High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is one of those substances to avoid when making healthy choices.
Used as a sweetener, HFCS is much cheaper than regular sugar, and extends the shelf life of many processed products. But it has been linked to many health problems such as dementia, cancer and liver failure. For this reason, many consumers scrutinise food labels for harmful HFCS.
New troubling scientific studies reveal how high fructose corn syrup-containing foods are causing yet another unwanted side effect – heart failure.
Many experts conclude that sugar and HFCS are key factors in today’s obesity epidemic. HFCS and sugar are linked to many other serious health issues, including not only heart disease, but metabolic syndrome and high triglyceride levels.
In the past 30 years, the obesity rates in the US, and other fast-food nations, have sky-rocketed. Obesity rates in the United States, home to all the Big Food corporations, are among the highest in the world. Two out of every three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese.
Between 1986 and 2000, the prevalence of severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) quadrupled from one in two hundred Americans to one in fifty, the LA Times reported.
Known as the Big Food Sugar Switch, a professor for cell biology at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Molecular Health Sciences, Wilhelm Krek summarizes the problem with today’s nutrition. He explains that fructose was a replacement for glucose, which at one point in time, was believed to be better for consumers.
Unfortunately, the assumption that fructose – including high fructose corn syrup – was any better, was dead wrong. Furthermore, mercury is used in the production process of many types of fructose. So products which contain fructose also often contain traces of mercury.
Mercury has thus been found in HFCS. Part of the production process often uses mercury-grade caustic soda. Mercury was recently found in 9 out of 20 samples from 3 different manufacturers.
In a new paper, verified through their research and recently published in Nature, Krek and Peter Mirtschink, found the most troubling side effect of fructose: Unknown previously, fructose has been discovered to be a key driver for a molecular mechanism that drives uncontrolled growth of the heart muscle. This condition can eventually lead to complete heart failure.
The researchers also found that processed foods containing fructose were worrisome for instigating heart failure, whereas, normal consumption of fruit, since it contains fiber, vitamins, and important trace elements, did not have the same effect on the body.
But manufacturers have found a new way of masking HFCS, by changing its name on packaging to conceal it. Food Corporations are trying very hard to dispel the truth, but HFCS is not a positive nutritional addition to anyone’s diet.
In 2010, the Corn Refiners Association sought to improve the image of HFCS, says Natural News, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turned down their request to rename HFCS to the less malevolent term “corn sugar”.
Nonetheless, they succeeded in changing the name of a form of HFCS called HFCS-90 to fructose or fructose syrup. Since fructose makes up the sugar content in fresh fruits, it sounds much healthier than HFCS. However, fructose in fruits, contain fiber, enzymes, minerals and vitamins, sadly absent in HFCS-90.
The toxic ingredient now called fructose, or fructose syrup, contains even higher concentrations of harmful HFCS, increasing the health risks already associated with regular HFCS. Regular HFCS (HFCS-42 or HFCS-55) contains either 42 or 55 percent fructose, while HFCS-90 contains 90 percent.
According to the Corn Refiners Association: “A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label, they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup.’”
The subtle name change has hidden even more HFCS in products. While some breakfast cereals may even say “no high fructose corn syrup” on the front of the box, large quantities of HFCS will be hidden in the ingredients list under the name fructose, which is the most concentrated form of HFCS.
This way, Big Food has successfully concealed the one ingredient consumers most want to avoid. The American food standard body, the FDA has declined to recognize HFCS-90 as safe, but has remained mum on the issue.
Natural News believes it is due to budget reasons and long product review times, that the FDA decided in 1997 to allow food companies to review their own products and determine if they were safe or not. This self-regulatory system legally enables food companies to put profits above safety.
Multiple scientific studies have revealed that HFCS consumption may be tied to ill health, yet high concentrations of HFCS are still allowed in our food chain.
“In the United States, food ingredient information is written for regulators and scientists, not for the average consumer,” Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder of the nonprofit advocacy group Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, told Natural News.
Some of the other deceptive names of HFCS to avoid, are: maize syrup, glucose syrup, glucose/fructose syrup, tapioca syrup, fruit fructose and crystalline fructose.