New research confirms that consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) promotes considerably more weight gain than consumption of the same amount of calories in regular sugar (glucose). Though the study was done on rats, there’s reason to believe they’d get similar results on human beings. Jon happens to be on an endocrinology rotation right now and got the lowdown on why this is from an endocrinologist (they’re the ones who are experts on diabetes and stuff, so they know all about the body and sugar). I thought I’d try to explain it as simply as my simple mind understands.
Basically, when your body breaks down glucose (normal sugar) to make energy, there’s a special mechanism that tells the body to stop processing the glucose once the body has enough energy, and rather than break down the rest of the glucose, the excess just passes out of the body through urine. However, with fructose (found in HFCS), there is no such mechanism to shut it off once you have broken it down into all the energy you need. So the body just keeps breaking down fructose, and the excess gets converted to fat.
Our bodies just weren’t designed for consumption of high fructose corn syrup, and this research (and understanding why they got the results they got) confirms my decision to avoid high fructose corn syrup as much as possible. HFCS is in almost every processed food, probably even in the bread you buy, so start looking at those ingredient labels! If you’re a big soda fan (I like some soda with my whiskey or rum), see if Jones Pure Cane Cola is available in your area. It’s the cola I use at home, and I can find it at my local Harris Teeter. Pepsi and Dr. Pepper are also sometimes available in “throwback” form, and if you can find ’em, they’re sweetened with cane sugar. Right now you might also be able to find “kosher for Passover” Coke, which is also sweetened with real sugar.