The corn industry has a new cause: corn sugar.
You gotta love the media spins here. Walking in the corn fields, in the open air and sunshine. Cute children. Calm, rational-sounding voice saying, “Hey, don’t worry. High-fructose corn syrup is just like cane sugar.”
How about a fact or two?
- Cane sugar is sucrose, which is a chemical combination of 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Corn syrup is a mechanical mixture of fructose and glucose in varying proportions depending upon intended use of the product. They are not identical.
- The body digests sucrose by secreting sucrase, which breaks down sucrose into its constituent parts. Corn syrup is dumped directly into the small intestine without intermediate digestive processes.
- Glucose is absorbed by the small intestine into the body for metabolic needs, while undigested fructose is taken by the bloodstream into the liver, where it is metabolized into, among other things, triglycerides and fatty acids. (Here is more than you ever wanted to know about fructose metabolism.) High levels of triglycerides and fatty acids are bad news for everyone.
- Corn syrup processing dumps significant amounts of sulfites into the end product. The FDA has not allowed sulfite use with fresh fruits and vegetables since 1986. Why do they allow it in corn syrup?
- Princeton performed a study upon rats where groups were given the same (high) caloric levels of corn syrup and sugar. The corn syrup-fed rats became obese at a much higher rate than the rats fed sugar; the exact cause is unknown.
- Manufacturers of food-like substances use high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because it’s cheaper than sugar. The cost differential is caused mostly by taxpayer-funded subsidies to corn growers. Your government encourages HFCS use.
- If HFCS is as harmless as the corn industry claims, why do so many manufacturers of food-like products brag about not using it?
Guess what the most prevalent ingredient is in non-fat “half-and-half”? HFCS. In many condiments such as barbeque sauce and ketchup? HFCS. In Coke and other sodas (after water)? HFCS. In almost all commercial breads (after flour)? HFCS.
So, there’s lots of money involved in this issue, and that is always a big red warning flag — when money’s involved, someone is always lying to make more of it.
Using large amounts of sweeteners is never a good thing in any event, no matter which sweetener is used. Check the ingredients in the processed food you buy, and, as Michael Pollan admonishes, eat nothing that has any sweetener listed as one of the first three ingredients.