Archives

Tag Archive for: ‘HFCS’
Is High-fructose Corn Syrup Mad Science? – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Aka: HFCS.  Is the Devil, Right?

I’m a huge opponent of high-fructose corn syrup otherwise known as HFCS.  That said, I will do my best to remain neutral and explain why.  This topic is not black and white.  There are many shades of gray.

A Little Chemistry

Our body uses glucose and Fructose (monosaccharides) as its energy sources and both are “simple sugars”.  The most important monosaccharide is glucose because it is already at the state where the body’s enzymes can initiate metabolism and doesn’t need to be processed further.  Most other more complex sugars and carbohydrates need to be processed in order to be turned into glucose by the body.  Glucose is also our “blood” sugar.  The body’s pancreas produces insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood as well as the energy regulating hormone leptin. Not so with fructose.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables.  It is also added to foods and beverages to sweeten them.  The problem lies in the metabolic pathway fructose has in the body.  Fructose is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain as is glucose and tends to be treated more like fat in the body than sugar.  Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and is more fat-producing than glucose.  More importantly, fructose does not cause insulin to be released or leptin to be produced.

Because Fructose isn’t the body’s primary energy source it builds up in the body and is stored in the liver as triglycerides (fat) while the body’s insulin response is only to the glucose.

chemistry

Chemistry

The History Of HFCS vs Sucrose

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a fructose-glucose liquid alternative sweetener to sucrose (table sugar), and was first introduced to the food and beverage industry for mass use in the 1970s.  HFCS is not meaningfully different in composition or metabolism from other fructose-glucose sweeteners like sucrose, honey, and fruit juice concentrates.

Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  There are basically two types of commonly used HFCS, HFCS-42 and HFCS-55.  42 is only 42% fructose and 55 is 55% fructose.

Food formulators quickly moved to HFCS as a replacement for sucrose, and its use grew between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Its sweetness is comparable with that of sucrose, it has improved stability and functionality, and is much easier to use because it is already a liquid.

Even though the use of HFCS today is roughly equal to sucrose use in the United States, the world’s preferred sweetener is sucrose: greater than 90% of the  sweetener used worldwide is sucrose.

Table Sugar

Sucrose

The Good

HFCS is less expensive to produce than sucrose.  Sucrose comes from countries that are somewhat unstable and the basic crop price can fluctuate wildly.  When sugarcane is processed into sucrose it is a solid gradual that must be dissolved in water to the proper concentration before it can be used.  HFCS is produced as a liquid, ready to use and is more easily transported.

Even though the product is called High-Fructose corn syrup, it has only slightly more (55%) or slightly less (42%) fructose than does sucrose which has 50% fructose.  The Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to change the name simply to “corn sugar”.  So far they have been denied.

The Bad And Ugly

I’m not going to hit you with a bunch of numbers.  All I need to say is that obesity in America is at an all time high.

Why

As I see it there are many reasons why, pick a few of these.

  • Food is easier to get
  • It is “cool” to over eat, there are even eating contests
  • Serving sizes are much larger
  • Everything has sugar or sweetener in it
  • Prepared or fast-food is now more common and easy to get when time is short
  • There are many more places to get food than ever before
  • Deserts, candy and sweet foods that were once considered a treat are now readily available at any time.
  • There are many more “snack” foods flooding the market
  • School children are NOT required to exercise for the most part
  • TV and Computers have taken over play time where playing outside and physical games once dominated
  • The general public is not sufficiently educated as related to nutrition and diet

Conclusions and Recommendations from the Farm

For the first time in modern history the average life expectancy has dropped in the US.  The reasons given mostly revolved around obesity and heart disease.  

My research has lead me to conclude that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse for us than ordinary table sugar.   The problem is that we are consuming many times the sugar than is healthy.

The chart above shows that in 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours.  We are now eating roughly 100 pounds of sugar apiece each year.

Since you are reading my rants on the Fat Farm you are doing the best thing you can to improve your health. Educate yourself.  As always don’t believe a thing I say.  Research, trust but verify.  Put in the time and do the work.  Ask questions. – jughandle

 

CNN Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

More about SUGAR

As we’ve discussed before, sugar is the bane of our existence.  Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it.  Since almost everything either has sugar in it or breaks down in our body (carbohydrates) to form sugar, we should avoid excess sugar intake when ever we can.  I am providing the following information about sugar as a FYI blog.  This information comes from Prevention.com and a recent article written by Mandy Oaklander called “10 Sneaky Names for Sugar“.  All of the following images are from the same article.  If you only read one, read the first one.  It is enlightening. – jughandle

 

1. Sucrose

What’s the anatomy of a sugar? Let’s start with table sugar, one of the most common. The scientific name is sucrose: That’s half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). You might also know it by “cane sugar,” which is 100% sucrose.

