High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a “designer chemical” that is very addictive. While is may come from a “natural” source, corn, it has been altered and processed into a product that our bodies no longer recognize as “natural”. While it is extremely cheap to manufacture, and let’s not even discuss the federal subsidies for corn, these products are not going away anytime soon. So it is up to us to be educated on the associated health risks.
Obesity is the most well known risk. We know how prevalent it currently is in our society (probably as prevalent as HFCS products on local market’s shelves), but why do we attribute weight gain to eating HFCS? Well, “designer chemical” remember? One way, according to the University of Pennsylvania, is that it was designed to impair the body’s ability to recognize when it is full. (Eat more, buy more, they make more money – simple).
This works because fructose does not stimulate an increase in insulin the way most sugars do, nor does it cause an increase in leptin, both of which signal the body’s central nervous system to stop eating. Fructose also increases the level of ghrelin, which also increases the desire to eat more. In fact, the Department of Agriculture has compiled data that directly links HFCS to diabetes and obesity.
So read labels, and don’t be fooled by names. The Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow manufactures to use the name “corn sugar” as an alternative. They have spent millions in ads and campaigns to sway public opinion, but it all comes down to their profits verses our health. You make the choice.