P.S. It’s worse than SUGAR!
Yup, that our opening line and you know how bad sugar is ?
How did they come into existence?
In the 1970s, the US gave subsidies for the cultivation of corn. Making a sweeter out of this subsidised corn became much cheaper for the manufacturers since corn started being available in plenty. Along the same time, the US also put a tax on import sugar. So from a business point of view, the alternative sweetener made from corn, which was cheap and available in plenty, was the best option. Makes sense.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) doesn’t exist naturally. Corn has to go through several stages of processing in order for it to become HFCS. Corn becomes corn starch at first through rigorous manufacturing and then its converted into corn syrup. This corn syrup mainly has a lot of glucose. Glucose is sweet but its not sweet enough to be used in the production of foods. This could be fatal for sales right? The manufacturers thought so and hence, the corn syrup was further modified with certain enzymes to convert a portion of the glucose into fructose. Now you’ve heard of fructose we’re assuming? Well it’s the sugar molecule naturally found in fruits
The regular table sugar, which is your Sucrose is a mix of glucose and fructose in a 1:1 ratio. In HFCS, the amount of fructose is greater than that of glucose. Now mind you, table sugar is bad for us, period. HFCS is worse.
So why is it so Bad?
HFCS is absorbed by our bodies, much faster than regular table sugar. Both sugar and HFCS are extremely processed and refined. The latter taking it to the next level in terms of refinement. It was assumed that Fructose was good for us because well it has a Low Glycemic Index (GI). Now if you’ve been following Ytalife for some time, you’d know that Glycemic Index is not an accurate measure of how good a food is for you. The Glycemic Load on the other hand is a much better choice.
So looking at the GI, it was easily misinterpreted (or planned that way) that Fructose was good for you or at least better than regular table sugar. BUT!
Stop teasing and tell me why it’s so BAD!
Right! High fructose corn syrup can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high levels of triglycerides and obesity at a much higher potential than regular sugar. You see, your body can only your liver can process fructose (which is the main component in HFCS). But your liver has a limit to how much it can processes and store at any given time. So what happens when there’s an excess of fructose.
Here’s a conversation between the liver and your body to make it easier to understand.
Liver : Yo, I can’t store anymore of this crap
Body : But you have to; you’re the only one that can take up fructose
Liver : I understand that, but I’m full.
Body : But it’s dangerous to let fructose run around in the body.
We can’t have that.
Liver : Well I am not going to store anymore!
The body realises that your liver is not able to store anymore fructose but at the same time its super unsafe to have sugar molecules running around the blood stream. So your body tells your pancreas to make more insulin to force fructose into the liver. The liver resists the effects of insulin as much as it can but eventually gives in. But every time the insulin tires to force fructose into the liver, the liver is able to resist insulin a tiny bit better.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” This is one place where this line has no value. Period. As your liver resists the effects of insulin again and again, this leads to insulin resistance and voila, in no time you have type 2 diabetes. A lot of the fructose gets converted into triglycerides and is stored as body fat, obesity strikes. This is also one of the main reasons for non alcoholic fatty liver.
So you see how processed fructose in large amounts is dangerous.
As an endnote, we want you to understand that both processed sugar and HFCS are bad. It’s just that HFCS can hurt you more because of the concentrated copious amount of fructose in it. If you see HFCS on a label,
STAY THE FRUCTOSE AWAY!
|1. Faeh, D., Minehira, K., Schwarz, J.M., Periasamy, R., Park, S. and Tappy, L., 2005. Effect of fructose overfeeding and fish oil administration on hepatic de novo lipogenesis and insulin sensitivity in healthy men. Diabetes, 54(7)|
2. Johnson, R.J., Segal, M.S., Sautin, Y., Nakagawa, T., Feig, D.I., Kang, D.H., Gersch, M.S., Benner, S. and Sánchez-Lozada, L.G., 2007. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(4), pp.899-906.
What do you think about HFCS? Let us know in the comments below!
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