HFCS or High-fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of sugar. It’s an artificial sweetener found in everything from salad dressing, ketchup and canned foods to just about anything processed and most sodas.
So, what’s wrong with it? Although chemically almost identical to natural table sugar, high fructose corn syrup is metabolized in the body very differently. Numerous studies have connected high fructose corn syrup to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and most recently, Emory University School of Medicine has connected HFCS to fatty liver disease.
For dieters thinking that foods (especially frozen processed meals) labeled “diet” are a good way to lose weight, think again. Anything that contains high fructose corn syrup is actually a ‘belly fat’ factory. Yep, while you’re reading the latest “How to lose body fat” article in SHAPE magazine, the nutrition bar you’re snacking on could be one of the reasons those last 10 lbs are hanging on.
Instead of Counting Calories
The problem with HFCS starts because, as a whole, we’ve been a nation that has learned to count calories instead of simply looking at ingredients. Newsflash: 200 calories of chocolate chip cookies is not the same as 200 calories of fiber and antioxidant rich blueberries and raw almonds. Why? Your body doesn’t break the two down the same. One is filled with processed sugar and artificial flavors, while the other is whole, organic, and nutritious.
The same theory can be applied to HFCS. This sweetener is nowhere near the same as table sugar because of its ingredients and the way it breaks down in the body.
When you consume table sugar, the liver is responsible for breaking down 20% of it; in contrast, high fructose corn syrup relies 100% on the liver for metabolic breakdown. This is extremely taxing on the body.
Glucose, which table sugar is made up of, is used by the cells in your body for energy immediately. As soon as you consume it, the majority of it is burned up, much of it by the brain. Fructose, on the other hand, is converted into VLDL, triglycerides, and free fatty acids, which are stored in the body as fat. Doesn’t sound so good, does it?
HFCS often leads to overeating. Why? Because it doesn’t trigger your hunger and appetite hormones like glucose does. This means your body isn’t telling you when you’re full.
100 calories of fructose leads to 40 calories of stored fat in the body, whereas 100 calories of glucose results in only one calorie of fat.
Health Problems and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Are you eating pre-packaged foods and drinking two or more sodas per day? If so, you’re likely consuming more high fructose corn syrup than you realize. Unfortunately, this can result in many problems and illnesses over time. Let’s take a look.
Type 2 diabetes
When you’re trying to figure out how to lose body fat, take the first step by eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your diet. This will reduce the amount of fat stored and allow you to maintain a healthy body.
How Do You Cut HFCS From Your Diet?
Start by reading labels looking for high fructose corn syrup. Cut these things from your diet or replace them with similar items without HFCS. There are certain brands of ketchup, mayo and cereal that are HFCS free. Start replacing canned food with fresh whole fruits and vegetables. Stay away from processed “heat and eat” convenience foods. Most of all, cut out the soda and the fast food restaurants. With this as a starting point, you should almost immediately feel less bloated. You may even find yourself with more mental clarity and sleeping through the night. Doesn’t that sound like bliss?
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