Is corn syrup (that controversial sweetener) actually safe in moderation? Honestly, our bodies are much happier without it–and all other refined sugars.
I lost faith in the majority of mainstream doctor’s “professional” opinions a long time ago. I prefer to do the research myself, to see data from experiments and to read what real people have learned through experience. All the attention corn syrup has been receiving lately, and the mixed opinions set me on a course for some serious research. What I learned should be enough to scare the socks off of any sane body.
Health Problems Linked to Corn Syrup
Obesity is one of the most obvious issues that has been linked to corn syrup consumption. A recent study conducted by Princeton University looked at what effects, if any, resulted from feeding rats corn syrup. After six months, the group ingesting the corn syrup had gained 48% more weight than the control group. Most interesting about this weight gain is the fact that it was primarily located in the abdominal region. Kinda makes you visualize a lot of the people around town, right? Even more disturbing is that this weight gain combined with the other symptoms (increased fat deposits and decreased triglyceride circulation) are a perfect match for humankind’s metabolic syndrome which make us more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And people wonder why diabetes is becoming more prevalent.
Is Corn Syrup Worse than Sucrose (Table Sugar)?
The fact of the matter is this: corn is good for you, as is sugar cane. But when you refine either one of them, they become harmful. Our bodies weren’t designed to digest and utilize foods in such altered states. But to get back to the question at hand–yes, corn syrup does indeed cause more issues than sucrose (although, sugar causes addiction, which is a pretty big red flag–more on that later). The reason behind this lies in the ratio of fructose/glucose that each ingredient is composed of. Corn syrup has a higher amount of fructose in it, resulting in a higher absorption rate. Fructose does not require help from insulin to be absorbed by our bodies’ cells. To compound that issue, our bodies can actually use only a small portion of fructose. So what happens to all the overabundance that we can’t use? Picture those plump tummies again…
Is Sugar Addicting?
Just like any other addiction-causing substance, ingesting sucrose or any other simple carbohydrate for that matter results in a vicious high/low cycle that is quite difficult to break. This is how it goes: A large dose of sugar goes straight to your bloodstream, which increases your brain’s endorphin level causing the high. However, our body can’t handle that much sugar in the bloodstream, so it in turn sends out a large dose of insulin. Insulin acts as a downer in order to neutralize the extreme high caused by the sugar. The problem comes from how quickly the sugar gets metabolized, leaving the insulin (the downer) prevalent. Hence, the low after the high. And what better way to feel better than with another surge of endorphins? Bring on the sugar cravings…
Is It Possible to Escape the Addiction to Corn Syrup and Sugars?
Yes, it is entirely possible albeit extremely difficult to overcome. It really isn’t so much a lack of self-control as it is nearly impossible to find foods that do not contain sugar in a harmful form. Alton Brown has developed a way of life and eating that resulted in his recent weight-loss, and trust me–he did away with the bad! If I had the time and money necessary to maintain that plan, I would totally do it. Most of us, however, don’t have the time to invest in making food from scratch. So what can we do? Well, first thing to do is avoid anything processed. That includes white flour, white rice, the dreadful corn syrup and refined sugars! Stick with stuff that says “whole” in front of it. And if you need things sweet, the best stuff out there is either brown rice syrup or unfiltered honey. But above all, try to make sure your carbohydrate intake consists of complex carbs and not those nasty, addictive simple ones. Like all addictions, you might be miserable during the first stage of quitting, but I promise you that once you’ve overcome sugar, you will crave sweets less, you will look and feel healthier and happier, and absolutely everything will taste better.