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HFCS one of the worse things ever for weight gain/obesity/bad health?

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Old 09-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #31
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Diamondgeog, thank you for the post and the whirlwind of attention it has received. Let's bring it to the forefront and let people make their own decisions. I, for one, am on your side with HFCS. Politics and conspiracies aside if there is one thing that you can do to greatly improve your overall health...try to limit the amount of food that you eat that has an ingredient label on it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by konablue View Post
...if there is one thing that you can do to greatly improve your overall health...try to limit the amount of food that you eat that has an ingredient label on it.
No question about it - a primarily whole foods diet is going to lead to a lower weight and better health.

My point in "arguing" in this thread is that if you point the finger at HFCS you're "not seeing the forest for the trees". It's like demonizing any one particular thing.

The fundamentals of weight loss have nothing to do with HFCS.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:52 PM   #33
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What made me realize that the demonization of hfcs was mostly hype was the fact that so many on the demonizing bandwagon were pro-agave nectar (pretty much a twin or at least kissing cousin of hfcs, made by essentially the same process but from agave rather than corn).

I've also found hfcs to have little to no relationship to my weight. I've tried almost every kind of diet there is, and I've failed to lose on every kind of diet that didn't address hunger and calorie control.

Sugars and starches of ANY kind, increase my appetite. Eliminating hfcs did nothing for my weight. Eating only "whole foods" didn't help. I just switched from one kind of carb addiction to another. When I eliminated hfcs, I overate table sugar. When I eliminated table sugar, I overate fruit. When I eliminated fruit, I overate breads, grains and pastas. When I eliminated grains, I overate beans, potatoes and other starchy vegetables.

There are no simple solutions, and I find it very unlikely that trading hfcs for table sugar would do much if anything to solve the epidemics of obesity and blood sugar dysfunction.

Whether hfcs is more harmful than table sugar is a ridiculous argument, because even if trrue, it makes little difference, because the SAD includes far too much of all sugars and starches. It's like discussing the distinctions between snake venoms. Black mamba venom may be more toxic than king cobra venom, but both are likely to kill you just as dead. It doesn't matter which is more deadly - avoid them both.


It's unfortunately common for people to try to condense dietary guidelines into a handful of oversimplified rules. The problem lies in that balanced nutrition cannot be condensed to that degree and still retain the core truths. Too much gets lost in the oversimplification process.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #34
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I find zero evidence to dismiss HFCS as just like sugar. The devils are often in the details. While I overwhelmingly agree that overall sweetener consumption of all types is the main problem, HFCS simply is NOT sugar.

It doesn't have the same ratio, it isn't bonded the same, even though JohnP makes the claim that it isn't significant, I think the jury is very much out. It is 55% fructose...or is it? Manufactuers can do what they want even though they are 'supposed' to stop at 55%.

Is it more addictive than sugar? Many studies are showing it is. Does it get processed differently, a 'fructose metabolism' so to speak? Many studies are showing so. Can it contain mercury? Yes. Can it contain other unknown stuff> Yes. There are spikes on chemical analysis that no one is sure about.

The SAD diet is the problem. I have no problem with that and too much sweetners being the major take away lesson. But thinking HFCS is just like sugar seems just wrong to me with all the contradictory evidence. At the very least WAY too premature to claim.

How do you know it makes little difference? You are just assuming HFCS makes little difference. Again the jury is very much out on that and you are making as many assumptions and jumps to conclusions as anyone claiming HFCS is more damaging than you think.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #35
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Kona,

You are welcome. I have learned a lot from the other posters and I thank them for expressing their points of views.

Of course I am one person with my particular body chemistry. But when I was eating fast food I always remember thinking, especially at McDonald's that they were putting 'stuff' in their food. It didn't taste that good going down but I had really strong urges to eat it again and soon.

It could be that it was more of everything than a snack and the more was the addictive trigger. I am not sure.

I was eating snacks and sweets at the time also. But it was noticeably a notch up with a visit to McDonald's. It was more addictive than other kinds of 'junk food'. Was it that there was even more HFCS in a meal there compared to the other sweet things I was eating at the time? Of course I can't say yes, or for sure. But it would be foolish and irresponsible to rule that possibility out at this point, for me.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #36
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If fructose is so damned deadly, shouldn't we also be avoiding all fruit because of its fructose content?

Processed, granular fuctose was marketed as a weight loss aid only about 30 to 35 years ago. There were just as many nutrition and diet experts arguing that fructose was healthier than sugar - and there was just as much research that seemed to support the claim.

I find it hard to get behind the "fructose is more harmful than table sugar" bandwagon when I remember so clearly being duped by the opposing claim that "fructose is healthier than table sugar."

