It was 2 years ago, after doing a fair amount of research, that I decided to cut High Fructose Corn Syrup out of my diet. At that point I weighed in at 207 lbs with a 36" waist. Two years later with no other significant change in my diet or activity level, I have effortlessly lost 34 lbs, and 4 inches from my waistline. I am sure that I have lowered my blood pressure, and greatly decreased the possibility of adult onset diabetes, amongst other things.
Starting in the Late 70's High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)has largely replaced Cane and Beet Sugar in most processed foods since U.S. Tariffs double our cost of importing "real" sugar and domestic corn production is heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government, making for ample cheap corn. Food manufacturers love the heavily processed "sugar" since it is cheap, has a longer storage life, and being a liquid, it is easier to transport and process. Yet, HFSC has been a source of controversy for the past few years. During the period from it's inception, Diabetes and Obesity has nearly tripled in the U.S. to epidemic proportions (after decades of being stagnant prior to 1980). The cause and effect has been debated recently. The largest and most benign studies have been underwritten by The Corn Refiners Association, Pepsi, and The American Beverage Institute. These self-serving studies are frequently cited by food processors and soft drink companies to cast doubt on the science of HFCS. Here is what we do know for sure:
1- HFSC increases triglyceride levels. This is not good for your heart.
2- HFCS does not stimulate insulin like regular sugar. Insulin signals your brain that you are full. Insulin also creates Leptin, a chemical which signals your brain that your stomach is full. The lack of these chemical interactions means that you continue eating for far longer than you ordinarily would.
3- HFCS does not turn off the chemical Gherin which tells you that you are hungry.
4- HFCS skips the normal metabolic funtion of glycolisis, thereby increasing fat cell production.
In other words, the food industry may debate it, but there are plenty of signs that HFSC points to 3 things- fat, diabetes, and heart disease. The average American consumes 50 pounds of HFCS per year vs. none 32 years ago and the trends since then have been none to good.
Simultaneously, with the emergence of Ethanol as an alternative fuel, demand for corn has soared over the past couple of years. This demand has been blamed for increased corn prices which spills over to higher prices for feed, beef, milk, and more. So, here is a simple solution that will benefit our pockets and our waistlines- ban High Fructose Corn Syrup. This will free up an incredible amount of corn for the production of Ethanol, which is good for our environment and will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower food prices, and perhaps make us a little healthier.