The good news is that it appears that finally our society is beginning to acknowledge the disastrous effects of HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup ) on our health.
Michelle Obama, has said she will not give her children products made with it — has made sugar look good by comparison.
The bad news is just that.
That we begin to see the problem with HFC sugar, which is a man-made fructose, does not mean that suddenly sugar is good for you.
Though research is still under way, many nutrition and obesity experts say sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are equally bad in excess. But, as is often the case with competing food claims, the battle is as much about marketing as it is about science.
The most common argument has to do with the rapid rise of obesity in the United States, and elsewhere, which began in the 1980s, not long after industrial-grade high-fructose corn syrup was invented. As the amount of the sweetener in the American diet has expanded, so have Americans gained weight at an alarming rate.
Anyone who has spent some time reading through some of these pages, knows that it is the refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar) that cause obesity and not the saturated fats, although we have to realize that it is going to take a while before this will become generally accepted.
High-fructose corn syrup does NOT metabolize in the same way sugar does. It is a highly processed product that contains similar amounts of unbound fructose and glucose. Sucrose, on the other hand, is a larger sugar molecule that is metabolized into glucose and fructose in your intestine.
High-fructose corn syrup is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified. Whereas the glucose in other sugars is used by your body, and is converted to blood glucose, fructose is a relatively unregulated source of fuel that your liver converts to fat and cholesterol.
There are over 35 years of hard empirical evidence that refined man-made fructose like high-fructose corn syrup metabolizes to triglycerides and adipose tissue, not blood glucose. The downside of this is that fructose does not stimulate your insulin secretion, nor enhance leptin production. (Leptin is a hormone thought to be involved in appetite regulation.)
Because insulin and leptin act as key signals in regulating how much food you eat, as well as your body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased food intake and weight gain.
Additionally, a recent study found that because fructose is much more readily metabolized to fat in your liver than glucose, this can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
This in turn leads to hepatic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Sugar, though natural and preferable to HFCS or artificial sweeteners like Splenda and aspartame, is NOT a health food.
Refined sugar was almost nonexistent in the diets of most people until very recently. Nowadays, as the New York Times pointed out, American adults ate about 44 pounds of sugar each in 2007, just slightly more than the 40 pounds of HFCS they also ate that year. And anybody who thinks that Canadians are faring much better, had better think again.
We are talking about A LOT of sugar and is especially concerning because it’s been proven over and over that sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to:
• High blood pressure and high cholesterol
• Heart disease
• Weight gain
• Premature aging, and more
The list of health and behaviour problems associated with sugar
is virtually endless.
It almost seems that we are finding more and more health issues
that are sugar related, although we should include of course all
refined carbs since our body does not make a lot of difference
In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior!!
But of course we knew already that sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion. (blood clotting and increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.
Can cause cataracts and nearsightedness, emphysema, impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body, lowers the ability of enzymes to function; sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease, and on and on.
Source:Nancy Appleton, Ph.D
Author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit.
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