High Fructose Corn Syrup or is Corn the Culprit?
This is Dr. Judy and welcome to today’s healthcast on high fructose corn syrup or “is corn the culprit?”
The next time you pick up a can of soda, a box of cookies or candy, a jar of jelly, fruit flavored yogurt, ketchup, salad dressing, a package of hamburger buns and even hotdogs, take a look at the label.
HFCS represents more than 40% of the caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener used in soft drinks in America. According to the USDA, in the year 2004, Americans consumed 13 teaspoons of HFCS/day or 53 lbs/yr. - an amount that far exceeds nutritional recommendations for daily consumption.
Why has HFCS, an even mixture of two sugars, dextrose and fructose, become the sweetener of choice in the US for both processed foods and soft drinks? Largely because HFCS is cheap, about 20% cheaper than other sources of sugar. So companies can offer larger serving sizes without increased costs and we’re thinking we’re getting a “good value”.
Other properties of HCFS that food companies like is that it helps extend product shelf life, helps prevent freezer burn and helps keep baked goods soft.
In the early 1970’s Japanese researchers developed HFCS. By the 1980’s, soda companies switched to HFCS from liquid sugar. In addition, government subsidies for the price of corn helped keep the price of HFCS down.
Most nutritionists agree that HFCS may have played a role in America’s obesity epidemic. The question is, how large a role?
A team of researchers led by Dr. George Bray, principal investigator of the Diabetes Prevention Program at Louisiana State University Medical Center, determined that the US consumption of HFCS increased by more than 1000 percent between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding changes in intake of any other food. According to Dr. Bray’s research, the sharp increase in the consumption of HFCS in the US precedes an almost identical increase in the rate of obesity in our country.
New research suggests that we don’t reach satiety eating even large quantities of HFCS and that those excess calories are converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue.
This alarming trend has made many nutritionists and experts in the field recommend a switch from HFCS to other sweeteners.
My recommendation is to reduce HFCS in your own diet and your family’s diet to as little as possible.
This is Dr. Judy thanking you for listening to today’s healthcast on HFCS or “is corn the culprit?” Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or suggestions and visit me online at www.askdrjudy.com. Until next time, this is Dr. Judy wishing you and your family good health. Thank you.