Friday, July 16, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Recently, I mentioned to my mother in law about how we try not to eat anything with corn syrup--or at least minimize our consumption of it as much as possible.  She asked why.  At the time, I couldn't remember the answer.  Then I was reminded in my Simply in Season cookbook yesterday.

Basically, high fructose corn syrup is not processed by our bodies as well as sugar.  Over the years, the increased percentage of high fructose corn syrup in our foods has correlated to an increase in the obesity rate in our country.  Basically, since high fructose corn syrup isn't processed as well, it sets off a series of reactions in our body (the liver releases enzymes) that tell our body to store fat.

The correlation is disputed by some.  But, high fructose corn syrup is highly refined and so much sweeter than sugar.  What I remember from so long ago about sugar is that the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave.  So, it is very logical that high fructose corn syrup would make you crave more.  Something less sweet just isn't going to satisfy the craving.

My logic has always been that it isn't just high fructose corn syrup's fault.  I think as a society we started eating more when we craved more.  As a culture, we are taught to question everything and everybody and essentially to be cynical.  One of the downsides of cynicism (thinking you can see the truth when everyone else is bamboozled) is that you feel more right and it feeds into the feeling of being justified to have the freedom to do whatever you want--and that also means eating whatever you want.  That may sound like a strange line of thinking, but as adults we don't want to be told no and we don't want to tell our bodies no.  And if we really want to do something we (as a society) are good at being cynical and not believing the other person who tries to warn us that it isn't a good idea.

High fructose Corn Syrup makes things taste good--really good actually.  Super sweet.  But, that doesn't mean that it's good for us or that we should eat a lot of it.

It's very interesting to me that studies are now coming out saying that diet soda won't help you lose weight.  The artificial sweeteners change your metabolism and your body so that you gain weight actually.

So, I think that's the long or the short of it =)

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