On HFCS and the lies of the corn industry

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mar...

20 tsp vs 140 pounds per year? That's an insane difference. I would also like to know how much sugar the avg person consumed before HFCS was invented just to see that difference.

We could kill hfcs if the Ag lobby would let us import cane sugar from Latin America

bandit0013 wrote:

We could kill hfcs if the Ag lobby would let us import cane sugar from Latin America

No to mention killing off the subsidies we give them..

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

We could kill hfcs if the Ag lobby would let us import cane sugar from Latin America

No to mention killing off the subsidies we give them..

Wait, are you saying that the grown, harvested, transported, processed, transported, mixed, transported and dispensed HFCS in my cola should be -more- expensive than the ice in the cup? Madness!

Had anyone even met a person that fell for those awful "corn sugar"ads?

Wow! I knew the corn industry was trying to do damage control with those "sugar is sugar" ads, but I didn't know to this extent.

This may be a little knee jerk but I certainly am not going to be physically harmed by cutting out soda from my diet. (plus all the juices I buy now are sweetened with cane sugar)

Even without HFCS the average consumption of refined sugar in the west has risen to pretty absurd levels. Perhaps this bloodlust for ever more sweetness is part of what drives the demand for cheaper sweeteners and thus fuels the whole HFCS thing (or at least stops people from complaining). Maybe we should all let our sweet tooth rest a little more, ease off a little ... oh wait no, adjusting our lifestyles can't possibly be the solution - BRING ON THE PILLS TO FIX US!!!

As it stands unless the only food you buy is in the produce section (remember those animals are often fed or force fed corn as well) it's pretty damn hard to "vote no" with your wallet. On the consumer end I'm not really sure how we are supposed to fight it at this point.

Start making those crazy hippy local grown organic types mainstream?

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

We could kill hfcs if the Ag lobby would let us import cane sugar from Latin America

No to mention killing off the subsidies we give them..

Protectionist trade policies -- created and preserved and protected by our Congress -- are killing our children.

I think it will take a second term President to get rid of corn subsidies.

NathanialG wrote:

I think it will take a second term President to get rid of corn subsidies.

Will never happen because the rural, farming states have disproportionate power in the Senate.

He states that HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar, and that it doesn't stimulate insulin or leptin production. This prevents you from triggering the body's signals for being full and may lead to overconsumption of total calories.

Oh gods.... and all this time we were blaming MSG for this effect.

edit: wouldn't be fair not to include the industry's response http://blog.sweetsurprise.com/2011/0...

Whatever their defense, though, I don't see what reason they could have for supporting the subsidies.

Cane sugar's not much better for you tbfh. All refined sugars are basically drugs masquerading as food.

LeapingGnome wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

I think it will take a second term President to get rid of corn subsidies.

Will never happen because the rural, farming states have disproportionate power in the Senate.

Judging by how difficult it is to get any change done in the common agricultural policy in the EU, I guess the correct judgment of the situation would go like this: Ain't gonna happen.

The rise in the consumption of sugar stems from the same source as the rise in salt (and MSG, for that matter) intake - the rise in consumption of highly processed food. Cut out the industrial foods and sodas and most of the HFCS from your diet just disappears.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
He states that HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar, and that it doesn't stimulate insulin or leptin production. This prevents you from triggering the body's signals for being full and may lead to overconsumption of total calories.

Oh gods.... and all this time we were blaming MSG for this effect.

edit: wouldn't be fair not to include the industry's response http://blog.sweetsurprise.com/2011/0...

Whatever their defense, though, I don't see what reason they could have for supporting the subsidies.

The rebuttal article is about half information and half shrug-and-dismiss tactics. When they do bother with facts and studies, it does really seem in their favor, but there's a lot of stuff quoted out of context (still!) almost as if they hope folks don't actually click on the links and read the reports they're citing. Further, the rebuttal really fails one of the first laws of debate - motive. Is there a reason people would be hellbent on attacking high fructose corn syrup to the point of distorting and/or inventing facts? I can't think of one, but it doesn't mean one doesn't exist.

I have already cut lots of sugar out of my diet with obvious positive results but what exactly are we looking for on labels to cut out HFCS.

for example on the once in a blue moon snickers bar I ate and still have the rapper. The sugar is just labeled 'Sugar' so assuming in Canada i'm guessing its the Corn variety. Also 'Corn syrup' I would assume is the other.

Sugar in the SF bay area at least, is typically listed as cane sugar now. Or at least that is a way to promote your non-hfcs products.

jowner wrote:

I have already cut lots of sugar out of my diet with obvious positive results but what exactly are we looking for on labels to cut out HFCS.

for example on the once in a blue moon snickers bar I ate and still have the rapper. The sugar is just labeled 'Sugar' so assuming in Canada i'm guessing its the Corn variety. Also 'Corn syrup' I would assume is the other.