And sugar is by far, not the only food that comes in and out of favor for weight loss. If you live long enough, you see that most nutrition claims end up being cyclical. They come in and out of fashion like clothing styles.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #37
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Here is where we agree. We don't know, for sure, how much difference it makes that HFCS has replaced sugar in many processed products. The research that has been done so far has been inconclusive because it is very difficult to seperate out the impact of one thing when there are so many things that contribute to the obesity epidemic.

On the other hand you're putting out spurious information as if it were factual.

1) You find zero evidence to dismiss HFCS as just like sugar. That's because you're reading in the wrong places or ignoring any information that doesn't agree with your already made up mind.

2) It isn't bonded the same. Correct it is not bonded the same. Once it hits the stomach those bonds are undone and it makes no difference. This isn't up for dispute. You may as well argue against the moon landing my friend.

3) Many studies are showing it is more addictive than sugar. Is this a fact? I'm not aware of this fact. If you want to have a reasonable discussion you need to drop the hyperbole or link up these studies so we can see them. I would define many as three or more but post as many as you want. Before posting you may want to actually read the study or at least have a true understanding of what the study does and doesn't say. The Princton study is a perfect example. Many people tout it as demonstrating something that it does not. It's mind boggling that apparently no one has even read it. They just read the conclusion where the scientists seemingly ignored their own data. Plus, we're not rats.

Then, and most importantly in my opinion, it comes down to dose and context. Yes, fructose is not processed the same as other sugars but in the context of a person who isn't consuming the SAD it doesn't matter because that person's gylocogen stores are filled up 24/7. In the context of a person who is active and not sedentary it doesn't matter for the same reason. Only when liver glycogen is full and fructose continues to be dealt with does it make any difference at all. If you don't know what I'm talking about here than you need to get a handle on it because it makes a big difference in understanding why I keep telling you that dose and context matter.

I'd invite you to read Alan Aragon's take on it because he and Dr Lustig engage in a bit of debate on the subject. Warning: your current belief system will be challenged.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:10 PM   #38
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If you don't have a strong science background, the wiki page on fructose provides a decently balanced, not overly technical view of fructose, explaining the pros and cons (and there are pros as well as cons) of fructose.

If you want more technical information, the source list is a good start.

The most important take away is that the jury is still out as to whether there is a clear difference in health consequences between fructose and other sugars.

The experts in the field of food chemistry haven't come to a consensus, so it's premature for lay people to draw any firm conclusions. There just isn't enough science to back up the ridiculous claims being made about HFCS.

Especially ridiculous is the claim that even so much as a trace of hfcs in a product is somehow magically "worse" than a cupful of "real" (table) sugar (which is 50% fructose as opposed to 55% in hfcs).

Most interesting for weight loss is the meta analysis referred to on the wiki page (in other words a study of MANY studies) which found no difference in weights between subjects fed or not fed hfcs when fed on a fixed-calorie diet. The take-away for humans is that if you are counting calories, subbing sugar for hfcs is unlikely to cause a difference in weight loss.

If you notice a hunger increase with hfcs (even if it's imaginary) you may benefit from eliminating it; but for now, there is not enough scientifically valid evidence to make any firm claims one way or the other.

There's a lot of persuasive evidence against super-high carb (especially high sugar) diets, but as to the dangers of specific sugars, there's just not enough to be persuasive. For every study that compares one sugar against another, there are thousands that study sugars generically. And even those specific sugar studies haven't yielded the dramatic differences claimed by lay people (it is extremely unusual for the researchers and other experts in the relevant fields to make these claims).

I tend to be more persuaded by the majority of experts in the relevant fields than by untrained individuals, especially those with a financial stake in making extraordinary claims, or people who have been influenced by such people.

In my local area in particular, most of the anti-hfcs sentiment (and other non-mainstream views regarding food science) can be traced to a small group of health food store owners and oddly enough, chiropractors.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #39
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I read the earlier Aragon link. And you are making some very good points. Dose and context does matter. A LOT.

I am not as sure that the bonds don't matter. But fully admit I don't know. For me the jury is still out on the bonds not mattering and the impacts of HFCS versus just sugar. I am not willing to say it is minimal, it might be. It might also for some be a large difference and for others not so much. If you are on the cusp of diabetes maybe HFCS has more impact.

I will try and find more links on the addiction side.

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-...06-904320.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-cocaine.html

http://www.science20.com/news_articl...earcher-112817

Now those are all referencing the same paper. Bottomline for me is a lot of unknowns. In 100% agreement overall carbs/sweeteners of all type should be the main focus.

