Monday, September 13, 2010

The bitter truth about high fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup plus corn syrup.Image by swanksalot via Flickr
I just love reading holistic health and alternative  medicine websites and blogs.  I came across something very interesting today that I  would like to share here on my blog.

Many people today, myself included, are eating processed foods which have a lot of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  (This is a cheap sweetener that is derived from corn starch.   The need for a less expensive alternatives to sugar came about in the early seventies when sugar prices skyrocketed.  Voila, some Japanese scientist devised this sweetener.)
Anyway, practically everything on the supermarket shelf has HFCS listed in it contents: donuts, cookies, soft drinks, jam, bread, ice cream -  you name it.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil's blog article, "High fructose corn syrup and blood pressure" a  study was done at the University of Colorado Denver Health and Science Center involving 4500 partcipants who were questioned regarding their daily uses of sweeteners and consumption of sweet foods such as juices, soft drinks and baked goods.  Researchers found that invidivuals who ate more than 74 grams of products containing high fructose corn syrup were at increased risk of hyptertension.  Of course, more studies are warranted to provide more definitive information on this connection.  Unfortunately, scientific testing can take years!

Also, it is known that  HFCS can contribute to cardiovascular issues including high triglycerides which contribute to cholesterol problems.  It has also been associated with onset of diabetes II (adult onset).  I personally have noted the correspondence between sugars and blood pressure elevation.  I often pop peppermints as a breath freshener or sometimes just to stave away the desire to eat.  I almost always note a blood pressure elevation after a few days of doing this.  Personally, I don't think that we as consumers necessarily need to wait for scientific testing to be complete before we do what's best for ourselves and families.

Best bets are to opt for more natural sweeteners and don't overdo even these alternatives.  So much is out there.  Good health to you!

Sources:

Weil, Andrew, 2010, "High fructose corn syrup and blood pressure." Retrieved September 13, 2010 from http://www.ddrweilblog.com/ website
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