high fructose corn syrup and diabetes

  1. High-fructose corn syrup is linked to diabetes and weight gain

    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.

  2. Sugar substitute: high-fructose corn syrup

    The sweet path to diabetes

    The corn industry has spent millions on slick TV ads aimed at convincing you that the sugar substitute high-fructose corn syrup is the same as plain old sugar.

    Well, they can try to change minds with the magic of marketing. They've even tried -- and failed -- to change the name of HFCS to corn sugar.

    But no matter how much money they spend, they can't change the science -- and the science has shown time and again that HFCS causes faster weight gain and a higher risk of diabetes than ordinary sugar.

    Now, that link is confirmed again by a new 40-nation study that finds a 20 percent higher rate of diabetes in countries where HFCS is widely used as a sugar substitute -- a link that held when calorie consumption and even total sugar consumption were the same.

    Naturally, the corn industry is already using its marketing dollars to try to dismiss the new study and the link to diabetes. And if this was the only research of its kind, they might even get away with it.

    But the fact is, studies on humans and animals alike have shown that HFCS is worse than sugar.

    In 2008, for example, a study out of Texas found that HFCS is converted into fat in the body faster than regular sugar. And another study found that rats fed HFCS gained weight faster than rats fed the same number of calories in ordinary sugar.

    And along with increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes, high-fructose corn syrup can increase the risk of kidney problems, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and other serious health conditions.

    The secret to the link is the "HF" in HFCS -- the high fructose. The sugar substitute contains a little more fructose than regular sugar, and that little difference leads to big changes in how the body handles it.

    There's an easy solution here -- and it's not switching to products that scream "NO HFCS!" or "MADE WITH REAL SUGAR!" on the label. Plain old sugar may be better than HFCS, but it's not good for you.

    Reduce or eliminate your added sugar intake instead.

    Along with helping you to avoid diabetes, decreasing the amount of sugar and sugar substitute you're eating can help you to lose weight and avoid other diseases, including heart disease. And if you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, stick to fresh fruit and berries instead of sweetened treats and drinks.

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