Why corn sugar is NOT the same as cane sugar! -Kitchen Clean-Out Part II

I’m sure you’ve all seen the latest ad campaign from big ag trying to convince the American public that HFCS is safe and just the same as any other sugar. The last campaign had a series of teenagers and mothers eating popsicles and boxed breakfast cereal telling us that in moderation HFCS is just fine. Wonder why we don’t see those anymore? I’m thinking they did a word study and found that using the term High Fructose Corn Syrup wasn’t fooling anyone. Now they have a rural father wandering through a corn field telling us that corn sugar and cane sugar are treated the same in the body- sugar is sugar. Of course, this latest campaign is all about applying more innocuous terminology to prevent the slide of the American consumer away from boosting their market share.

Let’s break down the semantics shall we?

Sucrose is the form of sugar that the American public consumed until about the 1970’s.  It came from beet root and cane sugar.  Sucrose is about 50/50 glucose and fructose, but it is important to note here that the fructose is often bound to fiber- as in fruit- or other sugars rather than all on its own.  Starch is broken down in the human body to Glucose, which provides cellular energy.  The use of Glucose happens in all our cells all across the body, however, only the liver can metabolize Fructose.  This different type of metabolism makes Fructose more easily converted to fat than any other sugar and it also raises triglyceride levels.

Fructose is a relatively new form of sugar coming from corn- corn syrup, Fructose, Dextrose, Dextrine and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Fructose became the go-to sugar in this country because it was easy to produce, cheap, easy to store, very soluble and mixes well with foods.

The issue here becomes one of ratios- Sucrose contains 50/50 glucose and fructose.  Most of the Fructose we get comes from HFCS which tends to have a ration of 80/20 Fructose to Glucose.  So, what’s the big deal which “ose” we eat when it comes to sugar?

Studies have been done on different types of sugar.  It was found that fructose inhibits the production of collagen and elastin.  I’m sure we’ve all heard about sugar causing increased aging…. collagen and elastin are the two things you want your body to keep producing to prevent wrinkles!  More importantly, it has been found to cause female rats to resorb their litters, it appears to cause damage to the heart and liver by preventing the absorption of vital nutrients such as magnesium, copper and chromium.  Worse, is the deficit created during digestion.  When the body attempts to digest something (HFCS) that is highly refined and has lost many of its original nutrients, instead of passing the substance on through, it searches its own tissues for the missing pieces and “borrows” them so that digestion can be accomplished.  Each time we eat these partial foods, we become more and more robbed and deficient of nutrients. We’re not even getting in to the discussion of how HFCS is made and the problems that arise there!  That’s for another day I think….

The worst news for diabetics though is that for a while the medical industry believed that Fructose was better than Glucose.  Unfortunately, Fructose reduces insulin sensitivity…. the very thing that signifies Type II Diabetes!

So…. what does this entail in the kitchen clean-out?  You’d be surprised!  Check your catsup, barbeque sauce, fruit juice and favorite fish sticks.  If you’ve never looked before, you’ll be shocked what foods contain corn oil and HFCS beyond our obvious soda!!  Stick to the foods that contain whole natural sugars if you must have sweets…. a whole apple, cane sugar sweetened tea, etc…… and try to keep them to a minimum.


About Dawn Combs @ Mockingbird Meadows

I am a stay at home mom, homesteader and practicing herbalist who owns and operates an herbal health farm. I raise bees and medicinal herbs and am passionate about teaching others how to use herbs for health in their everyday lives.
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