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February 15, 2009

Comments

John

That's what I suspected, Siemelle, but didn't have the information handy. Thanks.

And I agree that Stevia is...unpleasant, to say the least.

The corn problem is another issue. The environmentalists very nearly starved millions of people by diverting the corn to ethanol, so there can't be that much of a surplus, and yet it's used everywhere except for food. This may warrant more research.

siemelle

HFCS contains both fructose and glucose, therefore it is inherently different from fructose which is simply fructose. Fruit sugar (fructose) does not cause the release of insulin; glucose does. Insulin insensitivity due to increased insulin production is what leads to diabetes; therefore, increased fructose does not lead to diabetes. However, when fructose is metabolized by the liver, it is turned into glucose and if glucose is not needed it turns into fat, so all sugars should be minimized. Nonetheless, it does not cause the initial spike in glucose, it is metabolized much differently. Further, when you eat fructose/fruit, you're getting nutrients as well as fiber which also affects its metabolism.. fructose is hardly the same as HFCS.

Corn syrup is 'bad' in that it is another form of unnecessary sugar, you just don't ever need it. You're right to implicate a quantitative issue - the point, though, is that HFCS is in virtually everything, so quantitatively it is also a problem.

Raw, unpasteurized honey is the best sweeter you could use and it tastes great. Stevia is another option but I think it has a funny aftertaste.

Michael Pollan delineates the problems with HFCS very well; unfortunately, I don't remember if he does so in "The Omnivore's Dilemma" or "In Defense of Food." Probably the latter..

Bottom line: there's an excess of corn so they put it in things that don't require it and our bodies are not designed for all of it..stay away

John

Oh, and to add to the paranoia, why wasn't this nationwide headline news?

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/fresh-greens/2009/01/28/mercury-found-in-high-fructose-corn-syrup.html

Everybody's two favorite food-related topics, all in one story!

John

The question I always have in this situation (and unfortunately, I don't have any food scientists handy to ask them) is how high fructose corn syrup is different than, well, fructose?

Fructose itself is "fruit sugar." It stands to reason that, if the demonized processed form is bad for you, then apples should be almost as bad. But they're obviously not. Does this mean that corn syrup isn't as bad as Dr. Banks (and most of civilization) claims? Is there a chemical difference in syrup form, in combination with whatever else is in there? Or is it a quantitative issue, just like the tiny bit of table sugar (sucrose, actually, but its components are glucose) in one cookie isn't bad, but downing a cup of it is?

And how does it compare (in sweetness and safety) to an invert syrup, or its natural cousin honey?

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