by: Bethany Sciortino
(NaturalNews) A current television commercial from the Corn Refiners Association touts the equality of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to cane sugar. It claims, "When it comes to corn sugar or cane sugar, your body doesn't know the difference. Sugar is sugar." True, sugar is sugar, but it certainly is not HFCS, a highly processed sweetener that is linked to obesity and a host of other health problems. This, undoubtedly, is the reason for the marketing strategy of changing its name to corn sugar, an attempt to have consumers believe that all sugar is created equal.
Sugar is the broad spectrum term for sucrose, lactose and maltose, respectively. Sucrose is the form most commonly found in foods, or table sugar, a derivative of sugar beets or cane sugar. Fructose is derived from fruits, lactose from milk, and maltose from malted foods, such as barley.
HFCS is derived from highly processed corn, a starchy grain. It has near equal amounts of fructose and sucrose and is similar to table sugar from a compounding perspective. Unlike fruit, however, this type of fructose is not bound to fiber causing the body to process it faster and leaving the body unsatisfied. Starches and grains often have a higher glycemic index than all sugars, and corn falls within this category. In addition, almost all of the United States corn production is genetically modified, adding to health risks.
A Princeton University study showed rats gained significant more weight when consuming HFCS in comparison to table sugar, even when the caloric intake was the same. Most interesting is the rats accessibility to sucrose was equal to the sweetness of sugar and the HFCS was half as sweet as that found in soft drinks. The rats who consumed HFCS gained 48% more weight than their sucrose peers and had significant deposits of abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides. In humans, these are characteristics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
Glucose is released into the blood stream when the body metabolizes carbohydrates. The glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the body processes the glucose. A high GI indicates a food that is rapidly absorbed by the body. A low GI indicates a food that is slowly absorbed and prevents spikes in blood sugar by releasing small amounts of insulin from the pancreas. In turn, your body is more likely to use the glucose as fuel, rather than store it as fat. Mass release of insulin causes a rapid drop in blood sugar, signaling hunger in the brain. This is why (controlled) diabetics use carb-counting as a method of sugar control: eating small meals every two to three hours to moderately release glucose and avoiding rapid spikes and dips in blood sugar.
Type of Sugar Glycemic Index
Artificial Sweeteners n/a
Agave Nectar 15-30
Brown Rice Syrup 25
Raw Honey 30
Organic Sugar 47
Raw Sugar 65
Corn Syrup 75
Table Sugar 80
High Fructose Corn Syrup 87
The GI does not determine whether a sugar is healthy or unhealthy. For example, artificial sweeteners do not fit into a GI category; however, they should never be used as all are toxic chemicals by design.
HFCS clearly substantiates weight gain with consumption as well as raises blood sugar levels. Re-branding HFCS as corn sugar does not change its properties, and while marketing campaigns may fool consumers short term, the intelligence of the human body cannot be trumped and definitively knows the difference.