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Ever feel like cattle in a feedlot? High Fructose Corn Syrup works wonders!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 19, 2010

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Researchers at Princeton University have discovered what farmers have known for many years.

Corn will make you fat.

Corn chips, tortillas, corn meal, grits, hominy, raw corn, corn on the cob, creamed corn, sweet corn, pop corn… there are a veritable host of corn food products.

“But I don’t eat corn!,” you may say.

Sure you do. Just read the ingredients labels of the foods you purchase.

Many, if not most, foods contain “High Fructose Corn Syrup,” which can be found in most unlikely of foods.

Ingredients are listed in order of concentration, from highest to lowest. Often, High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the ingredients found in highest concentration; by simply reading the ingredients label the story will be told.

Here’s a most unlikely sampling of foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup:

Campbell’s Soup brand – Healthy Request Chicken Rice; Healthy Request Vegetable Made with Beef Stock; and Healthy Request Tomato, all contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Kraft brand – Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce, Free Zesty Italian fat free dressing, Free Ranch fat free dressing. Light Original Reduced Calorie Barbecue Sauce, and Miracle Whip light dressing, all contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Lea & Perrins brand, The Original Worcestershire Sauce contains High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Great Value (Wal-Mart store brand), Maraschino Cherries contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

And, it goes without saying that the exceeding majority of soft drinks contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Led by the soft drink industry,  for the past 40 years, commercial food processors have eliminated cane sugar and substituted “High Fructose Corn Syrup” as a sweetener.

Perhaps most reminiscent among the commercial food industry’s change was Coca-Cola’s change of their nearly century old, top-secret recipe from using cane sugar to High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Corn, which was earlier called Maize, is an essentially “New World” food, having been “discovered” by Spanish conquistadors in Mexico, and thought to have been in use by the Aztec, Mayas and Incas as many as 6,000 years ago. In European nations corn is largely considered an animal food.

Comparatively, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, for 2008/9 the United States consumed 259,053 thousand metric tons of corn, while for the same period EU-27 (the European Union) consumed only 62,000 thousand tons.

But back to Princeton and the researchers…

In the first of two studies supported by the U.S. Public Health Service, male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup along with a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, also called sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment – which was the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals – monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to rats that ate only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as metabolic syndrome, which includes abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats especially ballooned in size: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.

The long and short of it?

Rats in the Princeton study became obese by drinking high-fructose corn syrup, but not by drinking sucrose – commonly known as table sugar.

Bart Hoebel, psychology professor specializing in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction, said, “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. 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.

Miriam Bocarsly, Princeton graduate student, and fellow researcher said, “These rats aren’t just getting fat; they’re demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides. In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes.

High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose both contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two distinct differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of two simple sugars – 50% fructose and 50% glucose – but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.

The Princeton researchers said they do not know yet why high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat that resulted in obesity.

The research team, comprised of undergraduate Elyse Powell, psychology professor Bart Hoebel, visiting research associate Nicole Avena and graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, all from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, had research on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity published online Feb. 26 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.

2 Responses to “Ever feel like cattle in a feedlot? High Fructose Corn Syrup works wonders!”

  1. […] Additional reading: “Ever feel like cattle in a feedlot? High Fructose Corn Syrup works wonders!“ […]


  2. […] Ever feel like cattle in a feedlot? High Fructose Corn Syrup works wonders! […]


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