There is an obesity epidemic underway in the United States. Over 50% of the population is overweight and more than a third of us are considered clinically obese.
A big part of the problem is the way that we eat. Portion sizes are huge, and a lot of the food that we consume is packed with excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt.
One of the ingredients that a lot of experts have been telling people to stay away from… high fructose corn syrup, which is usually found in soft drinks. But recently the Corn Refiners Association has been hitting back.
Are We Being Lied To?
To fight back against experts and media outlets that have been taking aim at high fructose corn syrup, the CRA (Corn Refiners Association) has spent millions of dollars on a massive press campaign trying to give it a better image. In fact, so many people have a negative association with the term high fructose corn syrup these days, that the CRA has even revised its name. It is now known as corn sugar.
The CRA will tell you that corn sugar has the same number of calories as the regular stuff, and that it is made from corn so it is all natural and has no artificial ingredients. They may admit that eating an excessive amount of sugar is not necessarily healthy, but they are of the opinion that high fructose corn syrup and normal sugar offer the same in terms of nutrition.
The fact of the matter is that there are a number of chemicals used to refine high fructose corn syrup, and these chemicals are anything but “all natural.” It is something that does not occur in nature – starches must be chemically treated to produce this common food additive.
An Interesting Comparative Study
Even if we disregard the chemicals that are used in the refining process, there is evidence to suggest that high fructose corn syrup is not simply an equivalent but rather a less expensive
substitute for regular sugar. Many experts believe that because so many foods these days contain it, is one of the main reasons why so many American people struggle with their weight; and now there is proof to support that.
On March 22, 2010, results were published from a study by Princeton University in which a research team was able to demonstrate that high fructose corn syrup has a bigger impact on weight gain than the regular variety. In their study, they found that lab rats that were given the corn syrup plumped up more than the rats that were given straight sugar.
Furthermore, the study went on to reveal that long-term intake of high fructose corn syrup in laboratory animals led to an irregular increase in bodily fat, especially around the abdominal region. It also led to a spike in triglycerides, which are fats that circulate in the bloodstream.
Now, of course, this study was done using rats and not human beings, but it certainly puts a black cloud over the claims that corn sugar and other sweeteners are equals when you are talking about obesity and weight gain. Verdict? Stay away.