Excessive sweets consumption is a modern health problem due to our advancements in farm production, distribution, and government support. Sugar provides empty calories which overload our organs. People used to eat 20 tablespoons of sugar/year but now ingest that amount a day. Tooth decay, obesity, and Type 2(adult onset) diabetes are some of the side effects. The transition from cane sugar to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has accelerated our national health problems.
History of sweets
100 years ago sweets were a scarcity in the United States. Cane sugar was grown in South America, Mexico, and some southern states in the US, honey was available from a few beekeepers and chocolate was imported from Europe. For most people sugar was only eaten a few times a year. With advancements in farming and transportation sugar could be grown, processed, packaged, and shipped to local grocers for sell to local residents. This resulted in sugar presence on the shelves year round. With this ubiquitous availability, people became accustomed to having sugar weekly if not daily in their desserts, coffee, and tea. Soft drinks became more popular with the introduction of Coca-Cola in the late 1800’s at soda fountains and later offered in sealed bottles.
In early 1970’s Archer Daniel Midland (ADM), a mega food conglomerate, produced a new sweet alternative – High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – which is produced by chemists. HFCS is cheaper, more stable, and has a longer shelf life than sugar. HFCS begins with GMO(patented, genetically modified from Monsanto) corn which is heavily subsidized by Congress as part of the Farm bill.
Soda manufacturers originally sold sodas in 6 or 8 oz bottles but serving sizes started to grow. Smaller bottles contained pure sugar which satisfied the body and became offensive if you ate too much. Switching from sugar to HFCS increase soft drink companies profits by reducing costs.
Since 8 ounces of soda satisfies the body then how can we enjoyably drink 32 ounces? HFCS never triggers the satisfaction mechanism of the body. That is why people will continue refilling their sodas at the self-serve fountains in the stores. This causes the body to be saturated with HFCS.
HFCS wears out most of the organs in our bodies including our livers and kidneys. Mice ingesting excessive amounts of HFCS lose their hair and get cirrhosis of the liver, common among alcoholics. The side effects of HFCS are similar to alcohol on an alcoholic’s body. Unfortunately, HFCS is also in many processed foods and not just sodas. Foods containing HFCS.
Drinking one can of Coke (or any soda) shuts down your immune system for four hours. This increases your health risks for colds and the flu. Drinking multiple sodas a day compounds the problem.
Some products now promote that they are HFCS free due to consumer demands.
This concerns ADM and their three billion dollar HFCS business. In response they did not choose to make their product safer but to change the name.
Due to the backlash, a request to change the name of the regular HFCS-55 (55% fructose) from HFCS to “Corn Sugar” was rejected by the FDA in 2012.
The new strategy resulted in a new product HFCS-90 (90% fructose) was introduced and approved with the label “fructose”. Fructose is a natural sugar that makes fruit sweet. Now there is no ability to distinguish if the fructose is natural or made in a lab.
Now products with HFCS-90 can be included in products with the label “No High Fructose Corn Syrup”. Don’t be fooled because it’s still HFCS with intensified side effects.
Consuming excessive amounts of sugar is bad for your health. Consuming HFCS compounds your health problems. Stay healthy by limiting your sugar intake and eliminating all HFCS products.