Here’s the bad news. While glucose can be metabolized by all your organs, fructose is metabolized almost solely by your liver, writes Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, in his forthcoming book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In other words, fructose taxes your liver. And it’s in every caloric sweetener, from white sugar, to cane sugar, to beet sugar, to agave nectar. It also pops up on food labels by itself.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

2. Evaporated Cane Juice

Sounds healthier, right? Don’t believe the babble. Evaporated cane juice is little more than a dressed-up name for straight-up sugar.

In October 2009, the FDA issued a guidance statement about the term. “FDA’s current policy is that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice,” the guidance says. But in reality, evaporated cane juice isn’t even a liquid.

The FDA recommendations aren’t binding. Still, the yogurt company Chobani is under legal fire for its simultaneous use of “evaporated cane juice” and its claim of “no sugar added” products, reports Food Navigator. The lawsuit, brought by a California woman, accuses the company of violating federal law.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

3. Agave Nectar

Another “health” food favorite, agave nectar is touted as a natural sugar and is widely used in natural baked goods. But agave nectar is higher in fructose than cane sugar. In fact, says Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, agave is 85% fructose. “Agave’s probably one of the worst,” Dr. Weil says. Not only is it not healthier for you, but it also doesn’t even contain more antioxidants or minerals than other types.  However, it does have a lower glycemic load than other sweeteners, so it causes a less drastic spike in blood sugar. And the stuff is so sweet that you’ll probably use less of it.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

4. Fruit Juice Concentrate

No matter how healthy your juice looks, chances are good that added fruit juice concentrate is in there. Check labels of juice, flavored yogurt and any other processed food for grape, apple or any other kind of fruit juice concentrate: It’s all too often there. Also look for it in snack bars, applesauce, and other fruity edibles. Concentrate is formed when the water is removed from fruit juice. What’s left? We’ll give you one guess. Yup, sugar.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

5. 100% Fruit Juice

But what about an organic, natural, no-sugar-added, 100% fruit juice? No concentrate, no problems, right? Sorry to ruin your breakfast, but you might as well go ahead and skip this OJ and have a Snickers.

Whole fruit is good for you, says Dr. Lustig, because it contains lots of fiber. In juice form, which is devoid of fiber, sugar’s sugar—even if you juice it yourself, straight from fresh fruit. “It’s all the same,” Lustig writes of sugar’s many names and forms in his forthcoming book, Fat Chance. “The vehicle is irrelevant; it’s the payload that matters.” By this definition, your 100% orange juice is worse for you than soda: The former contains 5.8 teaspoons of sugar per cup, while soda contains 5.4.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Study after study has shown that high fructose corn syrup, made from processed (and usually genetically modified) cornstarch, is technically no different from sucrose. But some research shows that HFCS generates a higher blood fructose level, which could have negative metabolic consequences. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In 2010, corn refiners petitioned the FDA for permission to start calling HFCS “corn sugar.” They were turned down.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

7. The -Oses

Watch out for anything –ose, lest you sugar overdose. You’ve met sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but did you know galactose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose? They’re all sugars—some of which occur naturally but can be processed in a lab, too—that can be added to processed foods. Eater beware.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

8. Blackstrap Molasses

If you were alive in the 1880s, then congratulations! Not only are you at least 132 years old, but you remember when blackstrap molasses was the No. 1 sweetener in the United States. This natural sweetener is sugar too, but, like most things in the olden days, it was better for you. This viscous syrup contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. And just one tablespoon of molasses has about 4 times the iron as a 3-ounce white chicken breast, according to the American Diatetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Check out the other antioxidant-rich sugars, including maple syrup, here.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

9. Organic Brown Rice Syrup

With a name like that, you’ve got to deserve your health halo, right? Not according to a recent Dartmouth College study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Brown rice sugar is shilled to the natural food market as a “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it still sugar, but it may also be contaminated with arsenic. The study found high levels of arsenic, which is linked to cancer and chronic diseases, in processed foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. We’re talking energy bars, cereal bars, and even baby formula. (To protect yourself, you’ll want to take a look at our list of 10 Ways to Avoid Arsenic In Your Food.)

