There is a new deception being perpetrated on consumers by the food industry. Knowing the truth and avoiding these products will almost guarantee you a more normal appetite and greater overall health.
Back in 2013, we all saw the “pro” High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) television ads by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA). What you may not know is that the same people telling us that HFCS is “safe” and “natural” were – at the same time – trying to get its name changed. The CRA petitioned the FDA to allow manufacturers to label the product “corn sugar” instead. Sounds safe and natural, doesn’t it? The FDA denied that request.
This isn’t the first time the food industry has used this tactic. In a relatively benign move, prunes can now be called “dried plums”. On the other hand, variations on a neurotoxic food additive we know as monosodium glutamate can now be referred to by 25 different names including “natural flavoring” and “hydrolyzed vegetable protein”.
The CRA ads are based on most people not really knowing much about HFCS. We’ve all heard a little about the research that shows consumption of HFCS leads to obesity and metabolic syndrome, but few know the details. So, here are some details.
In results published online Feb. 26, 2010, by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, (1) researchers from the Princeton University Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. In their first study, rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said Princeton psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. (2)
Now let’s consider the CRA’a assertion that HFCS is “natural”. To me, that implies that HFCS exists naturally in the corn and it merely has to be squeezed out or other otherwise extracted. Wrong – by a long shot. HFCS is a purely man-made compound developed in 1957 to create a sweetener that was cheaper and easier to manufacture food with than natural sugars.
HFCS is made by a process that starts out by milling corn to produce corn starch. The cornstarch is then treated in a fermentation vat with multiple agents to create a mixture of about 42% fructose and 50-52% glucose with some other complex sugars mixed in. This compound, called HFCS42, is what was used in most foods and baked goods. The HFCS55 used in soft drinks, which is 55% fructose, is made by subjecting HFCS42 to yet another chemical process involving reagents where the fructose content is “enriched” to 90%. This HFCS90 is then back-blended with the less sweet HFCS42 to create HFCS55.
So where is the new deception? While HFCS42 and 55 still have to carry the label ‘high fructose corn syrup’, food manufacturers are now just using less of the more potent form HFCS90 and are allowed to get away with labeling it as simply “Fructose.” A box of cereal or other processed food can declare “No High Fructose Corn Syrup!” on the front, and yet have the more concentrated form of the exact same thing listed in the ingredients as simply ‘fructose.’(3)
So what’s the problem? The problem with HFCS is that your brain doesn’t recognize it as food. It bypasses your normal satisfaction or satiety mechanisms. And you just keep eating.
When you eat calories from natural foods, they turn off your desire to eat by inhibiting production of NPY (a chemical that decreases metabolism and increases appetite), and/or by producing more CART (a chemical that increases metabolism and reduces appetite). (4) By circumventing our over-eating inhibitors, HFCS can turn people into unsatisfied superconsumers, chugging down super-sized soft drinks that can contain as much as 62 grams of fructose and 50+ grams of glucose.
And, if that wasn’t enough, here’s another caveat to consider. In 2009, studies by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), published in Environmental Health, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in 9 of 20 samples of commercial HFCS, and one third of all name-brand foods tested! The foods with mercury contamination all contained HFCS.
“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.” Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement.
It would seem the grocery stores we’ve been eating from all of our lives are being turned into health minefields. When you see “fructose” on a label now, just remember… it isn’t apple juice they’re putting in your food.
Avoiding processed foods with all of the neurotoxins and “Franken-sugars” is certainly a good step towards regaining your health. But, if you really want to turn back the clock on the way you feel every day, 2016 might be the year for you to enroll in a DzLogic Restorative Medicine Program. Our members tell us over and over again “Thank you! You gave me my life back!”
Would you like to have your health and energy back? Simply give us a call.
4. You on a Diet; Revised Edition – Drs. Michael Roizen, Mehmet Oz