So, many of you have probably started to see commercials on TV talking about “Corn Sugar”.  More specifically what they are talking about is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).     The manufacturers of HFCS have petitioned the USDA to rename their product as “Corn Sugar”.  The premise being that HFCS has come under a lot of fire in the last few years as a contributing factor to obesity.  Their claim is that sugar is sugar and that your body cannot recognize the difference and processes them all the same.  If that were the case, then why the name change?  Why the secrecy?  Foods changing names is nothing new.  When was the last time you remember buying prunes?  They lost their negative stigma in 2000 when they officially became dried plums.  Or how many of you know that the Canola oil in your pantry comes from a little seed known as the rapeseed?  Not nearly as appetizing, right?  Anyway, here we go.  The sugar that we eat on a daily basis is known as sucrose.  Basic table sugar that is extracted from either sugar cane or sugar beets (yes, beets).  Anyway, the sugar in these things is a basic 50/50 mix of Glucose and Fructose.  HFCS, on the other hand, is manufactured to be about 20/80 respectively.  Now the problem is that the fructose is NOW absorbed much more quickly into the bloodstream.  Therefore, your body cannot utilize as much at any given time, and it doesn’t hurt that fructose is the sugar most easily converted into fat.  Now, don’t let that steer you away from fruit, which is our main source of fructose.  The fructose in fruit is bound by fiber and other stuff to slow the absorption.  So that stuff is OK.  But HFCS is not.  Plus, glucose can be processed by any cell in the body, whereas fructose must be processed in the liver.  In lab tests, animals that were fed high doses of fructose in their diets developed livers that looked like those of alcoholics with fatty, cirrhotic deposits.  Scary.  Now, the USDA may take up to 2 years to decide the naming fate of HFCS, but regardless of how it turns out, know this.  Your body does know the difference and  you can’t outsmart nature.  HFCS is NOT good for you, and that’s why many high profile companies have very publicly taken it out of their products in recent years.  Keep an eye and avoid wherever possible.

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