The Truth behind High-Fructose Corn Syrup
We have naturally developed a sweet palate since the nutrients-rich mother milk started fuelling our bodies. Even our primitive ancestors lived on sweet plant food and animal fatty meals with no harmful diseases at the time.However, since 1971, our food habits dramatically changed when the process of sugar refinement was embraced by manufacturers, drastically transforming the human diet. The beginning was laid by Earl Butz, the American secretary of agriculture at the time, who encouraged mass corn production and introduced industrial farming. The policy resulted in abundance of corn and to stop its decay, a group of Japanese scientists developed the chemical transformation of corn to sugar, creating the Number 1, most dangerous substitute for sugar – High-Fructose Corn Syrup. This man-made sweetener contained double the calories of normal sugar and was so cheap to produce that all food and soft drinks manufacturers took it as the new panacea to reduce costs and increase sales – literally trading people’s Health for Profit.
William Dufty’s book ‘Sugar Blues’ warned us about the ulterior motives of the sugar industry: ‘This industry has invested millions of dollars in behind-the-scenes, subsidised science to convince the public that sugar is a harmless ‘fun food’. As sugar consumption escalates wildly, fatal diseases crease remorselessly.’’
A new kind of epidemic has started to contaminate our world – more than two-thirds of British adults suffer from obesity and the numbers of chronic diseases and diabetes are staggering. To affect these numbers, the food industry came with another even more dangerous solution – low-fat foods and artificial sweeteners, such as sucrolose and aspartame. The food companies replaced natural fat with tons of sugar in almost every product on the shelves – from your coleslaw to pizza toppings and bread.
But why is sugar so bad? Let’s see what really happens to our bodies!When we take refined sugar, our bodies must deal with its rapid absorption as its rushes through the stomach without being digested, stimulating insulin increases and metabolic imbalances. Insulin is our air traffic controller directing glucose – our main energy source – to our cells and ensuring their proper functionality. When too much of it is produced that confuses metabolism as insulin deals with the refined sugar first to flush it away from the body, leaving the other food undigested. Moreover, your blood sugar levels fall which dramatically affects the brain – it starts to malfunction. Think for a minute of some of the children you see in supermarkets or shopping malls, wailing pathetically and screaming around, with their parents harassed and unknowing that it might be the sugar in their morning cereal or can of coke that made them emotionally out of control.
At this point some of you might be thinking – but sugar gives me high energy and makes me happy!!! Sugar actually increases the level of serotonin – a chemical that makes you ready for sleep – which explains our sweet cravings when upset. Moreover, it impairs the production of leptin – a vital hormone which tells our brain that we’ve had enough food. As a result, leptin stops working and we simply enter the vicious cycle of sugar addiction and obesity. And to make it worse, while your cells are fuelled with energy they are not nourished at all because all vitamins and minerals are stripped away during the sugar refinement process.
But it’s not just refined sugar that can cause damage to the body. It’s all kinds of sugar that are consumed in excess. Too much ‘sweetness’ feeds cancer cells, weakens the eyesight, reduces skin collagen, leading to premature aging, can increase the growth of bacteria and cause infections, and impair our hormonal balance. If that still does not seem frightening enough, add pancreas and liver damage, food allergies, depression, heart disease and ultimately cell death.
What should we do then? Should we give up all sugar?
No, of course, just Be Smart and choose the natural sources, known to our ancestors – they used fruits and plants not ‘Snickers trees’!Your natural cravings for sweet foods have been artificially perverted by refined sugar. But we can turn that around – what is more important to you – a healthy weight and longevity or a candy bar?
Nature provides many sugar sources, such fruits, honey, coconut sugar, and my favourite stevia and xylotol. With certain fruits, you must watch the amount consumed – bananas, apricots, peaches, melons, pineapples and grapes are a bit higher in sugar but you can ‘cheat’ the body and add some nuts as fat will slow down the absorption of sugar and reduce the risk of insulin spikes. I prefer citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, kiwi, and lemons or any of the berries as they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. My experience shows that when eaten on an empty stomach before breakfast they can aid detoxification. I wouldn’t go as far as 5 a day but probably 2 or 3 (grapefruit in the morning, berries as part of your mid morning snack and a green banana/apple for the mid afternoon snack). The greener the banana the less sugar it contains.
Stevia and xylitol are my top sugar substitutes. Stevia is plant-derived and is 200 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories, causing no effect to insulin levels. It also reduces the number of plague and promotes tooth health. Xylitol is naturally found in fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. It’s a great ingredient to chewing gums instead of aspartame. It protects teeth from cavities as the caries-causing bacteria in the mouth are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, and hence their growth is reduced.
Quit the sugar habit today! Your body will thank you for it!!!!
With health & balance,