High Fructose Corn Syrup

A friend posted a link about Coca Cola Mexico converting to HFCS instead of Sucrose.

Know that Coke made with sucrose is actually about 50% fructose when it hits the shelf (it’s boiled into simple syrup). Sugars in HFCS for sodas is 55% fructose. Honey is also 55% fructose. Pure corn syrup would be 100% glucose.

The reason HFCS is used instead of cane or beet sugar is that, due to subsidies on corn, and 3x import tax on sugars, it’s about 50% cheaper to convert glucose (corn sugar) into fructose (fruit sugar), than to extract sucrose from sugar crops.

Also, fructose tastes sweeter than glucose or sucrose, which means less of it can be used for the same sweetness. Less sugar is better, right?

The risks with fructose are:
A ) Sweets and sweet drinks cause an insulin spike which lasts a lot longer than the sugar absorption. This happens with artificial sweeteners also, so it’s not JUST sugars, but sugars are a little worse. This is the REAL issue with fructose, and it’s not really specific to fructose.

B ) Fructose has to be converted to glucose before you can burn it, so it often is just converted directly to fat instead, which burns much more slowly than glucose. This is a secondary issue, because visceral fat, inside the abdominal wall, builds a little faster, assuming you consume 25% of your calories from fructose. If you’re doing this, you have other problems. It’s not fructose itself.

C ) Some people of European descent are missing the enzyme to break down fructose in the small intestine, which leads to 1 ) reducing water absorption in the large intestine, and 2 ) feeding the bacteria in the large intestine, causing cramping, bloating, and gas. It also can absorb too quickly in the large intestine, causing more of a sugar spike than other sugars. If you eat Fruit, it’s absorbed slowly enough to not be much of a problem unless you suffer from this condition.

Sources are Wikipedia’s list of sources for HFCS, Sucrose, Simple Syrup, Fructose Malabsorption, Fructose, Glucose, and a few other things.

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