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

10. …and so many more

Barley malt, golden syrup, diastatic malt, diastase, treacle, panocha, sorghum syrup—we couldn’t get to all of you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not lurking in our processed foods, too.

Besides scouring ingredients lists, the key to monitoring your sugar is determining just how much each serving contains. How? Check the nutrition label for total grams of sugar, and divide that by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.) That’s how many teaspoons of sugar are really in your cookie, your ketchup, and your no-sugar-added fruit juice.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated January 10, 2018

This is a Food Revolution!

Within our life time our food supply and the way we eat are going to radically change.  It has too.

Isn’t it always this way?  We are at the beginning of a revolution and very few people in general even know.  I’m sure at the beginning of the American Revolution it was only a handful of people who knew what was going on and kept the ball rolling.  That is the case with the Food Revolution too.

Over the last 30 or 40 years, the world, and in particular, the United States has gotten into some very, very bad habits and unhealthy ways.  Sure, the 60’s promised that we’d have robots to do everything for us and that technology would solve all our problems.  NOT!

One very good example is that technology developed HFCS.  That is High Fructose Corn Syrup.  You may have heard some of the recent farm bureau adds saying that HFCS has gotten a bad name and that it is all natural.  Please.  EVERYTHING is all natural.  HFCS have undergone “enzymatic” processing to make it sweeter.  Since the 1970’s the sugar in all our drinks in the US have been replaced by HFCS.  Our kids are obese.  Might be a correlation?

I don’t want to make this post too long, because I could go on and on.  My point is that the country’s food supply has changed and we need to get back to our old ways.

If you haven’t been following Chef Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution”  please click on the link and watch a few episodes on line.  Jamie believes (correctly) that any permanent form of change must start with the youngest generation and in the schools or learning system.

Let’s teach our children the proper way to eat again.

More to come about this heavy topic.

Jughandle out.

 

Food Additives to Avoid – Seriously

Why are cancers on the rise?  Keep Reading –

I’m sending this our Fat Farm group, because Ithink it is very, very serious.  If you aren’t already reading the label of food you buy, you should start NOW.  Please watch out for and avoid eatingthese food additives.  If you want more information on how these mighteffect you, please email me and I’ll do more research.  The Fat Farmhas been on a anti – HFCS and MSG kick for over a 3 years now.  Theseothers are being added to our target.  It is especially important foryou new and expecting mothers to avoid these additives for your children’s health.

You are smart people that want to be informed or you wouldn’t be reading this.  It is obvious that all of these additives can’t be completely avoided.   Do what you can.  Start NOW – please – Jug

The following article was largely taken from Men’s Health Mag 

Eat Natural ingredients!!!

The 11 Most Controversial Food Additives

Do you know what’s hiding in your food? We reveal the truth

A calorie-free artificial sweetener 200 timessweeter than sugar. It isoften used with other artificial sweeteners to mask a bitter aftertaste.

FOUND IN More than 5,000 foodproducts worldwide, including diet soft drinks and no-sugar-added icecream.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWAlthoughthe FDA has approved it for use in most foods, many health and industryinsiders claim that the decision was based on flawed tests. Animalstudies have linked the chemical to lung and breast tumors and thyroidproblems.

Denotes any of hundreds of allowable chemicals such as butyl alcohol,isobutyric acid, and phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal. The exactchemicals used in flavoring are the proprietary information of foodprocessors, used to imitate specific fruits, butter, spices, and so on.

FOUND IN Thousands of highlyprocessed foods such as cereals, fruit snacks, beverages, and cookies.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas approved every item on the list of allowable chemicals, but becausethey are permitted to hide behind a blanket term, there is no way forconsumers to pinpoint the cause of a reaction they might have had.

A near-zero-calorie artificial sweetener madeby combining two aminoacids with methanol. Most commonly used in diet soda, aspartame is 180times sweeter than sugar.

FOUND IN More than 6,000grocery items including diet sodas, yogurts, and the table-topsweeteners NutraSweet and Equal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Overthepast 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaintsdue mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness,memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies haveshown aspartame to be completely harmless, while others indicate thatthe additive might be responsible for a range of cancers.

AKA, Butylated HydroxyAnisole and ButylatedHydroxytoluene are petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fatsand oils.

FOUND IN Beer, crackers,cereals, butter, and foods with added fats.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Of thetwo, BHA is considered the most dangerous. Studies have shown it tocause cancer in the forestomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters. TheDepartment of Health and Human Services classifies the preservative as“reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

A corn-derived sweetener representing more than40 percent of allcaloric sweeteners in the supermarket. In 2005, there were 59 poundsproduced per capita. The liquid sweetener is created by a complexprocess that involves breaking down cornstarch with enzymes, and theresult is a roughly 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose.

