May 7, 2009

HFCS vs. Sugar

I started doing some reading about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) vs. Sugar and I’ve found some interesting articles on some differences. First, HFCS is made from a process that increases the fructose in corn syrup. This makes it sweeter. And this process is cheap and gives the corn syrup a longer shelf life than sugar. Because of the financial benefits, companies in all sorts of food industries use HFCS instead of sugar. Bread, soda, juice, cookies, ketchup, etc., can all be found to have HFCS. Now the financial benefits have led to the use of HFCS in so many things we consume here in the USA. BUT, is there a health risk? Possibly. Some nutritionists, according to one site, believe “HFCS is 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds.” And “carbonyl compounds are elevated in people with diabetes and are blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage.” Also, according to the San Francisco Chronicles Website SFGate, “The body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream.” There is a lot of debate out there about HFCS. And, of course, loads of sugar isn’t good for us either. Sugar is just natural, not chemically made. For now, I’m going to believe that sugar is a little better for me so I can drink soda again. Since Pepsi Natural, Pepsi Throwback, and Mountain Dew Throwback all came out with their sugar instead of HFCS blends, I’ve been enjoying the “throwback” to a better time. The 80’s were good, right up to the point where HFCS and “the Big Gulp” joined forces and we became the “give me more of everything I want” society. Dear Pepsi, Thanks for doing what you’re doing. We appreciate the sugar, even though it costs you more. We appreciate the ideas to Refresh Everything. How about refreshing us all with a wider use of the beautiful bottles you use for Pepsi Natural, and start bottling all your beverages. Jimmy the Gun