The Sugar in Most Foods is Not Natural Sugar
Real sugar, from cane or beets, is expensive to import. That’s why countries without real sugar, make it from other stuff.
The United States, Canada and the UK consume a lot of sugar and don’t have enough real sugar to meet their needs. A complicated series of transformations involving enzymes and fungi can process corn into a sugar substitute called high fructose corn syrup (known as “glucose/fructose” in Canada and “glucose fructose syrup” in the UK).
It is almost exactly like real sugar. Almost.
The safety of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a hot debate in health circles. Food manufacturers say that it is almost exactly like real sugar and there is no proof that it is any worse for you than real sugar. Other experts point to a key difference between natural sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup. It’s very technical, but I’ll try to simplify it.
Sucrose and HFCS are both made up of glucose and fructose, which is why the food manufacturers say they’re almost the same. The key difference is that sucrose contains a bond between glucose and fructose, while HFCS does not. Because of this bond, your body must break it down before it can be utilized. In high fructose corn syrup, there is no bond — allowing it to be utilized more easily.
When you have more energy than you can burn, it gets stored as fat. A high absorption of sugar can also lead to insulin resistance and then diabetes.
Pay attention to the type of sugar in your food, it’s important. You might be surprised by how many things contain high fructose corn syrup. Some examples include: yogurt, breakfast cereals, granola bars, crackers and of course things like soda/pop and cookies. But, for all of these products, there are brands with natural sugar. Even manufacturers are starting to pay attention, Pepsi is currently offering Pepsi and Mountain “Throwback.” They’re just like their normal drinks, but made with real sugar — a throwback to the good ol’ days.
Remember that if you’re not in the USA, high fructose corn syrup is called glucose/fructose or glucose-fructose syrup.
Photo: *MarS (cc)