Monday, 14 November 2011
You've probably consumed this added sugar in your diet today. It has been found in cereals, sodas, fruit juice, bread, applesauce, jelly, breakfast pastries, candy bars, condiments, cakes, I could go on and on. Even Gatorade and one brand of water were found to have it! See here for a huge list of where it may be found. Needless to say, it can be found in anything, anywhere. The reason being is because it is the cheapest sweetener for companies to use. But is it such a large concern?
Some say no. Others say yes.
Some say it's just as bad as any other sugar out there, and thus recommend simply limiting your added sugar intake. The Mayo Clinic says this:
"Research studies have yielded mixed results about the possible adverse effects of consuming high-fructose corn syrup... Some research studies have linked consumption of large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — to such health problems as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost your heart attack risk. But there is insufficient evidence to say that high-fructose corn syrup is less healthy than are other types of added sweeteners."
"The American Medical Association (AMA) has extensively examined the available research on HFCS and obesity... [they said] there is nothing unique about HFCS that causes obesity. It does not appear to contribute more to obesity than any other type of caloric sweetener. However, the AMA does encourage more research on this topic."
However, a study at Princeton found:
"Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides."
I think this is very interesting; however, some of you may know that I don't completely trust animal studies (and for good reason).
Another study has found that soft drinks containing HFCS may contribute to the development of diabetes, especially in children. The problem is that this study failed to test HFCS alone, and merely tested for sodas with the additive in it.
It is also prudent to note that HFCS is found in many already processed foods. The bottom line is that if you want a healthy diet, avoid processed foods as much as you possibly can, though you don't necessarily have to go organic all across the board. Also, avoid sodas, even the diet ones. Skip sugary or frosted cereals. Snack on fruits, veggies, whole grain crackers, peanuts, etc. instead of candy, chocolate, cookies, and pastries. Also look for added sugars such as corn syrup, splenda (found in some syrups), and, of course, HFCS. Buy more natural or organic foods, and try to limit your intake of the more processed ones. Also try to limit your intake of all sugars to 32 grams (boy, I need to do this).
What do you think about HFCS? Do you think it's as bad as everyone says? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!