Told you so.

Huffington Post

They found that the “rats with 12-h access to HFCS gained significantly more body weight than animals given equal access to 10% sucrose, even though they consumed the same number of total calories, but fewer calories from HFCS than sucrose.”

Findings of the long-term research weren’t all that different: Over roughly half a year, both male and female rats that had access to the corn syrup “gained significantly more body weight than control groups.”

And the bad news didn’t stop there. The researchers write that the additional body weight with high fructose corn syrup “was accompanied by an increase in adipose fat, notably in the abdominal region, and elevated circulating triglyceride levels.”

Percentage of high fructose corn syrup in Americans’ daily caloric intake: 7

Percentage of U.S. caloric sweeteners made from high-fructose corn syrup: ~40

Year [pdf] high fructose corn syrup became available in the U.S. food supply: 1967

How much U.S. consumption of high fructose corn syrup rose between 1970 and 1990: 1,000%

Percentage of obese Americans, 1960-1962: 13.4

Percentage of obese Americans in 2005-2006: 35.1

Approximate number of obese Americans, 2007-2008: 1 in 3

In 2006, how many U.S. government subsidies went to corn: $4,920,813,719

Check out the article for links.

Grist

A picture is worth a thousand words.

But here are a few:

“According to this analysis, we eat something like 30 percent more grain than we should–presumably mainly in the form of bread–and 20 percent too much meat. Meanwhile, we’re eating just 80 percent of the vegetables we should be, 60 percent of the dairy, and 40 percent of the fruit.

Another way to put it is like this: from a dietary perspective, we’re overproducing (and consuming) wheat and meat, and underproducing (and consuming) fruits and vegetables.”

Federal policies of subsidies for meat, corn, soy have created this unhealthy food environment and everything connected to it. Meat has become both cheap and of poor quality. Not to mention the pollution of water tables from factory farm runoffs, chemicals in our food and our water, GMO, hormones, antibiotics and on and on.

Perhaps Americans need to practice frugal eating from a time when a nice cut of meat was a special occasion indulgence rather than a several times daily occurrence. We don’t need to consume like the farmer that did hard labor from sun up to sun down. If our lives are less physical, we need to modify our diets accordingly.

Less meat. Less refined pasta, rice and bread. Whole grains instead of white rice, white flour and white sugar. Desserts for special occasions instead of every day for lunch and dinner. (And breakfast if you count cereals, pastries and donuts). More vegetables and fruits. Start dinner with a soup, then have a salad, by the time you get to the entre, you don’t want a big steak, or even any steak. And fruit for desert.

Maybe limit it to a pork roast or prime rib on Sundays only. A nice chicken during the week. And fish. The rest of the meals are soups, salads, beans, whole grains.

And make everything with ingredients you trust rather than buying pre-processed, pre-packed convenience and fast food.

We might find we not only are eating our fill, but are feeling better and better. Maybe even losing a few pounds. And we can all stand to lose a few pounds.

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6 Responses to Told you so.

  1. If you haven’t already, you should see the presentation by Dr. Robert Lustig on the detrimental effects of fructose. Actually, the presentation is kind of long, but I include a link to a PDF containing some of the slides in a post on “Obesity, HFCS, and fatty liver disease in children (as well as increased heart disease risk)” – http://amidthemaddingcrowd.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/obesity-hfcs-and-fatty-liver-disease/

    More info on fructose at http://amidthemaddingcrowd.wordpress.com/tag/fructose/.

  2. davidyochim says:

    Interesting information here. I wonder how much impact the government imposed tarrifs on white sugar have on the widespread use of high fructose corn syrup. And is a calorie just a calorie as some would say, in regards to carbs. Or is there a difference between sugar and HFCS.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      No, a calorie is not a calorie and there is a difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

      The liver doesn’t recognize high fructose corn syrup as a food. That’s a red flag right there.

      And government tariffs have plenty of influence. The reason HFCS was substituted for sugar was because the price of sugar increased. HFCS is a cheap substitute. But if you stop consuming it you can detect the difference. I stopped drinking low fat chocolate milk because it has HFCS in it. Also eliminated it from the rest of my diet. After 6 months I tried to drink a carton of chocolate milk. I just about gagged. It was awful.

      I’ve also reduced my consumption of sugat, but I’ll eat something with sugar over something with HFCS. Beware anything you wouldn’t find in your pantry or that your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. To me, if it takes a lot of technology to produce it (like HFCS) then it’s not a food.

