HFCS: the Devils Brew

I know, I know! I exaggerated a little in the title. Artistic license, okay? Regardless, it’s some nasty stuff! Here are two articles I enjoyed reading or late, one about high fructose corn syrup and the other defending it as “natural” (the second article is good for a laugh!).

The first piece was written for the the Seattle Times by Carolyn Poirot. Here’s an exerpt:

“Bray says the problem with HFCS is not only that it is sweeter than other forms of sugar, but also that it does not affect appetite. Fructose adds to overeating because it does not trigger chemical messengers that tell the brain the stomach is full and no longer hungry, like food and drinks that contain regular refined sugar do.”

Sounds like good stuff, doesn’t it?

This second article covers the FDA’s decision to allow  food items marked “Natural” to contain HFCS since it too is “natural”. Wonder who paid for that decision?

picture courtesy of ybfat101.com. they also informed me that the average american consumes 88 pounds of the stuff a year. as I’ve said before: “yum”.

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5 Comments on “HFCS: the Devils Brew”

  1. Alicia M says:

    I’ve got some good scientific articles I’ve found recently on fructose. It’s long been suspected the HFCS had a different effect in the body than sucrose, but only recently has the science started to support that. It still seems not yet fully determined what the exact mechanism is, but we’re starting to understand.
    The other thing about HFCS- our bodies were only designed to absorb small amounts of fructose (what we would find naturally in fruits and vegetables). I am seeing many patients in our nutrition clinic with fructose intolerance, which I believe is largely related to the huge amounts of fructose we are consuming, due to HFCS. The body can’t process so we end up with all kinds of GI side effects. It’s thought to be the explanation behind a lot (but not all) of irritable bowel syndrome. The treatment ends up being a low fructose diet, which may mean cutting out fruits and vegetables. The devil’s brew might not be too much of a stretch

  2. Dana says:

    Josh has always been anti-HFCS since before we were married and I have tried my best to avoid it… but yes, once I bought this cereal marked “natural” and it was only after arriving home that I realized that it had HFCS in it but hidden under some strange arrangement of the wording. Ever since, I always double check ingredients no matter what the label… blasted FDA… grrr… devil’s brew indeed! :)!

  3. Blakely says:

    It’s really pretty depressing when you start going through everything you have in the kitchen and/or anything you want to buy and realize that almost all of it has HFCS in it somewhere. It’s tough to find alternatives and stay within our budget. *sigh* I guess the cost factor is one of the reasons it’s so highly used…

  4. Amy says:

    I’m really never one to defend High Fructose Corn Syrup at all and try my best to avoid it – going to lengths of making my own ketchup! But, I would have to say that I have my lessoned my protest against HFCS in the last few months. My appeal has been to a less sugared diet in general.

    In America we have gone to HFCS because corn is a natural resource that we have here abundantly where we don’t have sugar cane, hence it’s cheapness and incorporation into American foods.

    I completely agree with the science that fructose does not send the triggers to the brain that we are full. But HFCS is not all fructose – it’s just slightly more fructose than table sugar. So just because one item had HFSC in it and another item has the same amount of sugars but uses other simple sugars does not mean you will eat 50% more it before you feel full.

    So, it’s not good stuff, but we need to replace our diet with items that are lower in sugar in general and not just items without HFSC!

    Off my soapbox now. And never ever believe a label that says natural! Anything can use that word. The more adjectives that someone uses in front of an ingredient makes me even more scared of the item. (Ever read what they try to do to make white flour sound good for you?)

  5. Amy, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I totally agree on cutting down on sugar across the board- thus my goal to cut out the white stuff this month! And I totally hear you on the “natural” label. It can be so deceiving to people who really want to try to eat a healthier diet, but don’t really know what to look for. grrr…
    Blakely, I feel your pain. Every small victory is worth celebrating though!


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