too much HFCS in our diets shows a clear cycle: Sugar converts to stored fat and stimulates the brain’s “hunger” response, which in turn makes you eat more.

UCSF pediatric neuroendocrinologist, Robert Lustig, MD has spoken out about federal agencies and corporations seeming to care more about their bottom line than they do about public health.

As a pediatrician, Lustig is especially concerned with childhood obesity and the health problems kids may face before they ever reach adulthood. He states, “High-fructose corn syrup nutrition and sucrose [table sugar] are equally bad. They’re both poison in high doses.”

CDC Statistic: More than one-third of American children and adolescents are obese.

Dr. Lustig suggests removing sugary beverages from your pantry and pushing more milk and water instead. Increasing fiber intake and offering actual fruit instead of fruit juice will contribute to a sense of fullness. Limit “seconds” as much as possible and barter “minute-for-minute” screen time – computers, video games and television – with outside play or other exercise.

The Controversy Over Fructose

HFCS has a slightly higher percentage of fructose than table sugar does. The fact is, fructose gets converted directly to fat – exactly the same way alcohol your system processes alcohol. Our bodies do not use fructose or alcohol for fuel.

Fruit also contains fructose but the other antioxidants and nutrients counteract the fructose content. HFCS contains no nutrients of any kind. It gives your body nothing but empty calories. Eating HFCS is no different than consuming fat.

If you’re eating a typical American diet, you’re also getting far more fructose than your body can handle.

In 1975, two trends were noted by U.S scientists and tied to the obesity epidemic. The first was the introduction of high fructose corn syrup – an additive/preservative that was cheap to produce, easy to distribute and tasted similar to table sugar.

Within the last 30 years, consumers have gone from consuming an average of 15 grams of fructose daily to 75 grams of fructose daily – and a large portion of the population consumes in excess of 125 grams daily!

The second trend was a sudden increase in fat intake. This has been blamed on both the invention of the microwave – enabling us to eat fast, pre-prepared high-fat meals – and the explosion of the fast food industry.

Not Losing Sight of Total Sugar Consumption

Yale School of Medicine assistant professor of endocrinology, Dr. Varman Samual, examined the connection between sugar consumption, obesity and diabetes.

“The main issue of concern is the increase in total sugar consumption, not just that of high fructose corn syrup. This has paralleled the rise in obesity over the past decades.”

The liver converts fructose to fat, resulting in a condition that 10-20% of Americans suffer from – fatty liver. Patients who suffer from obesity are also diagnosed with fatty liver, which is currently the most chronic liver disease in the United States.

The Yale professor believes HFCS is the driving force behind not only the obesity epidemic but also the diabetes epidemic. Ninety percent of all diabetics are type 2, a condition that is 100% preventable and 100% curable with diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.

“If there is too much fat in the liver the ability of insulin to activate those signals is impaired, making those cells resistant to insulin.” Dr. Samuel focused on high fructose corn syrup nutrition as the culprit in our overall eating plan.

As is typically the case, a balanced diet and regular exercise are the crucial link to total body wellness and a healthy weight. As Dr. Samuel points out, “Research isn’t the hardest part. It’s much harder to change people’s behavior.”

The foods that utilize this additive are pre-prepared, high in fat and low in overall nutritional value.

Preparing natural, unrefined foods will automatically limit HFCS in your diet. You may be shocked by what foods contain the highest quantities of HFCS.

Top 10 Foods with Highest Quantities of HFCS:

    • Commercial Yogurts
    • White & Whole Wheat Bread
    • Cocktail Peanuts
    • Salad Dressing
    • Granola Bars
    • Packaged Crackers
    • Cough Syrup
    • Pre-Made Stuffing
    • Bottled Teas and Fruit Drinks
    • Tomato-based Sauces (pizza, spaghetti, ketchup)

Many of these foods are staples in all our homes. Take a moment to consider how much hidden high fructose corn syrup nutrition you may be consuming daily and ask yourself: Is it really as harmless as we’re being led to believe?