Heading down Candy Land road on the way to diabetes
It's Halloween, and as the kids drag home their trick-or-treat bounty tonight I can't think of a better time to talk turkey about an old enemy -- high-fructose corn syrup.
The corn industry has spent a ton on convincing us that the stuff is "natural" and the same as plain old sugar. The truth is it's not.
It's worse...much, much worse.
No matter how much cash they throw at the problem, they can't change the science. And the science has proven time and again that HFCS causes us to pack on the pounds faster and raises our diabetes risk higher than ordinary sugar.
In fact, a huge 40-nation study found a 20 percent higher rate of diabetes in countries where high-fructose corn syrup is widely used in place of sugar -- a link that held when calorie consumption, and even total sugar consumption were the same.
Of course the corn industry dismissed that finding and spent even more of their marketing budget polishing corn syrup's image. And if that study was the only one making the connection they might have succeeded.
But both human and animal studies have already revealed that HFCS is far worse than sugar.
In 2008 a study out of Texas established that HFCS is converted into fat in the body faster than regular sugar. And in another study, rats fed this poison gained weight faster than their regular sugar eating buddies.
It's the "high fructose" in the name that's the real enemy here. You see high-fructose corn syrup contains more fructose than the run of the mill white stuff -- and it's that small difference that leads to big changes in how the body handles it.
Luckily, the fix couldn't be simpler.
No it's not swapping out the HFCS laced products for ones with "Made with real sugar" stamped on the label. That would make you the victim of yet another one of Big Food's marketing schemes. Plain sugar may not be quite as bad as HFCS, but it still does plenty of damage.
Instead cut back on your family's added sugar intake, or eliminate it all together.
Cutting back can help you shed extra pounds and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Try fresh fruit to calm an out of control sweet tooth. And with the kids take a page out of Cookie Monster's book and explain to them that sweets are a "sometimes snack."
Then hide their Halloween stash in the back of a cabinet until you can toss it in the trash where it really belongs.