High Fructose Corn Syrup versus Organic Cane Sugar: Can your body tell the difference?
It looks like the answer is YES, there is a difference between how your body processes High Fructose Corn Syrup versus organic cane sugar, according to recent studies. Ingesting High Fructose Corn Syrup has been linked to greater fructose absorption as well as significant weight gain, increased belly fat, and higher obesity rates when compared to other sweeteners like sucrose from organic cane sugar.
A new study in the journal Metabolism shows that your body may absorb more fructose from High Fructose Corn Syrup than it does from sucrose from organic sugar. Higher fructose intake has been linked with diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure and obesity, particularly increased abdominal obesity or “belly fat.”
The Metabolism study seems to support research from a 2010 Princeton University study that showed high fructose corn syrup prompts significantly more weight gain than regular sugar. In the study, rats given high fructose corn syrup showed up to 48% more weight gain and developed signs of obesity and excessive belly fat when compared to a control group that got comparable amounts of sucrose (regular sugar). The really scary part: the rats were given High Fructose Corn Syrup liquid solution that was about HALF as concentrated as most sodas are with HFCS!!!
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said Princeton University professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
Obesity and belly fat have also been strongly linked to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. So it seems prudent to avoid anything that can increase your risks. These and other studies seem to show that high fructose corn syrup is a likely cause of weight gain and possibly a major culprit in the explosion of obesity and belly fat rates in the USA since the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in the 1970’s.
Although the Corn Refiners Association claims that sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup are essentially the same metabolically and have been touting the slogan “Your Body Can’t Tell The Difference” to make its point, it seems clear that not all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain and fructose absorption. The evidence STRONGLY suggests your body CAN tell the difference between high Fructose Corn Syrup and organic cane sugar (pesticide-free sucrose).
So why is Organic Cane Sugar better than High Fructose Corn Syrup?
- Organic cane sugar is less processed than HFCS or regular table sugar: HFCS is a highly processed product. Highly processed foods are typically lower in nutrients and are usually treated with chemicals or preservatives before they are sold for consumption. Regular white table sugar is highly refined and more processed than organic cane sugar.
- Lower Glycemic Index: HFCS is made of mostly glucose and fructose which means it is rapidly absorbed by your body, resulting blood sugar spikes and a high glycemic index of 87/100. Organic sugar is made of pesticide-free sucrose and is more slowly absorbed, resulting in a glycemic index of 47/100.
- Less pesticides: Foods labeled “Organic” must abide by strict quality control regulations that prohibit the use of most pesticides and other toxins in growing them. There is currently no 100% organic High Fructose Corn Syrup available on the market.
- Environmental Benefits: organic farming releases little to no chemicals into the air or groundwater, resulting in a healthier overall environment. Organic farming also tends to be better for soil health and conservation.
NOTE: it is important for your health to limit your overall sugar consumption, regardless of its source. The USDA currently recommends that people on a 2000 calorie diet eat no more than 32g of added sugar/day.
For all these reasons, we ONLY use organic cane sugar in our gummy vitamins. At SmartyPants, we want to help keep you and your family healthy and happy with a fun, low glycemic index, very tasty, and premium quality multivitamin + omega 3 + vitamin D all-in-one gummy vitamin supplement.
Tip of the hat to FoodNavigator for finding the metabolism study
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