Discovered in the 1970’s by Japanese scientists, high fructose corn syrup seemed like the answer to manufacturers prayers. Not only is it cheaper to make, it is sweeter than sugar and thus less is needed to achieve the same amount of sweetness. Additionally, high fructose corn syrup has a long shelf life. What manufacturer wouldn’t want to use it as a substitute for sugar?
If that sounds too good to be true, guess what? It is. High fructose corn syrup is currently having its way with consumers. Because it is in so many products and we are consuming it more and more each day, the ill effects are rearing their ugly head.
High fructose corn syrup is blamed for problems such as the obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol. The fact that fructose occurs naturally in fruits and some vegetables, consumers are fooled into believing that it’s ‘all natural.’ After all, it occurs in fruits and vegetables.
What they don’t understand is that fructose occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, but high fructose corn syrup doesn’t. High fructose corn syrup is a man-made sugar. The nutritional value and health benefit of HFCS are pretty much non-existent.
And the Medical/Scientific Community Says…
The medical and scientific community cannot agree whether HFCS is actually making folks fatter. They’re not sure if it’s because the HFCS converts to fat faster and suppresses the production of the “tell the body I’m full” hormone, or if its because the foods that contain high fructose corn syrup is inherently high in calories, very tasty and serves to encourage folks to eat more of it.
I’m not a scientist and am not here to figure out the reasons why. All I know is that when man gets his grubby little hand on a food and tries to improve on God’s perfection, we end up with stuff like high fructose corn syrup, obesity, diabetes and all the rest of the stuff.
The foods that contain high fructose corn syrup are usually fast foods that are supposed to help us save time. The way I look at it, it saves us time up front, but we lose it on the back end. No, I didn’t have to take the time to bake the cake from scratch, or cook the French fries from whole potatoes, but a steady diet of Mc Big Meal and packaged cake will come back to haunt me in the long run (penny wise and pound foolish).
It’s time to change the way we purchase
Gone are the good old days when a trip to the grocery store was enjoyable. Now we must to read those tiny nutrition labels (which is not getting any easier with my advancing years) to look out for high fructose corn syrup and it’s unattractive cousin trans fat (disguised as hydrogenated oil of some sort).
Slow down, read labels and, just like exercise, try working a little from-scratch cooking into your life. At the very least, leave the high fructose corn syrup on the grocery store shelf. With the current health care crisis in this country, you don’t want to continually eat something that has a good chance of making you sick!