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

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default HFCS one of the worse things ever for weight gain/obesity/bad health?

I've had a lot of success reducing carbs, especially fast food carbs, bread, pasta, etc. I've learned a lot about high fructose corn syrup the past few months. I am NOT an expert, and far from knowing the 'truth'. But what I have found, at least me personally, I am combing every label and it it has it that product is done. And because I don't know for sure with restaurants, that is added incentive to not go out.

What I have learned is HFCS is NOT sugar or table sugar. HFCS is NOT natural even though it claims to be. It is created soley in an industrial process it does not exist in nature. Things are rarely this simple BUT the increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and general bad health for Americans is temporally correlated with HFCS explosion. We ignore that correlation as individuals and society at our own risk.

So HFCS is glucose and fructose. So is sucrose or table sugar. But sucrose is a 50-50 ratio. HFCS is not. Corn industry groups say it is 55% fructose. But studies have routinely found 60 to 65% common and as high as 90% fructose.

HFCS also doesn't bond the glucose and fructose the same way nature does. Finally the industrial manufacturing process for HFCS often adds mercury and other unknown chemicals. At least with sugar you know what you are getting.

These seem like subtle differences but they have PROFOUND implications. HFCS possibly makes you a lot hungrier than eating sugar does. It doesn't get processed the same way. It is NOT sugar. It is a new manufactured product that we still don't know all the negative consequences to. We do know obesity exploded at the same time its use did in the U.S. No way am I personally willing to just brush that aside.

If anyone is struggling with weight I would certainly check every product you use and throw at any with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Again that is just me. I would also lobby your school district not to use HFCS products.

Here are just a couple of many articles:

http://www.sott.net/article/266575-F...outh-of-the-US

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mar..._b_861913.html

I am no longer willing to be a guinea pig for corn grower profits. For me, and not saying this is truth, but for me I find the evidence overwhelming that HFCS is one of the worst and most deadly products ever introduced into our diets and I think we should all be advocating for its removal in products. Or at the least as individuals try avoiding it as much as possible.

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
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Of course portions are important. But there were Princeton studies with rats and they had the same amount of calories but one group had only sugar and one group had only HFCS.

The HFCS group gained more weight. And that is when consuming the SAME amount. There are a lot of studies that HFCS makes you hungrier than sugar. It just is not being processed the same way in the body and it is not impacting insulin levels exactly the same.

Again I think the evidence is overwhelming HFCS is a very deadly product and at the least it is NOT sugar. And everyone is not the same. I probably dodged a huge bullet not developing diabetes without starting to get healthy until being at 48. But how much longer would I have dodged that bullet? I am more than willing to avoid corn syrup, pay more, eat out less. Easy decision for me personally after reading about it.

BTW many more current studies are showing mercury in HFCS. Because it is produced in an industrial process the ability to extract the fructose from sugar often results in mercury being added. No thanks to HFCS BTW it is going to be interesting in Mexico. HFCS consumption is going down in the U.S. but is going up by almost equal amounts in Mexico. Childhood obesity just recently saw its first downturn in decades in the US. So it will be interesting to see. But I am opting OUT of the HFCS experiment. Let that author do it, not me.

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Yes. I wonder about HFCS and the concomitant diabetes/obesity explosion. Some things are simply more poisonous than others and not meant to ingest, even in the smallest quantities. HFCS seems to be more problematic dose to does than sugar by any gauge. Being a diabetic, I avoid both and simple starches.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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I avoid sugar and starch as a rule and have zero regrets or negative side effects for doing so. I'm not overly concerned about HFCS, because it's already verboten for me and my family except occasionally (for them, not me).

I also refuse to demonizes food producers - it just so happens my appetite and weight is much better controlled without any grains, added sugar, or excess naturally occurring sugars like lactose and fructose.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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Here in the UK, we don't grow much corn, we don't have much HFCS and we certainly don't have subsidized HFCS. However, we've still managed to get our own obesity epidemic going.

It's human nature to look for simple solutions and we all love a good conspiracy theory but the sad truth is that we can lose weight by eating (not many) Twinkie Bars and we can gain weight by eating (far too much) cheese made from the milk of grass fed cows, to whom lullabies are sung every night.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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Well Artic not everyone has the ability to choose like you might. You maybe in a situation that allows you to avoid HFCS. Others aren't. I don't think they matter less. Kids on free lunches as their only option don't deserve to have HFCS.

I will 'demonize' food producers if they try to suppress science, mislead people, etc. Just like cigarette companies did. Why did the corn growers want to be able to use corn syrup instead of high fructose corn syrup? They wanted to INTENTIONALLY mislead people.

When you decide to make your money by misleading people and lying then you are going way beyond the scope of minimum obligations to your customers and society. You aren't just trying to sell your product, you are lying about your product to sell it.

