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High Fructose Corn Syrup By Any Other Name

Is still Genetically Modified Crap.

It’s been all over the news recently that the Corn Refiners Association is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to “Corn Sugar” on food labels.  It seems their Sweet Surprise ad campaign, where one lady tells the other “Oh, you shouldn’t eat that, it has High Fructose Corn Syrup and is bad for you!” but gets a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face when asked to explain exactly how it is bad for you, was a bit of a bust and they’re trying to, well, sweeten up their image a bit.

Because the American Public is apparently just butt-ass stoopid.  *rolls eyes*

As a result of this bit of attempted chicanery, I’ve been doing a bit of research on the stuff.  (Ya gotta find a way to pass the time on those long, insomnia-driven nights…)  And here’s what I’ve found:

No one can agree on whether it’s worse for you than table sugar – nutritionally speaking.

For many years, fructose was used to sweeten products marketed to diabetics, because fructose doesn’t prompt an insulin response in the body.  However, it also suppresses the hormone leptin, which triggers satiety – a feeling of fullness.  Many people believe this causes the individual to overeat, because their brain just isn’t getting the message that they’ve had enough to eat, but from what I can find the jury is still out on that one.  Your body also metabolizes fructose differently than other sugars – via the liver as opposed to being absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  There is growing concern that because of this, HFCS consumption in large quantities can cause the types of liver disease usually found in alcoholics.  There have even been claims that HFCS contains mercury.

Then there’s the fact that 90% of all the corn in this country is genetically modified.  Nor will we go into the insanity that is government subsidized farming, or the damage mono-crop agriculture is doing to the environment.

The Corn Refiners Association tells us that HFCS is nutritionally no different from regular table sugar.  In a way, that’s correct: table sugar is about 50% fructose and 50% glucose.  The HFCS that is in, say, your PopTart is probably 42% fructose and 58% glucose.  The HFCS that sweetens your Pepsi (or Coke or A&W Root Beer or Mt. Dew or any other non-diet soda manufactured in the US) is 55% fructose and 45% glucose.  The HFCS that is in your Yoplait Light Yogurt is 90% fructose and 10% glucose.

What – you didn’t know that your “healthy” yogurt has HFCS in it?  Honey, it’s the second ingredient in some flavors. And that 90% HFCS is very popular in “low calorie” diet/snack foods, such as those new 100-calorie packs that are so ubiquitous these days.

So, let’s assume for a minute that the good ol’ Corn Refiners Association is right and HFCS is really no worse for you than table sugar and that it’s perfectly fine to consume in moderation.

I would like them to define “moderation.”  Because the shit is in EVERYTHING.  Don’t believe me?  Read the labels of everything you put in your shopping cart the next time you’re at the grocery store.  While it may be no surprise that Lucky Charms contains HFCS, would you believe the plain-Jane variety of Special K does?  Try finding a loaf of bread that doesn’t contain HFCS – you’re going to find yourself stuck in the bread aisle for awhile.  It’s in all sorts of things you’d never suspect, such as:

Most  pre-baked goods – HFCS is a dandy preservative

Stove Top Stuffing Mix

Most  Bottled Spaghetti Sauce

Claussen Kosher Dill Burger Slices

Most Salad Dressings, especially the low-fat variety

NyQuil (it is, in fact, very common in cough syrups)

Wheat Thins

Ritz Crackers

Contadina Tomato Paste

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce

Miracle Whip

All Johnsonville sausages and brats

A-1 Steak Sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Fish Sauce

Just about every ketchup, barbecue sauce and pickle relish manufactured

“Honey” ham and turkey lunch meat

The list goes on.  And on. And on.

It’s hard to consume something in moderation when it is in just about everything.  Just another reason to ditch the processed crap, and just one more reason I love my whole foods diet.

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

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