The corn industry has embarked on this big campaign to try and change the badly damaged image of high fructose corn syrup by changing its name to corn sugar. According to ABC news, the consumption of corn syrup in America dropped last year to a “20-year low” due to all the attention in the last few years to the health risks it is associated with like type 2 diabetes and obesity. This of course, probably means a loss of millions of dollars for the industry.
Since the cane sugar industry has been able to stay under the radar of poor health risks, and maintain their image in the eyes of most of the uninformed public, the corn sugar industry is trying to ride on their coat tails. It seems they are hoping that unsuspecting shoppers will see the word “corn sugar” when scanning the list of ingredients instead of “high fructose corn syrup” and be tricked into buying their product.
This has actually prompted the cane sugar industry to sue the corn sugar industry for changing their name. All the while, each industry is claiming that they are just trying to educate the public and be truthful.
In my eyes that is hogwash. Obviously, the primary goal of each one is the loss of profits. Neither one of them have your best interest at heart and what most people are unaware of is that cane sugar or table sugar is just as detrimental to your health as high fructose corn syrup, it just hasn’t received the negative press that it deserves.
Although, they may not actually be lying in their marketing campaigns, both of the industries are telling a variety of half truths that leave out valuable pieces of information that impact your physical, psychological and spiritual health. Let’s take a look at some of the new marketing claims by the corn industry to illustrate my points. These are statements taken directly from their website and TV commercials.
Corn sugar “is not all that different from table sugar.”
“Sugar is sugar.”
“Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same.”
These three statements are true. However the valuable piece of information that you are missing, and they are counting on your lack of awareness, is that cane sugar is completely void of any nutritional value. It’s just a bunch of empty calories. Therefore, there is no nutritional benefit to eating either one of them.
There is no evidence that high fructose corn syrup or corn sugar is “any worse for the body than sugar.”
“When high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are absorbed into our bloodstream, the two are indistinguishable by the body.”
“A sugar is a sugar whether it comes from corn sugar or cane sugar. All are safe and natural. Your body can’t tell the difference.”
Again most of this is absolutely true. Sugar, regardless of what kind it is, is processed by the body in the same way and its impact on the endocrine system is the same. However, the negative impact of sugar on the body is a very long list. It, too, leads to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer and many more. So saying that high fructose corn syrup is the same as sugar, does not make it a desirable or healthier food to eat. Neither one of them are safe or natural. They both are highly refined and no longer in their natural state and each of them lead to deterioration in health. They both should be avoided.
Let’s take a look at what happens in the body when you eat sugar, including corn sugar/high fructose corn syrup.
What Happens in the Body When You Eat Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup?
When you eat sugar of any kind, it is absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream and causes blood glucose to rise to abnormally high levels at a very fast pace.
This results in an emergency response from the pancreas to release high levels of insulin to bring the blood sugar levels down again. The blood sugar comes crashing down too fast and then the adrenal glands are called upon to bring the blood sugar back to normal.
Each time you consume sugar or high fructose corn syrup you put your body through this vicious cycle, and if this cycle continues repeatedly, over time it wears out your pancreas and adrenal glands and they no longer function normally.
When the pancreas releases insulin, this triggers our glucose receptors to open up and then the sugar gets stored as glycogen in the liver or in the cell as fat. The liver can only store so much sugar, so when there is excess most of it gets stored as fat.
If you are eating any form of sugar on a regular basis, then eventually the body recognizes that it is storing too much fat so the receptors begin to respond to insulin with resistance. They refuse to open up and store anymore sugar, thus the pancreas keeps releasing insulin to force them open. This is known as insulin resistance and results in hyperinsulinism; too much insulin.
If the body is forced to continually deal with high levels of sugar, the receptors become more resistant and eventually this leads to type 2 diabetes as the pancreas can no longer bring blood sugar levels down. It should also be clear why high fructose corn syrup and sugar lead to obesity. The more sugar you consume, the more fat you store.
Additionally, as the adrenal glands are overstimulated repeatedly in this process to regulate the blood sugar they too become exhausted and lose their ability to produce a crucial hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is essential for many functions in the body like strong immunity and regulating inflammation, blook pressure and glucose metabolism. Insufficient levels of cortisol result in numerous health conditions like autoimmune disorders, allergies, chronic pain, anxiety, extreme fatigue and many more. If the adrenals are put through extended periods of overuse, they eventually burnout.
Not only that, when you ingest sugar, it stimulates the release of excessively high levels of neurotransmitters in the brain; serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating our mood states and controlling pain and our what produce our feelings of happiness, joy and pleasure. When there are excessive levels, they produce intense euphoria. This is what is commonly referred to as the sugar “high.”The problem is that once the sugar is processed then our neurotransmitters crash to very low levels and then we feel depressed and lethargic. Thus you now crave more sugar to feel “high” again.
If you are eating sugar on a frequent basis and put your brain through this process repeatedly, eventually the neurotransmitter receptors become desensitized and they can no longer perform their functions on their own. More and more sugar is needed to feel the same result and eventually sugar is needed for the brain to function normally, because the neurotransmitters become depleted.This is called sugar addiction.
This is the exact same process that happens in the brain of an alcoholic or drug addict. Thus, this is why sugar is an addictive drug. Sugar addiction is often the gateway drug that leads to addiction to harder substances. Addiction to sugar is the number one addiction in our society.
Sugar also increases triglycerides and cholesterol, drains our reserves of nutrients to be processed thus causing nutritional deficiencies, weakens the immune system and feeds cancer cells.
This rollercoaster ride that takes place with hormones, blood sugar, neurotransmitters etc. results in a vast number of debilitating symptoms, syndromes and conditions like low blood sugar, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, increased pulse, heart racing, nervousness, impaired memory, and many more; in addition the more serious ones like heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
This is true of all sugar; high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, cane sugar, date sugar, turbinado sugar, white sugar, table sugar, raw sugar, organic cane sugar, organic cane syrup or juice, beet sugar and even all foods that break down into sugar in the body, including whole grains, potatoes and other high starch foods.
Many food manufacturers like Heinz and Gatorade have replaced the high fructose corn syrup in their products with sugar. But you need to be aware that this not any healthier for you.
If none of these facts convince you of the dangers of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, then you may also want to take a look at the following pages for more in depth information on the topic:
Don’t be fooled by the corn industry’s linguistic gymnastics that are apparently designed to deceive and manipulate you and be aware that it doesn’t matter what they are calling it, sugar leads to deterioration in health.
Yes it is true, Sugar is Sugar, but none of them do the body good. Doesn’t matter what form or name it takes.
So learn the facts; be aware and educate your friends, family and neighbors that corn sugar is high fructose corn syrup and even though it is nutritionally equivalent to cane sugar, that doesn’t make it a good or healthy choice. In the fighting match of high fructose corn syrup or corn sugar vs cane sugar, nobody comes out a winner.