Re: the UK. I watched the documentary The Men Who Made Us Fat. Pretty much the history of obesity in the UK. And as JohnP and yourself both correctly pointed out portion is huge. But the UK I bet has MANY snacks with HFCS in it. Whereas 50 years ago there would have been no HFCS at all, it didn't exist.

So why are people eating more now? Of course HFCS isn't the only cause but it can be a huge one. Also Britain isn't quite as overweight as the U.S. So that actually BACKS up HFCS as being a huge cause. Why is the UK getting overweight but not quite as fat or fast as the U.S.? Perhaps because slightly less exposure to HFCS?

It is also plausible that even relatively low levels of HFCS interact very badly in people. So the UK has gone from no HFCS 50 years ago (because it didn't exist) to some levels of HFCS for most of the UK population. Not as much as the US but some. Again it is an experiment that I choose not to be part of as much as possible and I am thankful I have some resources to allow that. Even so it is not easy as it seems to be everywhere now.

I can't say for sure it is the 'main cause' or a 'big part' of obesity, although there does seem to be a lot of compelling information and studies. But no one else can say definitely that it isn't. It very well could be. Including what is going on in the UK.

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Old 09-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #8
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Haha! I'm sorry, but seriously? Since when did I say others matter less simply because I personally avoid HFCS?

I refuse to demonizes food producers because they are necessary for sustaining the world's population and keep millions from starvation. Cheap and plentiful food benefits most of the world, including the wealthy in first world countries. Love it or hate it, high fructose corn syrup is the response to a market demand. I bear it no ill will, it isn't culpable for metabolic derangement in and of itself and the science doesn't bear this out either (consider the isolated, specific, necessarily limited nature of many of the hypotheses referenced relating to HFCS). Sugar, as a rule, is harmful to the human metabolism in varying doses and durations, vastly differing based on the individual's body. But again, this isn't universal. I'm not of the mind that a bottle of Karo is wicked and a mango is sacred - both give me cravings and mess up my digestion (and the scale! with bloat in the short term and rapid weight gain in the longer scheme). This is where education is key. Not limiting the product, but making data public so consumers can make informed choices, should they have the luxury to care.

Crusading for public health is a slippery slope. It just so happens my ideal diet is the polar opposite of the standard recommendations. I eat butter for health, not whole grains and fresh fruit. Who is right? Who deserves to make policy? My husband can eat corn syrup all day long and is neither fat nor feels ill for it. Which one of us has the 'correct' body with the best diet? I'd argue me, because mine is nutrient dense, but if we're looking at evidences he has never been obese and I have - so his diet, by that litmus, must be superior, right? You have to be careful in this arena - not only do logical fallacies abound, but so do false correlations, selection bias, and plain old limitations on our understanding of what is going on in a system as complex as the human body.

Not everything is a wicked conspiracy. Some things are. But the food producers are operating on both profit and market demand, as well as the subsidy game. Assigning blame shouldn't be simplistic or hasty in something as convoluted as our global food market.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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This thread reminds me of why I have the signature I have. Diamondgeog I understand why you're saying the things you are but you really need to be careful where you get your information from. I mean no offense. It's easy to be misled on this subject and I am sure you can find hundreds of blog posts that are supporting your point of view.

If you want good information on the subject I'd read up on Alan Aragon's take.

In my opinion, the primary problem with HFCS is that it's "hidden" in so many processed foods.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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JohnP and Trudiha,

I get what you are both saying. Total sweeteners consumption has gone up massively. So in the US we are consuming less sugar than say 50 years ago but more sweeteners, sugar and HFCS combined.

In the UK there has been a big increase in sugar consumption, way less in HFCS.

But interestingly diabetes rates in the US are 20% higher than the UK which is quite significant.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...bal-scale.html

JohnP you don't think HFCS and sugar are equivalent do you? And when they do chemical spectroscopy on HFCS there are a whole lot of undefined spikes that you don't get with sugar.

Arctic the statement about your husband makes me think it is exactly the same as someone who smoked a pack a day living to 90 and not getting lung cancer. Sure it can happen. But what does that prove? And perhaps that person would have lived to 100 without smoking. Agree with you about sugar.

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Old 09-24-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudiha View Post
It's human nature to look for simple solutions and we all love a good conspiracy theory but the sad truth is that we can lose weight by eating (not many) Twinkie Bars and we can gain weight by eating (far too much) cheese made from the milk of grass fed cows, to whom lullabies are sung every night.
I agree with this. It has been my experience that I can lose weight and maintain weight loss eating ANY foods, as long as I moderate my calories. I eat a lot of grains and some starches. I don't eat many processed foods, so I assume I don't get too much HFCS, though I do sometimes use fake maple syrup on pancakes. Macronutrient composition makes no difference to my hunger or satiety levels and i don't get digestive symptoms from any foods. Of course I realize not everyone is like me, but some people are.

