Sugar Substitutes Part II
Sugar Substitutes Part II
Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and high maltose corn syrup (HMCS) are sweeteners made from maize or corn. These sweeteners have an interesting history in the United States and are the biggest culprit of obesity. In the 1970s, the US government instituted large tariffs that prevented sugar from being imported cheaply. Corn syrup and its sweeter cousin HFCS were in abundant supply from corn. The US government did and still subsidizes corn. As a result, because HFCS was sweeter than corn syrup, food companies started incorporating it into many different foods and drinks with its production and consumption peaking in 1999.
HFCS posed two health concerns. The first, which seems to have been rectified in 2009, was the finding of mercury in samples from a wide variety of chemical plants that produced it. These plants have been shut down since then. Mercury is a neurotoxin, and even small amounts can cause severe damage to a developing brain and nervous system. Two decades of mercury poisoning can explain the spike in autism, ADD, ADHD, depression, and other psychiatric issues.
The second health concern is that the most popular foods with HFCS also tend to be foods that kids and young adults enjoy eating with soft drinks being the most common and widely available. You can find them in most restaurants, cafes, convenient stores, food stores, and many public places where a dispensing machine can be plugged in. Salad dressing and sauces, including your favorite barbecue sauce, ketchup, and waffle syrups, have been poisoned by it. Breads that are mass produced may carry it as an ingredient, especially if the breads are marketed as some sort of sweeter bread. Breakfast cereal bars and even kids’ cereals carry large amounts of HFCS for sweetness and bulking. Many processed snacks, such as cookies, cakes, crackers, candy, and ice cream, also contain HFCS. You can also find it in packaged fruit and veggies, such as jellies, jams, baked beans, and canned fruits.
A Princeton University research team showed that all sweeteners aren’t equal, even though caloric value is the same. “Rats with access to HFCS gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. In addition to causing significant weight gain, long-term consumption of HFCS also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in blood triglycerides. Clearly this study shows HFCS contributes to obesity in the United States.”1 Many people are becoming cognizant of HFCS and are looking for products without it. Corn syrup, HFCS, and HMCS aren’t natural nor do they have any healthy benefits. In fact, they’re actually detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. Stay away from corn syrup in any food.
1. Parker, Hilary “A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain”. Princeton University: News at Princeton,
(March 22, 2010).
Excerpt from “Dr Matt’s Plan Living Longer and Healthier” by Dr. Matt Ferenc
Soft cover available at www.drmattsplan.com
The information from Dr Matt’s Plan is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge.