The Real Facts of High Fructose Corn Syrup
Earnest Gates | SCI228 | January 8,2018
For many years it has been a topic of debate regarding sweeteners and obesity. With obesity on the rise, diabetes, and other related health problems escalating resulting in a nationwide epidemic, scientists are searching for answers. With the fact that most of us humans are omnivores we consume various amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, and other fatty substances. Granted that, high fructose corn syrup is found in many of the daily food choices we consume and living in a society where sustaining a healthy lifestyle is important people need to investigate what he or she is placing in their bodies, such as high fructose corn syrup, it is one of the major sweeteners used in the food industry today. High fructose corn syrup is sweeter and cheaper than regular sugar and is in every processed food and sugar-sweetened drink. It is also said that we should “purge it from our diet and that will be the single best thing we can do for our health!”
Moreover, high fructose corn syrup production begins with making syrup from cornstarch and “results into an inexpensive corn-based syrup that has been used to replace sucrose and other simple sugars as a sweetener in foods and beverages.” The process was originally developed in between the mid 1950’s and 1960’s. The development of this inexpensive, sweet corn-based syrups made it productive to replace sucrose (sugar) and simple sugars with HFCS in our diet, and they now represent 40% of all added caloric sweeteners, its cheap production, longer shelf life, and versatility made it much more popular. That is to say “HFCS-55 is composed of 55 percent fructose, 42 percent glucose and 3 percent other sugars/polysaccharides (glucose chains). HFCS-42 is composed of 42 percent fructose, 53 percent glucose and 5 percent other sugars/polysaccharides (glucose chains). In comparison, sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose linked by a chemical bond (C12H22O11), while honey contains 49 percent fructose.” In view of the fact, high fructose corn syrup is in sauces, salad dressing, snack foods, meats, breakfast cereals, canned fruits and dairy products, being that high fructose corn syrup transpose sugar, honey, many fruits and juices delivering the same sugars in the same ratio with the same metabolic pathway and sweetening with one of the fructose sweeteners, makes no metabolic difference.
Under those circumstances, high fructose corn syrup has been given a bad name in the press and associated it with today’s increase risk in obesity which there are various reasons for why a person may become overweight or obese. I believe high fructose corn syrup is not uniquely obesity promoting and its been suggested that more research needs to be done before we can decipher how high fructose corn syrup submits in a bad way to our diet and health. Providing that, obesity is caused by consuming more calories than you can deplete and occurs when people have an abundance of extra fats and calories, which leads to extra body weight. While high fructose corn syrup contributes to calories in the diet, and would constitute a significant increased risk for both diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. There is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is a unique contributor to obesity. If, it has already been showed that high fructose corn syrup is identical to other caloric sweeteners such as sucrose with the same level of sweetness and eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your diet would not exactly reduce obesity and research results have shown that the hormones “insulin, ghrelin, and leptin” Which Ghrelin is an enzyme produced by the stomach lining cells that stimulates appetite. The higher amounts of ghrelin and the unbound fructose also interfering with insulin satiation, the feeling of hunger occurs more frequently but are not affected any differently than they are by sucrose.
In conclusion, it is all up to the consumer to choose what they buy and put in their body, portrayal of HFCS being an unhealthy alternative in foods compared to sucrose does not have any significant evidence to prove it is true as of now. Chemically, they are made up of the same two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose, but until more research is completed that can explain how HFCS affects the body, it would be wise to consume HFCS and all sugars in moderation by chance. That being the case, High fructose corn syrup serves as an alternative sweetener option made from corn. Subsequently introduced in the United States during the mid-1970s to 1990s, its usage grew until it currently represents more than 40% of sweeteners that are added to foods and beverages today. It’s much more dominant because of its longer shelf life, and cheap production. Given these points, excessive unhealthy food and sugar sweetened soft drinks have been linked to weight gain, as it contributes to a major source of calories with little or no nutritional value. Another factor that contributes to the rise of obesity consists of people being less active and living lazy lifestyles leading into consuming more calories than they can burn. Overall, Americans have been increasing their portion sizes and consuming more oleaginous substances. Just as there was an increase in the rise of high fructose corn syrup, carbohydrates, sugars, and fats intake increase. In the end, High fructose corn syrup cannot be the major cause of obesity, Obesity draws from multiple causes, not just one and the future is unclear for the product high fructose corn syrup whether it will still be used in foods/ beverages despite the debatable opinions in this criterion.
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