In a recent lawsuit a family is suing the Corn industry for $5 million dollars saying HFCS caused their 14-year-old daughter’s type II diabetes. I have no idea how that is going to turn out, but it will be interesting to watch.
It makes one wonder that we know this ingredient has these potential dangers but why is it in everything and why are we as human beings so attracted to it?
Fructose has benefits to the system. Extreme benefits. And if you’re reading my blog you know that something with benefits to the body doesn’t come for free, we have to pay a “tax” for that energy. The higher the energy benefit the higher the cost. Fructose is like that. I don’t know all the physiology, but from what I read and understand it bypasses what normal sugars must go through, it’s a straight shot of energy and that would theoretically make it very expensive to the system. So when we see all the studies about how horrible it is and creates all types of inflammatory processes and negative impacts, we should also remember that this may be because it is at the very tip of the pyramid providing us energy.
So its bad because its so good?
Kinda. The problem again with the “good” is that food (product) like that would need serious buffers in order to not have the deleterious effects (which is why it is pretty safe to say most are correct calling it a “toxin” or “drug“). You could think of it like running an excessive marathon without proper eating, training or recovering. This is why HFCS is so much worse for us than honey (and an argument could be made for being even slightly worse than sugar). Its because as I understand HFCS has what is called “unbound” fructose, whereas the other two are bound. That means it is more freely available. It also has nothing to buffer the energy consequences unlike honey which has loads of nutrients, or fruit with all of the benefits of fiber and phytonutrients.
Its the quick love of fructose, our greatest form of energy that manufactures prey upon and the more stress it causes our systems, in a weird way the more we think we need it (the cycle of addiction and motivation to what our brain thinks will help us).
Ever wonder why kids LOVE, like seriously love-will-sneak-to-the-cookie-jar love sugar? They are “hard-wired” to love it. It’s in our DNA to get the quickest and densest energy source when our brains are proliferating and growing like crazy (the brain takes TONS of energy to run). So give them HFCS? Not exactly. They are going to need more energy foods, but fruit and sweets with lots of nutrition would be much better. The occasional “comfort foods” which are junk foods made the real way. Real mac-n-cheese made with quality ingredients instead of the package loaded with the fake sugar-salt-fat, which is really hfcs-transfats-msg. These hit the brain “higher” so it gets associated as the “best” source of energy (and soothes the brain). This is bad because that form of energy can’t be managed so it becomes really bad for us. Hence “junk foods”, not equal to sugar-fat, but the more refined the more consequences.
Here’s the trick and the magic. It’s called distraction. Focus on “amount” and they all look equal. Sugar is sugar, fat is fat, if something has lots of fat and sugar and we look at just the number then they’re all equally good or bad. But if we look at the stress they cause because of the context they are in and the buffers they supply then whole foods (not refined and processed) come out on top. Thinking in terms of “amount” is linear thinking. Thinking in terms of “context” and interactions is nonlinear thinking. Our current medical framework is linear.
This is most likely why even though honey and HFCS have “equal” amounts of fructose. Honey is shown to be “anti-diabetic”. While HFCS and the Corn Industry is being sued for causing it.
- Metabolic and behavioural effects of sucrose and fructose/glucose drinks in the rat. Sheludiakova A, Rooney K, Boakes RAEur J Nutr. 2012 Jun;51(4):445-54. doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0228-x. Epub 2011 Jul 29. LINK
- Kids’ Sugar Cravings Might Be Biological. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/09/26/140753048/kids-sugar-cravings-might-be-biological
- Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Worse Than Sugar…And Why It’s Not. The Real Food University http://www.realfooduniversity.com/why-high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-worse-than-sugarand-why-its-not/
- Dopamine regulates the motivation to act, study shows – Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130110094415.htm
- A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/
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- Food Fitness Health. http://foodfithealth.com/blog/fructose-panic/
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