  3. davidyochim says:

    The government imposed tarrifs on sugar would have a definite impact on costs. Would there be a correlation between the obesity epidemic beginning about the same time tarrifs were imposed on sugar? And theoretically, if tarrifs were dropped, there by lowering the cost of white sugar and manufacturers began using it again, would we see any drop in obesity?

    Is it not ironic, that there are more low fat, low carb, high protein, non-fat, sugar free….items for consumption today than there have ever been, yet people are at their fattest.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      The tariffs protect American sugar manufacturers from being undercut by cheap imported sugar. Personally, I have no problem with a tariff that evens that playing field. I don’t want cheap (and probably toxic) Chinese sugar being purchased over domestic sugar. (Google honey smuggling and read about the Chinese honey being smuggled in to undercut domestic honey production. It’s barely better than the toxic dog food. Personally, I’d like to see all products from China banned, but Americans crave cheap goods.)

      Would eliminating the tariffs help?

      Maybe.

      They’d do several things.

      One is that it might eliminate HFCS as an ingredient if sugar costs the same or less. Yes, sugar is bad but HFCS is worse. And HFCS is in stuff that never had sugar. Luckily some food companies are eliminating HFCS as a marketing ploy because they know there is a growing population that doesn’t want to consume it. Unfortunately HFCS also enhances taste, extends shelf life and is cheap. It also may be addictive, causing you to consume more.

      If HFCS is eliminated and sugar is more expensive to use, then the cost of products with sugar may go up. Will this result in less sugar containing products being consumed as a cost saving measure? Maybe, but I doubt it.

      What may happen is an even cheaper sweetener may be substituted for both sugar and HFCS. And whatever that is may be even more toxic to us. And it may take even longer to discover that it is. After all, look how long it took to determine that HFCS is toxic. And there are still some that don’t believe it.

      As for the low fat, low salt, low sugar whatevers, how many there are and why we aren’t losing weight, there are many reasons. One is trade off. When you lower fat you often increase salt to make up for it. Lower the salt? Fat or sugar are increased. Then there are the chemicals that are creating these Frankenfoods. Just as HFCS or something else can be substituted for sugar for a sweet taste, that doesn’t mean the body can process it the same or even better. I have to question whether the very fact that these Frankenfoods are being consumed is causing obesity.

      If we ate like our Great Grandparents ate, home cooking with quality ingredients, would we have the obesity problem we have? If dessert was a rare splurge rather than a three times a day regular obsession, if we only ate a good cut of meat once or twice a week, if we didn’t consume soda, sports drinks or juices but substitute plain water instead, if we had a bowl of soup and a salad before our entree every night for dinner, thus reducing our portions, if all portions were reduced, if we used whole grain stone ground flour instead of refined and bleached white flour, brown rice instead of Uncle Ben’s converted white rice. You get the picture.

      In Defense of Food, Michael Pollen
      The Omnivore’s Dilema, Michael Pollen
      Food Rules, Michael Pollen.

  4. Thanks for the replies. A couple of quick comments (then off to work!).

    Definition of sugar. Because of fear of foreign competition, U.S. sugar producers were the ones to get the government to define sugar as being only the most refined sugars. That is, all of the “plant material” had to be removed (meaning all of the fiber, nutrients, etc.).

    HFCS. In a 1993 article by John S. White, a scientist who does research for the Corn Refiners Association, said that 55% fructose HFCS (he calls it HFS) overtook 42% fructose as the predominant form of HFCS. Crystalline fructose is, if I read correctly, 90-95% fructose. I’ll try to find the citation again. (And brown sugar? I always thought it was less refined. Nowadays, for consistency’s sake, most brown sugar is reportedly made by taking refined sugar and putting the molasses back in!)

    Also, fructose malabsorption and fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Not only can it cause irritable bowel syndrome, but some studies have shown that what Lustig describes in terms of de novo lipidogenesis happens when the amount of fructose in the diet exceeds the amount of glucose. (Perhaps the tipping point was increasing fructose content of HFCS from 42% to 55%….)

    I’m trying to put together a bibliography of articles I’ve found. While numbers are not necessarily an indication of validity, I think the fact that so many researchers are finding connections between “added sugars” (incl. both HFCS and sucrose) and health effects being published in the peer-reviewed says something.

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