And this is so complex it is hard to unravel. We consume a lot more total sweeteners now on average. We being the U.S. Was sweeter than sugar HFCS part of increasing cravings for sugar of all types? Was the marketing? Was the lower costs that HFCS allowed?

So far right now I am sugar bad, HFCS bad. HFCS additional negative impacts beyond sugar? Unknown with certainty, but some(I think it is a lot you might not) evidence that there are.

And as far as context making a difference, fructose from fruit and from HFCS is a different context and extremely likely it is getting processed differently and having different overall impacts.

It may turn out there are not additional negative impacts from HFCS. Perhaps. But since HFCS is in stuff I shouldn't be eating anyway, not a bad thing to try to avoid.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:28 PM   #40
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From the Wall Street Journal link above.

"Currently the US Food and Drug Administration's legal limit on the fructose content of HFCS is 55 percent, but recent studies have shown fructose levels in popular soft drink brands exceed the legal amount. The Corn Refiners Association, which represents the producers of HFCS, has acknowledged that a version of HFCS with 90 percent fructose has been in use for decades, even though it has never been tested for safety or approved by the FDA."

The Corn Refiners Association acknowledged the use of 90% HFCS use.....

So this thread has helped me. And I appreciate all the comments I really do. And if it has helped one other person start looking up stuff on HFCS then it has been worth it.

The Science 2.0 link is interesting because at the bottom are more links. Some saying no difference which I read. Then at the end of that link one of the links was to a study saying yes impactful differences. So it is still being debated in labs and in message boards.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:42 PM   #41
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Read "Fat, Sugar, and Salt" if you really want to know what is in your food. Since reading it I have cut all processed foods from my diet. I cook from scratch using lean proteins, vegetables, fruits. I've never been healthier or felt better.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post

And as far as context making a difference, fructose from fruit and from HFCS is a different context and extremely likely it is getting processed differently and having different overall impacts.
While fructose from fruit and fructose from HFCS aren't exactly processed differently, the fiber in fruit (and vegetables) certainly slows down the absorption rate which, if nothing else, is easier on your pancreas. All sugars, once they get down to glucose level, are process in the same way, however, as anyone with a lactose intolerance will tell you, getting them down to that stage does require different chemical processes.

This is, mostly, an argument that can't really be won as we simply don't know enough about exactly how different substances are processed by the body or how different bodies work. I suspect that at some point in the future, most health conscious folks will go back to sweetening everything with molasses, in the same way that butter is having a massive resurgence. We are, probably, better off eating as much as possible in as natural a form as possible.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:17 PM   #43
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Thanks Susan, I will look it up. And congrats on your marvelous success and health.

Just down 40 lbs I almost feel like a new person. So wow on your tremendous success.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:18 PM   #44
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Where is the GMO conversation here? We are talking manufactured sweetener (HFCS) vs. fructose that is found naturally in our produce.

"By 2012, 88 percent of corn (maize) and 94 percent of soy grown in the United States were genetically modified."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-gmo-corn-soybeans-dominate.html#jCp"

Our government (FDA), who is in bed with Monsanto (GMO seed producer), subsidizes this crop and they are more than happy to make HFCS the primary cheap sweetener in the US. Take a peak at the documentary King Corn if you get a chance. Quite eye opening.

At any rate I stay clear of anything GMO since we have no idea what it may do to our bodies in the long term. Is it any wonder why so many countries around the world have banned GMO seeds/crops, especially corn/maize? If you are going to pick up something sweet to put in your mouth make it organic fruit. It really seems like the safest bet.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #45
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Quote:
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3) Many studies are showing it is more addictive than sugar. Is this a fact? I'm not aware of this fact. If you want to have a reasonable discussion you need to drop the hyperbole or link up these studies so we can see them. I would define many as three or more but post as many as you want. Before posting you may want to actually read the study or at least have a true understanding of what the study does and doesn't say.
Your response?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
I will try and find more links on the addiction side.

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-...06-904320.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-cocaine.html

http://www.science20.com/news_articl...earcher-112817

Now those are all referencing the same paper. Bottomline for me is a lot of unknowns. In 100% agreement overall carbs/sweeteners of all type should be the main focus.
Are you sure you have a science background. You were supposed to find a study where HFCS was more addicting than sugar. (You claim there are many)

Instead you come up with a study that shows HFCS is addicting to rats. Did you read the study? Did you even read the articles you linked? The 30 seconds I spent reading the article says the study never compares HFCS to sugar. Instead it is compared to saccharine. No surprise the rats preferred HFCS to saccharine.

The good news? It makes a great headline. HFCS is as addicting as cocaine.

Ya - sure it is.
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