I believe the current obesity epidemic has many causes, an important one being the ready and cheap availability of what Dr. Kessler calls "hyperpalatable" foods. Life is stressful and people find it hard to resist these daily comforts.

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Old 09-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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In my opinion, HFCS may have been one of the worse things for obesity. I have been watching some YouTube videos from The University of California, which should be a credible source. The URLs are below. As John said, the point has been made that it is hidden in so many foods. These video touch me because they are describing the process that I experienced in my life. I believe what they say.

This video is long but very interesting Sugar: The Bitter Truth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

The university also made a series of shorter videos on YouTube titled "The Skinny on Obesity" Here is a link to the first video.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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I do want to say that I have embraced low carb. I haven't eaten ice cream, candy bars, cookies, pasta, a number of things since May. So yes overall carb consumption is very important. But I think HFCS has additional negative consequences that go beyond sugar. Including more diabetes and more hunger relative to consuming the same amount of sugar.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
JohnP you don't think HFCS and sugar are equivalent do you? And when they do chemical spectroscopy on HFCS there are a whole lot of undefined spikes that you don't get with sugar.
This is a basic biochemistry question and the answer is yes - once they hit your stomach they are exactly the same. What happens from there depends. What does it depend on? Dose and context.
I realize you have made your mind up on this issue but for those people who actually want to educate themselves this is a good article that addresses fructose metabolism and the afformentioned rat study.

I'm going to use an extreme and not scientific example to make a point. Pardon me for doing so.

"Born to Run" is a book about a group of indians that run rediculously long races and a rapid clip. Their primarily energy source is pinole (a form of corn meal.) Skinny as can be.

Corn fed cows move only when they need to and are fat and delicious to eat.

They are both eating a lot of corn but they are two different species, and have two different lifestyles, and therefore two different results.

Do you see how rediculous it is to take dose and context out of the equation?

Obesity is a multifactoral problem. It is not a HFCS problem. Your point that obesity rates are higher in the US than the UK is not evidence of anything.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeog View Post
Well Artic not everyone has the ability to choose like you might. You maybe in a situation that allows you to avoid HFCS. Others aren't. I don't think they matter less. Kids on free lunches as their only option don't deserve to have HFCS.

I will 'demonize' food producers if they try to suppress science, mislead people, etc. Just like cigarette companies did. Why did the corn growers want to be able to use corn syrup instead of high fructose corn syrup? They wanted to INTENTIONALLY mislead people.

When you decide to make your money by misleading people and lying then you are going way beyond the scope of minimum obligations to your customers and society. You aren't just trying to sell your product, you are lying about your product to sell it.

Re: the UK. I watched the documentary The Men Who Made Us Fat. Pretty much the history of obesity in the UK. And as JohnP and yourself both correctly pointed out portion is huge. But the UK I bet has MANY snacks with HFCS in it. Whereas 50 years ago there would have been no HFCS at all, it didn't exist.

So why are people eating more now? Of course HFCS isn't the only cause but it can be a huge one. Also Britain isn't quite as overweight as the U.S. So that actually BACKS up HFCS as being a huge cause. Why is the UK getting overweight but not quite as fat or fast as the U.S.? Perhaps because slightly less exposure to HFCS?

It is also plausible that even relatively low levels of HFCS interact very badly in people. So the UK has gone from no HFCS 50 years ago (because it didn't exist) to some levels of HFCS for most of the UK population. Not as much as the US but some. Again it is an experiment that I choose not to be part of as much as possible and I am thankful I have some resources to allow that. Even so it is not easy as it seems to be everywhere now.

I can't say for sure it is the 'main cause' or a 'big part' of obesity, although there does seem to be a lot of compelling information and studies. But no one else can say definitely that it isn't. It very well could be. Including what is going on in the UK.

Not sure why you are worried about the UK, being from Texas, but if you search Supersize vs Superskinny, a UK weight show, free on You Tube, those folks are hooked on Chinese take away, and fish and chips, pizza and lager and so on. Not much sugar in a ton of fried stuff!

HFCS just seems to be the chosen evil of the day as far as I can see.

You don't have to eat it. You have the choice to read labels. Not buy or eat it. You live in an area of America, where even if you do not own or rent in a place where you have space to garden, you certainly could container garden and supplement your budget with home grown food.

As a farmer, a small time one, I do take offense that you think that most of us are the fat problem. Once our crop leaves the farm, it's totally market driven.

Last years alfalfa, was a money maker. The year before that, the millet, droughted out, no money there. Lost our butts! The year before that, the wheat, 8 hail storms, forget that!

Once our crop leaves the farm, we have no control over what it turns into, that is driven, by what the public wants!
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