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I’m trying to convince my sister to stop feeding her kids food with high fructose corn syrup in it. I know it’s really unhealthy. I just don’t know all the facts about what makes it so unhealthy. Also, besides sodas and cookies, where else can you find this junk?
Mindy C.; Plano, TX
You’re a good sister. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is much more than bad – it’s downright horrible for our health! And it’s even worse for children who don’t share our ability to process the nasty toxins that are so prevalent in many popular foods.
HFCS is nothing more than a lab-made highly processed chemical additive.
The process involves milling corn to produce corn starch. The corn starch is then processed further to yield corn syrup which is almost entirely glucose. Enzymes are then added to change the glucose into fructose. And voila…a chemically made sugar is born!
Is your head spinning yet?
News flash: Our bodies were not designed to process chemically made substances, especially in large quantities! There’s no sugarcoating this fun fact.
Since the 1980’s (when soda manufacturers first replaced sugar with HFCS due to high tariffs on the real stuff), this chemically made additive has grown to represent more than 40 percent of caloric sweeteners added to American food and beverages!
Check your food labels. HFCS is everywhere! It’s even found in a few unlikely places. You’d expect it to be in soft drinks. But it’s also in fruit drinks and juices. You’d also expect it to be in ice cream, but it’s also in yogurt! You’ll even find it in obscure places like ketchup, salad dressing, breads and crackers.
So, even if you’re not an avid soda and sweet eater, you’re probably consuming way more of this stuff than you realize!
Back to the sweetheart of the matter – why this stuff is so bad for us?
HFCS acts like a fat. Your body tends to store fat…even when your stomach is growling for more food. That’s right. Your brain misses the hormone messages that signal a full stomach. Many experts believe this is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Studies have also shown that this stuff leads to an increase in triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels – which is linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome!
If this stuff is so bad for us, then why is it used as a main ingredient in so many popular products? Well, at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, we’re going to let you in on something that I’m sure many of the profit-loving food companies would like to keep under wraps.
- High fructose corn syrup is CHEAP! Much cheaper than natural sugar.
- Plus, in its liquid form, it’s super easy to transport.
- The third plus (for food makers): It boosts the shelf life of foods and drinks.
The question begs: Do you want a sweetener that promotes weight gain, disturbs the function of the liver, and elevates the risk of diabetes?
We don’t…and neither should your sister. Urge her to read food labels and avoid HFCS at all costs. Her children will thank both of you for it later!
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.