Monday, April 12, 2010

Stick to coffee, tea or water; skip the liquid HFCS sugar

Tags: High Fructose Corn Sugar, Obesity, Wrinkles, Impotence, Heart Disease, and Memory Loss

Appeared in print: Monday, Mar 22, 2010

... Drinking liquid sugar is like extending an invitation to obesity, wrinkles, impotence, heart disease and memory loss. So for now, if the drink has calories in it, leave it in the can. ...

Sucrose or cane or beet sugar was not used in large quantities in prepared foods because it could crystallize out during cold storage and can lead to spoilage on storage. Treating carbohydrates such as corn starch with an enzyme to produce glucose was well known, but has only 60% of the sweetness of fructose so a new expensive enzyme was found which produced High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS was still too expensive to compete with table sugar or sucrose. Two Japanese scientists in 1971 found a relatively cheap way to convert corn to fructose and glucose at varying ratios by attaching the enzyme to a substrate in a column so this enzyme could be re-used. The High Fructose Corn Syrup has 55% Fructose and 45% Glucose or HFCS. But imported cane sugar was very cheap so it could still not compete with regular sugar compose of 50:5O Fructose-Glucose called sucrose which most plants make.

As often done by the Reagan and Bush administration, profits for corporations trumps all other considerations including safety or health of the American consumers. So they started in the mid-eighties to heavily subsidize corn and ban imports of sugar by imposing a heavy tariff and they declared HFCS SAFE without testing just like they did not test GMO corn and soybeans for our safety. The liquid high fructose corn syrup had one very big advantage over table sugar. It could be added to foods frozen after preparation without sugar crystallizing out which was a god-send to producers of prepared foods.

We all have a sweet tooth so producers started putting it into just about all prepared foods and fast foods or as a sauce or dip or dressing. It is almost impossible to eat at most restaurants and fast food joints without taking a large dose of HFCS.

The big problem is that our bodies did not develop a good way to handle large amounts of fructose in the liver and glucose with Insulin. But the HFCS causes obesity because it prevents our appetite satiation to shut down our hunger hormone Ghrelin from our belly Omentum so we keep eating until we are stuffed. We eat more when we are distracted from the eating process by television.

Chewing your food 20 times before swallowing is one way to eat slow enough to not overeat providing you skip soft drinks and other high HFCS sugar containing stuff such as fruit juices. Apple juice and oranges juices don't tell you how much fructose you are taking in. Obviously it is enough to make Americans the fattest people on the planet with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failures, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

ABC has a show where Jamie, a Chef is trying to get the very obese people in Huntington, West Virginia to change what they are eating by learning to cook easy to prepare good food. Even our government guideline for school lunches lists French Fries as one of the necessary vegetables. Of course our Dept of Agriculture does not support the farmers, but support the guys who make the most money from the food farmers grow. Just five companies are involved directly in providing the raw material for all foods we eat.
But they also give us to have another big load of sugar from carbohydrates by stripping fibers from grain flour to cut cooking time and easy frozen storage. In a more recent article Roizen and Oz of ABC's 3 PM ET/PT very popular daily health show, they write about all the dangerous fibers these corporations are adding to make profits.

Jim Kawakami, April 12, 2010,

Dr Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic and Dr Oz of Columbia University
We recently received a letter touting the new measures that a giant beverage company is taking to “support first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to combat obesity.”

The company is putting labels on the front of its sugary sodas that state the calorie contents of the entire can or bottle. Until now, the calories were listed “per serving” and appeared somewhere on the side or back.

It’s not enough. Shifting those stats front and center may appear more honest and transparent, but it sure doesn’t make these products any healthier.

If a company wanted to be upfront, then the damage or aging that the beverage does should be on its front.

For example: “Drink a six-pack of this a day and make your arteries 12 years older and your memory disappear nine years earlier, and be 26 pounds heavier in just five years.”

It’s not just sodas that are loaded with sugar and calories — and we mean loaded. One can of soda packs 10 teaspoons of sugar. Other drinks that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or just plain, old-fashioned sugar — many iced teas, fruit drinks, lemonade, energy-boosters and sports drinks — help deliver 47 percent of all the added sugar we consume.

To make matters worse, the sheer quantity of soft drinks guzzled has skyrocketed a staggering 500 percent in the past 50 years. How much are we swigging? In 2008, the beverage industry pumped out 47 gallons of soda for each American (yes, gallons).

All that liquid sugar isn’t just making us fat. It’s also increasing our risk for deadly diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. So don’t be fooled by soda labels that appear to bare all. Stick with these smart sips instead:

Water: It keeps you hydrated, has zero calories and costs nothing, so make it your go-to beverage. Think you need to down eight glasses a day? Maybe not, though it certainly won’t hurt. The latest word on water is that unless you sweat up a storm in the gym or live in a sweltering climate, thirst is the best indicator of how much you need. Keep your water habit environmentally friendly by toting your own reusable water bottle instead of filling landfills with disposable ones.

Tea (green and black): More people worldwide drink tea than any other libation, aside from water.

That’s good news, because it’s one heart-smart drink. Downing three or more cups a day has been shown to decrease heart attack risk by 11 percent.

Catechins, which are a type of health-helping flavonoid found in tea, keep your ticker healthy by boosting production of nitric oxide, a compound that keeps blood vessels nice and relaxed. When you drink your tea, just be sure to do it Asian-style — minus the milk. The proteins in milk bind to tea’s catechins, making them less active, according to a study in the European Heart Journal.

Coffee: Unless you’re a woman who is either pregnant or trying to be, a couple of daily cups of Joe are perfectly safe. In fact, they may even be good for you.

Coffee has been shown to help fend off colon cancer and Parkinson’s disease. It also can slash your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. It turns out that java is a prime source of chlorogenic acid, a compound believed to slow glucose absorption during digestion.

A hint of fruit juice: In a perfect world, we’d all hydrate sans sugar. But when you just can’t live without some sweet refreshment, turn to 100 percent fruit juice, since it’s got vitamins and minerals as well as sugar (in the form of fructose, but that’s still sugar).

We YOU Docs especially like juices that are also fortified either with calcium and vitamin D or with heart-healthy omega-3s. Just keep servings on the small side — no more than 6 ounces a day — to keep the sugar hit down. (I was drinking 24 ounces a day! Jim)

Drinking liquid sugar is like extending an invitation to obesity, wrinkles, impotence, heart disease and memory loss. So for now, if the drink has calories in it, leave it in the can.

The YOU Docs — Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz — are authors of “YOU: On a Diet.” Want more? See “The Dr. Oz Show” weekdays on KEZI. To submit questions and find ways to grow younger and healthier, go to, the docs’ online home.

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