Runner’s Zen: High Fructose Corn Syrup

high_fructose_corn_syrupThis week I watched an interesting documentary by the title of Hungry For Change. In one part of the documentary it explains how high-fructose corn syrup is made, and why it’s addictive so I wanted to share my findings, because well… high fructose corn syrup is in A LOT of things that you might not even know about. First off, let me just give you the background behind it. I will be referencing high fructose corn syrup as HFCS going forward.

HFCS is any group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness. It was first introduced by Richard Marshall in 1957 and then by 1975, HFCS was in many processed foods and soft drinks in the US. It’s produced by milling corn starch and then processing that starch to create syrup. The US started using HFCS because of a sugar tariff and sugar quota that was put into place in 1977 which increased the cost of imported sugar, so people were searching for cheaper sources. Because HFCS is made directly from corn, it is more economical for the US because corn is half the price of imported sugar.

HFCS is composed of up to 65 percent fructose and 35 percent glucose, and Sugar-1024x634table sugar has about 45 percent glucose, which means HFCS is much sweeter than table sugar and for some people is much more addictive. Basically, HFCS is one isolated nutrient that has been derived from a nutrient complex (corn). Want to know another substance that is one nutrient derived from a nutrient complex? Cocaine. I kid you not, cocaine is one isolated nutrient from the Coca Plant! It’s been processed  just like how HFCS comes from corn after being processed. That is one reason why people become addicted to substances such as HFCS because they are supposed to. We are programmed to want more and more of these foods, because our brains get hooked and tell us to eat them all the time.

Here are some of the side effects of consuming HFCS:SONY DSC

– Obesity
– Diabetes
– Tooth decay and infections
– Increased LDL Cholesterol & Triglycerides
– Anemia
– Decreased immune system function
– Lack of nutritious calories
– Fatigue
– Mood swings/withdrawal

And in what foods/food like products is HFCS in?? Well it’s known for being in foods such as:

– Soda
– Processed sweet foods
– Cakes

But some foods that may be home to HFCS may be a bit of a shocker to you:

– Yogurt
– Bread
– “Healthy” Granola Bars
– Frozen Pizza
– Macaroni and Cheese
– Honey roasted peanuts

rfood-300x209If you’re trying to avoid HFCS or sugars, my advice would be to avoid all processed foods. Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as organic grass-fed meats, eggs, and raw nuts. By eating a variety of different foods you ensure that you’re taking in the different vitamins and minerals that your body requires so you’ll feel healthy and nourished after a meal. If you haven’t heard this saying before, eat the rainbow!

Sarah Ohm

Happy Lifting!

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5 comments for “Runner’s Zen: High Fructose Corn Syrup

  1. January 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    great article, especially on the surprising foods that contain HFCS, gonna cut back on my yogurt from now on

  2. January 7, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Sarah,

    Great post. I’m sure you’ve heard about the famous “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” lecture on Youtube, but if not it’s worth a watch.

    I do think the cocaine reference sounds a bit off. Could you provide the source from where you heard that from? Thanks!

    – Param

    • January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Param! I actually haven’t seen that lecture, I’ll be sure to look at it tonight. The cocaine fact actually came directly from the documentary Hungry for Change which is currently on Netflix! It’s an amazing documentary, you should check it out!

  3. January 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This is one of the first topics of discussion I engage with my clients! This stuff is everywhere and it simply has not place in nutrition! Great article…thank you!

    • January 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Carl!! It’s a very important topic, thanks for dealing with it with your clients!! 🙂

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