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Are the Corn Refiners Association Ads True? Nutrition Professions Discuss the Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup

Posted Apr 04 2010 7:47am

 

Ever since the ads came out from the Corn Refiners Association saying that high fructose corn syrup was safe in moderation, I wondered the truth and what the wellness community had to say about it. Is high fructose corn syrup safe in moderation? When your patients ask questions about it, what should you say? And what should you recommend instead? Well, today your questions will be answered in a big way.

What Do the Most Recent Studies Say About High Fructose Corn Syrup?
The most recent study comes from the folks over at Princeton. A Princeton University research team found that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain. In addition to causing substantial weight gain in lab tests, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to irregular increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides, the study said.

Another study that was released in January revealed that almost half of the commercial food products tested that contained high fructose corn syrup also contained mercury. High levels of mercury are toxic and have been linked to neurological damage in humans.

What is High Fructose Corn Syrup Anyway?
The process of making high fructose corn syrup is intensive. It starts off seemingly innocent with corn kernels but then the corn kernels are spun at an exceedingly high velocity and three enzymes: alpha-amylase, glucoamylase, and xylose isomerase are added to the mix. Before you know it, you’ve created one of the most industrial sweeteners on the market today. And it’s super cheap so it’s added to as many as 70 percent of processed foods at the grocery store like candy, soft drinks, cookies, and crackers. You’d be shocked at all the places that high fructose corn syrup can hide.

What Do Nutrition Professionals Say About High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Some nutritionists says that calorically speaking, high fructose corn syrup and sugar are basically the same. But the problem with high fructose corn syrup is that according to some studies done on mice, it reduces the body’s ability to know when it’s full. Before you know it, you’re over eaten significantly. According Sally Fallon, a nutrition researcher, and author of Nourishing Traditions, there’s really two problems with high fructose corn syrup. One is that it’s very high in free fructose which all has to be metabolized in the liver. The fructose also seems to be particularly damaging to growing children and it interferes under certain conditions with the formation of collagen in the body.

What Should Your Clients Use as a Substitute For High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Organic brown rice syrup is one of the best sweeteners when it comes to nutritional benefits. And it’s also a wonderful choice because it doesn’t have the energy crash effect that you’ll experience with sugar. The nutritional values are derived from its main ingredient, the brown rice. It contains nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Honey is also a great choice and so delicious. Buy it organic, raw, and from a local source to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. It depends on the floral variety of honey that you eat but it may include niacin, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and it’s known for its antioxidant value.

More on Nutrition:
What Does the First Lady’s Initiative on Childhood Obesity Mean For Nutrition Professionals?
Slim Down For Spring: Ayurvedic Practitioners Help You Chuck the Scale For Good

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