What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener developed from cornstarch. On the molecular level, cornstarch is comprised of a chain of joined glucose molecules. When that chain is broken down and the glucose molecules are separated, the resulting simple sugar is corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup, however, comes about when enzymes are added to the corn syrup. Those genetically-modified (GMO) enzymes—alpha-amylase and glucoamylase—convert the glucose (simple sugar) into an even simpler, more heat-stable sugar known as fructose.
These days, high fructose corn syrup is in nearly every product, even those belonging to brands that claim to be “non-GMO” and “all natural.” It doesn’t even matter whether a food item is sweet or savory, this ingredient is so prevalent in even the most common of foods that it takes quite the concerted effort to avoid it. From crackers to juices, from breads to soups, the more convenient and enjoyable the food, the more likely it is brimming with high fructose corn syrup.
With such prevailing and widespread use throughout the standard American diet, is it reasonable to claim that moderate use is “fine,” let alone possible? The answer is no.
In recent years, an ad campaign has made its rounds, trying to impress upon the American public just that—that high fructose corn syrup is “fine in moderation.” While this may sound reasonable to those who understand a life of temperance and self-restraint, it’s still a refusal to acknowledge why a product that has infiltrated virtually every food item in every grocery store across the country is only “fine in moderation.”
Why Even “Not Much” is Too Much
The most talked-about warning regarding high fructose corn syrup is its source. Natural, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) corn is not only priced higher than GMO corn, its supply is significantly lower, as well. Since GMO corn is much cheaper for both the farmer and the consumer and is in such abundant supply, this is precisely why those in the food industry select GMO corn for their high fructose corn syrup products. As a GMO-sourced product, this means that HFCS is unnatural, highly-processed, and chocked full of pesticides.
Genesis 2:7 explains that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” What is unbeknownst to many is that the human body is truly composed of the very same elements as the fruitful soil of the earth. While this amazing fact leads to a great many things worth sharing, what’s most notable in the case of HFCS is this: the human body cannot recognize unnatural, highly-processed, pesticide-ridden products as nutrition.
What the earth naturally produces is the ideal source of nutrition for the human body. Highly-processed and GMO foods are not recognizable to the human system. Animal products are also a severely poor substitute and should really be considered secondhand sources that supply hand-me-down nutrition that can never parallel the nutrient density of plants. As for high fructose corn syrup, the human body will be overly taxed as attempts to convert that false nutriment into an energy source (fat). “The abused stomach is obliged to take them and do the best it can with them” (Manuscript Releases, 10, “The Use of Sugar,” p. 286).
Another uncommon thread of knowledge is that when the human body is only provided false foods, it will demand even more food to make up for the lack of useable nutrients. This leads to cravings, binging, overeating, frequent snacking, an improper eating schedule, weight gain, fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, an imbalanced gut flora, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, chronic pain, insulin resistance, and many more detrimental effects—all of which could quickly lead to obesity, diabetes, candida, impurities in the blood (the conduit to disease), hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart disease.
Several ad campaigns and so-called experts who receive subsidies from high fructose corn syrup producers, claim that HFCS is no different from regular sugar—this is how they came to the conclusion that it, like any other sugar, is “fine in moderation.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. HFCS contains significantly more fructose than table sugar, which is a dangerous and unable-to-ignore difference.
Unlike natural sugars (which truly are “fine” in strict “moderation”), high fructose corn syrup is unique in that, even in moderation, it overwhelms the liver and enhances the rate at which difficult-to-burn fat is formed. Ingesting HFCS not only guarantees useless fat storage, it also induces insulin resistance, which will maintain not merely poor health but the inability to use up that fat storage.
Those who maintain the standard American diet that incorporates the more common packaged, HFCS-filled foods, and who are overweight to any degree, are more likely to suffer from a fatty liver—a condition that generally goes unnoticed but only perpetuates and worsens the weight gain, making lasting weight loss even more difficult, causing hormonal imbalances, as well as inhibiting the vitally-necessary work of the liver and blood.
Thirty-eight years ago (1980), the public was shocked to learn that, on average, they were consuming 39 lbs. of fructose a year. Thirty-eight years later, in 2018, no one seems to bat an eye at the fact that, on average, Americans consume about 170 lbs. of sugar annually—that’s over 25% of the daily caloric intake (with the largest portion being fructose). Perhaps the equally steady and exponential rise in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease is starting to make sense. It should come as no surprise then that, among the many poor dietary habits of Americans, such an intake of high fructose corn syrup is effectively contributing to America’s reputation as being the “sickest country on earth.”
In any case, it should not be overlooked that “the free use of sugar in any form tends to clog the system, and is not unfrequently a cause of disease” (Healthful Living, p. 62).