Health hazard: Man made high fructose corn syrup changes the sugar in corn syrup into fructose which can cause many health complications. *File photo
Health hazard: Man made high fructose corn syrup changes the sugar in corn syrup into fructose which can cause many health complications. *File photo

In the 1970’s a new “sugar” came on the market. This was high fructose corn syrup which made food and drinks cheaper and easier to sweeten.It is man-made and chemically changes the sugar found in corn syrup into fructose.

When the high fructose corn syrup reaches the liver it causes the liver to produce triglycerides which is a type of fat. Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances known as lipids. However triglycerides are fats and cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy substance which is made in the liver and needed by the body to make cell walls and nerves as well as helping to make digestive juices and hormones. Triglycerides are fats in the blood and come from the foods we eat and drinks we drink. Many of the fats we eat such as butter, margarines and oils are in triglyceride form. 

The excess calories that come from the sugar in drinks are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells throughout the body. An elevated triglyceride level increases the risk of heart disease.

High fructose corn syrup also acts as an appetite stimulant and makes people want to eat more. One more thing, high fructose corn syrup causes the body to burn sugar and not fat which ends up causing people to be overweight and obese.

Since the 1980’s the obesity rate and diabetes rate have soared which leads one to suspect that high fructose corn syrup has something to do with this increase.

When we eat a piece of fresh fruit we are also eating lots of fiber that is in the fruit. Mother Nature made it this way as the fiber in fruit protects us from the rise in blood sugar that is seen when we drink the pure juice on its own. High fructose corn syrup is actually toxic for the liver and causes non alcoholic fatty liver disease which used to be really rare but since high fructose corn syrup came on the market it is much more common. In addition to the effects on the liver the high fructose corn syrup has been linked to changes in the blood vessel walls and therefore increasing the risk of heart disease. 

Cancer risk

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia have found that women who consume more than 10 drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup a week are at an increased  risk of breast cancer and men had a 37 per cent higher risk.

Our bodies turn sugar into fat. Drinking drinks with high fructose corn syrup is the same as drinking liquid fat which means that you are literally pouring on the pounds. 

In addition high fructose corn syrup manages to trick the brain into not feeling satisfied and instead of feeling full you feel hungry instead and end up eating more food, putting on more weight and becoming obese which increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

So in essence you have several problems when you consume high fructose corn syrup. The first is that the body does not recognize that it has already eaten. 

The second is that high fructose corn syrup is addictive and we crave more and the third is that high fructose corn syrup is like pumping fat into our bodies.

So what do you do? Drink water. Lately people have been saying they don’t know if they can drink water because of the taste. Well let me leave you with this suggestion. 

Take a pitcher of water and add to it thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced lemon, a sprig of rosemary and some mint. Let it sit for an hour to infuse the flavours and you have one of the tastiest most refreshing drinks possible and guess what — its water!