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High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Let’s face it! Our love affair with all things sweet begins before we are even conscious of it. Even newborns show a distinct preference for sweet beverages as early as 24 hours after birth. In fact by the time we are adults we are consuming in excess of 150 pounds of some form of sugar per person per day. We consume so much that the average person ingests one fourth of all their daily calories in the form of sugar. Most people do not wait until adulthood to begin this lifelong adventure in the compromising of their own health. 

While many people have long lost their trust in our government to take care of our health needs, even the federal government has been warning us since the eighties or earlier that when we consume in excess of 25% of our daily calories in the form of sugar, we are putting ourselves at risk of serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, poor immune response, osteoporosis or diabetes.

In fact almost all disease states are considered to be related to poor diet and a major part of this is excess sugar consumption. In order to attain good health we must endeavor to control our blood sugar levels. 

Is all sugar bad for us? Well in reality our bodies need glucose to function and produce energy. Our bodies get plenty of sugar for this process from a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains and legumes. We do not even need to eat fruit to get enough sugar to ensure a healthy body. So we might ask ourselves why we choose to eat so much sugar. The fact of the matter is that there are many reasons, some of them social, some emotional and others as a response to the excess of candida albicans in our bodies. Candida often gains a foothold in our bodies when our flora is upset following the consumption of antibiotics which kill off both good and bad bacteria, leaving the candida unchecked. 

We eat ultimately until our bodies feel satisfied. Unfortunately we often do not feel satisfied, due to the poor nutrient content of many common foods in our diets. In order to combat this nutrient deficiency, we should take vitamin and mineral supplements daily, preferably in the form of foods that are densely packed in nutrition. I can highly recommend a green superfood like EnerFood for this purpose.

Another challenge facing us is the sugars in foods that we might not think had them present. Almost all processed foods nowadays contain high fructose corn syrup. In fact almost all soft drinks are currently sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a major contributor to obesity and is in such widespread use today because it is cheaper to make than sugar and is actually 20 times sweeter than regular sugar. HFCS is now used to sweeten everything from baked goods to gum, cookies, jelly and even dairy products although about 65% or more of our daily intake of HFCS comes in the form of drinks.

 What makes HFCS so bad for us is that unlike straight glucose which our bodies can use up to a certain extent, the fructose in HFCS easily converts into fat and cholesterol and it is also known to increase triglycerides in our blood profiles. In a twelve week University of Minnesota study two diets were given for six weeks each, the only difference being the first 6 weeks used glucose and the second six weeks used fructose as a sweetener. 

In the second six weeks the male subjects triglyceride levels increased by 32%. Also, while sugar consumption in the form of glucose signals our pancreas to secrete insulin, helping our brains to tell us to stop eating, HFCS does not signal insulin to be secreted. This is one of the main reasons that HFCS can be attributed to such a dramatic increase in obesity, and most likely diabetes, since the 70’s. 

What is the answer then? Basically adopt a diet high in nutrient dense foods, primarily whole grains, vegetables and legumes. In addition take nutrient dense supplements such as EnerFood daily and avoid all refined foods, especially any foods containing HFCS. Remove soft drinks from your diet, replacing them with pure water.

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