6.14.2005

Drowning in HFCS

We've known for years the questionable nutrition value of high fructose corn syrup. You can't hardly find a nutrition panel on an American food label that doesn't include the stuff. The problem with it is that the body processes the fructose in hfcs differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream. And we wonder why we are the fattest nation on earth.

As I was reading the letters to the editor of The Orlando Sentinel, I came across this bit of propaganda:
Corn syrup's value

A comment by a fifth-grader in the June 6 article "Kids' tastes, brand names spice up cafeteria cuisine" mischaracterizes high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a natural, home-grown sweetener from U.S. corn fields. HFCS is made from corn, a natural grain product, and many of the processes used to manufacture HFCS are used in the production of other foods and ingredients that are commonly considered natural. Although the FDA has not established a formal definition of "natural" for food ingredients, it is accepted that products derived from natural materials obtained by minimal processing are considered natural. HFCS production is consistent within this definition.

As a natural sweetener, HFCS also promotes freshness in several ways. HFCS actually inhibits microbial spoilage by reducing water activity and extends shelf life through superior moisture control. Foods also taste fresher because HFCS protects the firm texture of canned fruits and reduces freezer burn in frozen fruits.

Finally, HFCS contains approximately equal ratios of fructose and glucose similar to table sugar. The human body cannot discern a difference between HFCS, table sugar (sucrose) and honey because they are all nearly compositionally equivalent. And in 1983, the Food and Drug Administration listed HFCS as "Generally Recognized as Safe" (known as GRAS status) for use in food, and the FDA reaffirmed that ruling in 1996.

For more information about HFCS, please visit www.HFCSfacts.com.

Audrae Erickson

President, Corn Refiners Association

Washington, D.C.
Heres's the REAL Story.

1 comment:

Mixter said...

One other reason to avoid HFCS: fructose intolerance. Sure, you've heard of lactose intolerance. But we can only absorb so much fructose, and fructose intolerance symptoms mask those of irritable bowel syndrome. I don't have a handy link for this, but studies done at the University of Iowa by Satish Rao, M.D. should be easy enough for anyone to Google.

Mixter