High Fructose Corn Syrup Harms Your Brain, Appetite
There’s a good reason why high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — the stealth ingredient found in most processed foods — is fueling the epidemic of obesity and harming the health of countless Americans.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered how the presence of HFCS in foods can affect your brain and appetite.
Researchers discovered the link while comparing MRIs and blood samples taken from 20 healthy adult patients after consuming cherry-flavored drinks containing equal amounts of glucose or fructose over several months.
The biggest difference was found in the hypothalamus (related to regional cerebral blood flow) shortly after patients consumed those drinks. In just 15 minutes, fructose activated a spike in the brain that prompted hunger. Conversely, brain activity fell when patients consumed the glucose drink.
How does this happen? Although glucose and fructose may look the same molecularly, consuming fructose produces smaller amounts of satiety hormones (that promote a feeling of fullness) and increases food intake, making you fatter and unhealthier by the day.
Some on the side of food lobbying argue fructose by itself in processed foods isn’t enough to fuel an epidemic of obesity, and that eating less is the simplest, best solution.
However, health experts point out in this Scientific American piece, “Hunger and fullness are major determinants of how much humans eat, just as thirst determines how much humans drink. These sensations cannot be willed away or ignored.”
Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Going Away?
Weaning your body away from processed foods unnaturally sweetened with HFCS is imperative to your optimal health. Apparently, some folks have already begun to do it, according to recent projections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The amount of corn used to make HFCS this year will drop to its lowest levels since 1997, a good sign Americans are paying closer attention to food labels and limiting their use of processed foods altogether.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. Despite greater awareness, consumers are eating more sugar than ever. Intake of the sweet stuff has increased nearly 9 percent to 185 calories per day.
When you’re in doubt about choosing the best foods for your health — that means fewer processed sugars — remember my golden rule: If it comes in a bag or a box and you got it from the inside aisles of your neighborhood grocery store, chances are good that it’s processed and has little value to sustain a superb level of health.
With all of the distractions and mistruths out there, however, you may be having a tough time making optimal health a priority in your life, and need help from a trained medical professional to get you there.
After receiving your email request, we can schedule a free, 10-minute phone consultation, at your convenience, to help us get acquainted, and begin to your journey to a healthier, more naturally sweeter you.