In 2007, a similar study was conducted where researcher Chi-Tang Ho, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Rutgers University tested 11 different carbonated beverages containing HFCS and found “astonishingly high” levels of highly-reactive compounds called “carbonyls” in the beverages. These carbonyls are believed to cause tissue damage.
High fructose corn syrup is found in most sodas and many other processed foods, including breads, cereals, sauces, and even some dairy products. Food companies use HFCS because it’s inexpensive, easy to transport and keeps foods moist. It has become so popular, that most Americans consume over 60 pounds per year. Dr. Gerald Shulman, Associate Director of the Yale Diabetes Endocrine Research Center says that “because the liver more readily metabolizes fructose into fat than it does glucose, high fructose consumption can lead to … insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.”And Amy Tenderich, a well-known author and diabetes consultant says that scientific evidence tells us “the body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function.”
In the latest USDA Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption report, total use of corn sweetener consumption increased a shocking 387 percent between 1970 and 2005. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the use of high fructose corn syrup increased 10,673 percent in the U.S. during that same time period! The dietary guidelines of the study suggest that Americans on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet limit their consumption of added sugars to 8 teaspoons per day. The results of the study showed that Americans actually consumed upwards of 30 teaspoons per person per day in 2005.
The above studies lead us to the conclusion that high fructose corn syrup has no nutritional value and can be directly harmful to your health. Despite strident attempts to defend it by the sugar industry, these studies clearly show how detrimental its effects can be. If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to monitor glucose and insulin levels. One doesn’t necessarily have to eliminate fructose from the diet, but you need to be aware of how much you’re consuming. A little fructose in natural fruits is fine – it only becomes a problem when consumed in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If you do have it once in a while, make sure it’s listed low down on the ingredient list of whatever it is you’re eating.
Diabetics and people at risk of developing it must learn to drastically cut back on their sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake by being aware of the ingredients in products they are consuming.
Credit:Nancy Hirsch, CN
Comments from Chef Marcus Guiliano:
I have always avoided corn syrup in my cooking. In fact I have avoided white, brown and sugar in the raw as well. These ingredients wreck havoc on our health. The problem in that most chefs do not know how to cook without them. I do however use sweeteners, but much healthier ones. It is hard to say that any sweetener is healthy to begin with. So please do not take my recomendations as a license to eat as much of them as you want. These are simply suggestions that you can use to replace the highly refined sugar in recipes.
I use the following items in my restaurant:
Grade B Organic maple syrup
Organic Succanat from Wholesome Sweeteners
Organic brown rice syrup
and my favorite
dried coconut blossom sap aka palm or coconut sugar (crystals)
Have fun and experiment with them solo or combined.