High Fructose Corn Syrup Health Risks
Consumer foods and products typically use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. In the United States, it has become very common in processed foods and beverages, including breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments.1
The marked increase in obesity in the US is believed to be linked to the increased consumption of added sugars in food, specifically high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used as a food additive and preservative and is made from corn (likely genetically modified). The corn is ground into a fine powder and then it is broken down further with fungi and bacteria. It has a longer shelf life than real sugar, and is much less expensive. Just knowing these facts emphasizes the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.
Why is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for You?
Did you know that high fructose corn syrup has been tested on rats? Yes indeed. The male rats failed to develop testes fully and the female rats’ hearts exploded. Certainly gives food for thought. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a very controversial ingredient. Here are some of the effects of high fructose corn syrup and why it is considered dangerous:
- The process by which the product is made
- The health risks
- It is addictive – makes you want more and more of it
- It is an ingredient in most foods that we currently consume. Ever wonder what makes your ice cream so sweet?
- There are almost 13 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup in your can of soda
- Our bodies cannot break it down like natural sugars which can cause fatty liver disease
- It has been implied as a link to the increase in Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease
- As consumers, we tend to be unaware of what we are eating or drinking
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from High Fructose Corn Syrup Dangers?
- As consumers, we need to stay informed and keep abreast of health tips and information that is available on controversial food products/additives.
- We need to take responsibility for our health and start reading nutrition labels
- We can contact food manufacturers and tell them we want better ingredients in our food.
- We can stay away from processed foods, buy organic food or make our own with ingredients that we know are safe – homemade ketchup or ice cream… yum. Yes, these homemade products will have a shorter shelf life, but do you really want to feed yourself or your children something that has a 3 year shelf life?
- You can also lobby local politicians
So, become a responsible citizen, stay informed and educated and share your thoughts and ideas with people who are either important in your life or can make a difference. Discuss relevant topics such as the high fructose syrup health risks with those around you so they can be informed as well. As consumers, we must become pro-active.
1 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup
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