High fructose corn syrup has legally been renamed ‘natural sweetener’
A harmless syrup that makes everything delicious? Or an addictive poison that’s making us overweight and increasingly sick? High fructose corn syrup is one of the most highly consumed sweet ingredients on the planet. Why? Because for decades food manufacturers have been pouring it into almost every sweet affordable food you can think of. It’s cheaper than sugar and it’s extracted from corn which makes it particularly plentiful.
Until recently, high fructose corn syrup has been easy to identify as “HFC
S” on the labels of all foods that contain it. Now however, it has been made legal for food manufacturers to replace the infamous HFCS tag, with the far more natural sounding, “natural sweetener” or “fructose”.
Here, we take a quick look at how this name change is likely to bolster the use of one of the western world’s most harmful public enemies, as well how this ingredient has been contributing to our rapidly declining health.
The name changes will add fuel to the problem
Food manufacturers have been trying to rename high fructose corn syrup for years. Food producers like General mills, confectionery brands like Hershey’s, and soft drink developers like Coca Cola have all been reported attempting to mask their use of high fructose corn syrup. Now that it can legally be referred to as fructose or “natural sweetener”, there’s no doubt we’ll see almost all users of this substance upping the doses in all kinds of our favorite foods.
Why is this so dangerous? Labeling a harmful substance something pleasant like “natural sweetener” or “fructose syrup” can mislead people into believing the ingredient is relatively unprocessed, and therefore good for you; which in turn is likely to result in even greater consumption. The harder it is to identify the ingredients in our food, the harder it becomes to avoid the things we know we shouldn’t be eating in large amounts.
How high fructose corn syrup impacts your health
The more you eat of anything, the more harmful it can be for you. Over consumption is certainly one of the biggest reasons that high fructose corn syrup has been increasingly placed in the public’s firing lines over the past decade. It’s used in everything from pizzas to coleslaw, meat products and pretty much any type of food that benefits from being sweeter or looking shinier.
By the mid 1980s many soft drink manufacturers like Coca Cola were using high fructose corn syrup in pop drinks instead of pure refined sugars, which can be nearly 3 times as expensive. Studies have shown that countries consuming large amounts of high fructose corn syrup seem to develop increased rates of certain diseases, compared to countries that consume less. The number of diabetes sufferers in counties that have higher corn syrup consumption can be as much as 20% more than countries that consume less of it.
Results like this suggest that higher consumption of high fructose corn syrup can significantly increase people’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which is one of the leading causes of death in the world at the moment.
Further recent research suggests that high fructose corn syrup can have a dampening effect on your body’s ability to determine when you’re full by hampering the activity of Leptin. Leptin is the hormone that governs your appetite. If you’re eating a lot of something tasty and unhealthy, but your brain fails to effectively recognize that you’re getting full, the consequences are easy to comprehend.
This effect has been commonly likened to addiction. If the result of the such studies are accurate, it would explain why we often feel like we can eat biscuits, desserts and treats almost endlessly.