FOUND IN Although abouttwo-thirds of the HFCS consumed in the United States is in beverages,it can be found in every grocery aisle in products such as ice cream,chips, cookies, cereal, bread, ketchup, jam, canned fruits, yogurt,barbecue sauce, frozen dinners, and so on.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Sincearound 1980, the US obesity rate has risen proportionately to theincrease in HFCS, and Americans are now consuming at least 200 caloriesof the sweetener each day. Some researchers argue that the bodymetabolizes HFCS differently, making it easier to store as fat, butthis theory has not been proven.

A semi-soft fat created by chemically blendingfully hydrogenated andnon-hydrogenated oils. It was developed in response to the publicdemand for an alternative to trans fats.

FOUND IN Pastries, pies,margarine, frozen dinners, and canned soups.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Testingon these fats has not been extensive, but the early evidence doesn’tlook promising. A study by Malaysian researchers showed a 4-week dietof 12 percent interesterified fats increased the ratio of LDL to HDLcholesterol. Furthermore, this study showed an increase in bloodglucose levels and a decrease in insulin response.(think diabetes)

The salt of the amino acid glutamic acid, usedto enhance the savoryquality of foods, MSG alone has little flavor, and exactly how itenhances other foods is unknown.

FOUND IN Chili, soup, andfoods with chicken or beef flavoring.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Studieshave shown that MSG injected into mice causes brain-cell damage, butthe FDA believes these results are not typical for humans. The FDAreceives dozens of reaction complaints each year for nausea, headaches,chest pains, and weakness.

A manufactured fat created by forcing hydrogengas into vegetable fatsunder extremely high pressure, an unintended effect of which is thecreation of trans fatty acids. Food processors like this fat because ofits low cost and long shelf life.

FOUND IN Margarine, pastries,frozen foods, cakes, cookies, crackers, soups, and nondairy creamers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Transfathas been shown to contribute to heart disease more so than saturatedfats. While most health organizations recommend keeping trans-fatconsumption as low as possible, a loophole in the FDA’s labelingrequirements allows processors to add as much as 0.49 grams per servingand still claim zero in their nutrition facts. Progressivejurisdictions such as New York City, California, and Boston haveapproved legislation to phase trans fat out of restaurants, andpressure from watchdog groups might eventually lead to a full ban onthe dangerous oil.

Food dyes that are orange-red and cherry red,respectively. Red #40 is the most widely used food dye in America.

FOUND IN Fruit cocktail,candy, chocolate cake, cereal, beverages, pastries, maraschinocherries, and fruit snacks.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas proposed a ban on Red #3in the past, but so far the agency has beenunsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linkedto thyroid tumors in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the lake (orliquid) form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics.

An artificial sweetener 300 to 500 timessweeter than sugar. Discoveredin 1879, it’s the oldest of the five FDA-approved artificialsweeteners.

FOUND IN Diet foods, chewinggum, toothpaste, beverages, sugar-free candy, and Sweet ‘N Low.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Ratstudies in the early ‘70s showed saccharin to cause bladder cancer, andthe FDA, reacting to these studies, enacted a mandatory warning labelto be printed on every saccharin-containing product. The label wasremoved after 20 years, but the question over saccharin’s safety wasnever resolved. More recent studies show that rats on saccharin-richdiets gain more weight than those on high-sugar diets.

The secondand third most common food colorings, respectively.

FOUND IN Cereal, pudding,bread mix, beverages, chips, cookies, and condiments.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Severalstudies have linked both dyes to learning and concentration disordersin children, and there are piles of animal studies demonstratingpotential risks such as kidney and intestinal tumors. One study foundthat mice fed high doses of sunset yellow had trouble swimming straightand righting themselves in water. The FDA does not view these asserious risks to humans.

 

Oneglance at the back of a label and you’ll see the food industry haskidnapped real ingredients and replaced them with science experiments.And lots of them. Milkshakes with 78 ingredients? Bread with 27? Evenmore troubling is the fact that some of these additives have beenlinked to bad news, like cancer in mice or ADHD in children. Next timeyou’re scanning labels in the aisle, look out for these 11 downrightfrightening food additives. For the complete list, including thenutritious additives, check out our book, Eat This, Not That! Supermarket SurvivalGuide.