How much High Fructose Corn Syrup do you consume? Do you even know? And what’s the big deal with it anyway? Does it really have that much impact on our health? If it’s really that bad for us, why do so many food manufactures use it?
Reasons Manufacturers Add High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup has a high level of fructose like that of fruit or honey. It’s a simple sugar carbohydrate that is much sweeter than sucrose and less expensive. It also combines well into many foods and helps lengthen shelf life. For these reasons you will find food manufactures using High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in a variety of foods from soft drinks and processed canned foods, to baked products and ice cream.
Reasons Consumers Should Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup
So what is the problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup as a sweetener in food products? First, it’s not the corn syrup that is causing health concerns for Americans. Corn syrup is mostly glucose that the body burns as quick energy. It can also be stored in muscles or the liver for later use in stimulating insulin.
Insulin helps metabolize food by pushing carbohydrates into muscle cells for energy. Insulin also helps with the production of leptin, which helps with body fat storage and metabolism. Both insulin and leptin help regulate metabolism and tell us to stop eating when full. Fructose however, doesn’t do this. So we keep consuming.
Fructose also elevates triglyceride levels in the body, causing the cells to become more resistant to insulin. This negatively affects the body’s ability to burn fat. The whole system seems to slow down. This is reason enough to begin to read labels. If you, like many Americans, struggle with excess weight, one culprit might be an ingredient in the foods you eat every day.
HFCS Hiding in Common Foods
Since I would consider my household to be a typical American household, I decided to investigate the food labels of products in my kitchen and pantry. I looked for products with High Fructose Corn Syrup in the list. Here is what I found.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is an ingredient of bagels, ranch dressing, saltine crackers, ketchup, maple-flavored syrup, barbecue sauce, ground horseradish, pizza sauce, and it’s ingredient number one of the frozen juice concentrate. No wonder my diet has been sabotaged. No wonder Americans are getting fatter and the incidence of diabetes is on the rise.
What We Can Do about HFCS in Foods
As consumers, we vote every time we purchase a product. Essentially, we tell the manufacture to keep on making the product in the same way. If we as consumers refuse to purchase products with High Fructose Corn Syrup as an ingredient, we are also voting. We are stating our disapproval of the product the way it is. Although we can’t count on manufactures to voluntarily do the responsible thing for America’s health, we can voice our opinions by refusing to buy products. It hits at the bottom line and manufactures do respond to that.
Now it’s your turn. Begin to read the ingredient lists of food items in your kitchen and pantry. Search for foods with High Fructose Corn Syrup on the ingredient list and move them off your shelves and out of your refrigerator. Refuse to purchase anything new until you have made certain that High Fructose Corn Syrup is not hiding in the product. Your weight and your health will thank you.