19 May 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS-55; corn syrup reformulated to be 55% fructose, invented in Japan in 1966 and sometimes referred to by healthy food freaks as "Japan's revenge for Hiroshima") is an artificially reformulated food additive, which if you look at food labels is found is all manner of processed foods from hamburger buns and spaghetti sauce to sugary soft drinks. The use of this chemical in food should be banned

If you read Gary Taubes, both in Good Calories, Bad Calories and his latest Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, as well his article from last month, Is Sugar Poison?, from the NY Times magazine, you'll realize that fructose, which is half of the sucrose molecule and even more than half of HFCS-55, is the main culprit. It's actually rather rare in natural foodstuffs (found in some fruits, and a byproduct of some starch metabolism). Fructose is entirely metabolized by the liver, is mostly turned into glycerides, and is implicated (along with sugar), as probably the most frequent causative factor in Type II Diabetes, stroke, premature ageing (it preferentially cross-links to proteins in the blood and other tissues, causing age-related changes), coronary artery and other circulatory diseases, as well as metabolic syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome (more or less the same thing), and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which was formerly usually lumped together in hyperlipidemia). Quite a range of charges against it, n'est-ce pas? The kicker is that sugar is essentially the same thing as far as your body is concerned.

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