You’ve probably heard of high fructose corn syrup. Maybe you’ve been warned to stay away from it, or you’ve seen food products bragging “no high fructose corn syrup!” on the label. But do you really know what it is? Do you know why you’re supposed to avoid it?
Simply put, high fructose corn syrup is a sweetener derived from corn starch. In order to create it, enzymes must be added to corn syrup (which is almost 100% glucose) to change some of the glucose into fructose. The enzymes used in high fructose corn syrup processing are genetically modified to improve their heat stability for production. High fructose corn syrup is used in many cereals, processed foods, baked goods and beverages.
There are many reasons why high fructose corn syrup is dangerous and should be banned from our food supply. Here are 8 ways that high fructose corn syrup destroys your body:
1. It Causes Liver Stress And Fatty Liver
Fructose stimulates fat accumulation in the liver by increasing fat synthesis and blocking fat breakdown. Glucose and fructose are naturally linked together. In order to create high fructose corn syrup, they become separated. When high fructose corn syrup enters your bloodstream, the fructose travels directly into your liver. This puts stress on the liver. It causes unhealthy fat production, which can lead to fatty liver disease and other serious health issues.
2. It Can Lead To Cancer
Research published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that the fructose in high fructose corn syrup promotes cancer growth. Specifically, it promotes pancreatic cancer. The study found that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose and induce rapid reproduction of pancreatic cancer cells. This research shows that when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment, HFCS should be avoided at all costs.
3. It Increases Cholesterol Levels
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high fructose corn syrup intake is linked to high cholesterol levels. The study found that only two weeks of moderate consumption of high fructose corn syrup caused cholesterol and triglyceride levels to rise. The lead author of the study was Kimber L. Stanhope. She said, “It was a surprise that adding as little as the equivalent of a half-can of soda at breakfast, lunch and dinner was enough to produce significant increases in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
4. It Causes High Blood Pressure
Fructose intake from added sugars is also linked to high blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that when compared to sugar, high fructose corn syrup leads to greater fructose exposure to the entire body. This leads to different metabolic effects. It can cause hypertension, inhibit systemic blood vessel function and stimulate the sympathetic nervous system.
5. It Can Lead To Heart Disease
High fructose corn syrup is known to raise blood pressure. High blood pressure is part of a group of dangerous health issues known as metabolic syndrome. This increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Research shows that high fructose corn syrup can be extremely detrimental to your heart health.
6. It Can Cause Diabetes
Fructose has been directly linked to diabetes. Every cell in the body can metabolize glucose, but fructose must be metabolized by the liver. Studies have shown that fructose consumption leads to increased visceral fat. It also causes impairment in the regulation of fats in the blood and decreased insulin sensitivity. All of these side effects have been associated with an increased risk in developing type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease.
7. It Can Cause Leaky Gut Syndrome
In those with leaky gut syndrome, the “net” in the digestive tract gets damaged. This allows proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested particles to pass into the bloodstream. Research has shown that HFCS requires more energy to be absorbed by the gut. It also soaks up two phosphorus molecules from ATP, the body’s energy source. This depletes the energy in our gut which is required to maintain the integrity of our intestinal linings. Large doses of fructose have been shown to punch holes in the intestinal lining, creating leaky gut.
8. It Can Cause Weight Gain
A Princeton University study found that high fructose corn syrup causes more weight gain than refined sugar. Researchers have concluded that long-term consumption of HFCS can cause abnormal increases in body fat. This is especially true in the abdominal region. It also leads to an increase in triglyceride levels. Many researchers believe that high fructose corn syrup may be one of the major factors contributing to the rise of obesity in America.
Sometimes you just need to sweeten things up a little bit. Raw organic honey is a natural sweetener. It also has some amazing health benefits. It’s loaded with enzymes, antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium and calcium among other vitamins and minerals. The essential nutrients it contains can help neutralize free radicals while promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
The New York Times
The Huffington Post
Harvard Health Publications
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