I don't believe they are allowed to label HFCS as "sugar". I think "sugar" has to be sucrose.

jowner wrote:

I have already cut lots of sugar out of my diet with obvious positive results but what exactly are we looking for on labels to cut out HFCS.

for example on the once in a blue moon snickers bar I ate and still have the rapper. The sugar is just labeled 'Sugar' so assuming in Canada i'm guessing its the Corn variety. Also 'Corn syrup' I would assume is the other.

Watch for: chicory, isoglucose, glucose-fructose syrup, inulin, fruit fructose, dextrose(or derivatives), corn syrup. corn sugar, or anything named corn. There are probably more, but those are the ones that occur off the top of my head.

Bonus info: if you are cutting down sugars for health purposes, watch out for sugar alcohols (e.g., malitol) in supposedly sugar-free foods like Atkins-labeled products.

In the US, the HFCS is listed in the ingredients.

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I think HFCS is probably not great for the previously argued reasons, but I think the bigger truth is that sugar isn't that great and that as people have mentioned, the biggest problem with HFCS is that it's just so cheap.

I'm not sure where I stand since nutrition is such a muddled science, but I tend to believe the argument that carbohydrates in general (sugar, bread, grains, etc) of the non-whole variety are not great and that we consume them in much too high numbers. This messes up your insulin and body responses to hunger, consumption, fat storage, etc. Around 100 grams of carbohydrates (not all at once) is probably a good amount to get while the Daily Recommended Value is 300 grams.

One 12oz Coca Cola has around 30g of carbohydrates, 2 slices of white bread has about 25g, 1.5oz potato chip bag has about 22g. Eat all that at lunch and you've got almost 80g of carbohydrates and all at once. Those are small sizes of each thing too.

source: http://nutritiondata.self.com

Tagged.

Nutrition is as dark and complex as religion, and indeed most people treat it in the same way: there are often "sinful" foods (carbs, fat, processed, aspartame, red meat, cheese, eggs, etc), with a secret code for being healthy.

My religion is "mass = (calories in) - (calories out)", which while mathematically accurate only answers the problem of weight, not full nutritional health.

Until we have the technology and knowledge to let us create personalized nutrition plans according to your genetics I imagine nutrition will remain the sketchy and hazy field it has become.

It's not necessarily the fault of the scientists, it's just a field in which quack marketing, snake oil sales people and tinfoil hatters run amok. Putting a stop to all of that is rather difficult when the field itself is still setting up its foundations and (at best) trying to determine and improve a sort of vague one size fits all general guideline.

trying to determine and improve a sort of vague one size fits all general guideline.

Ah, yes, the BMI...

Seth wrote:

Nutrition is as dark and complex as religion, and indeed most people treat it in the same way: there are often "sinful" foods (carbs, fat, processed, aspartame, red meat, cheese, eggs, etc), with a secret code for being healthy.

My religion is "mass = (calories in) - (calories out)", which while mathematically accurate only answers the problem of weight, not full nutritional health.

Not sure if it even answers the problem of weight:

http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v1...

I think we still know very little about how our bodies absorb what we put into it.

Case in point: a whole lot of straight up bullsh*t obfuscating what is at heart a simple mathematical equation.

I don't think it is; the point of the study is to show that the form of the food affects how many calories we get from it. crunchy/solid foods seem to be less readily absorbed by the gut, providing us with fewer calories than the same exact food in a softer/liquid form. Another article (originally from newscientist.com) about this point, and the problem with the way we measure calories in general:

http://www.rdasia.com/the-calorie-de...

Re: HFCS
Here's a great Robert Lustig talk on why fructose and by extension HFCS are super bad for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnni...

Incidentally it's worth noting that sucrose, HFCS, honey and agave syrup are all essentially the same substance; a roughly 50-50 split of Fructose and Glucose.

Seth wrote:

My religion is "mass = (calories in) - (calories out)", which while mathematically accurate only answers the problem of weight, not full nutritional health.

This actually explains nothing. Not least because the total amount of energy in the system is not the only operant factor. If it were really the case why don't sedentary people on 4000 calorie per day diets limitlessly put on weight? People on 2000 calorie a day low-carb diets hold a steady weights while people on 2000 calories of refined carbohydrate diets will put on weight. Such a simple calorie subtraction can't explain either of those two cases. There are a wide array of complicating, hormonal and digestive factors that do complicate that kind of simple "equation" and that is why nutrition science is a complex and dark art.

Absorption by food type is another layer of complexity but really it just requires a more precise wording of the equation. That is, despite our errors in measurement and labeling the formula will still boil down "mass = (calories absorbed) - (calories burned)", specifically at the rate of roughly 3500 calories per excess pound of fat stored in our bodies.

krev82 wrote:

The formula will still boil down "mass = (calories absorbed) - (calories burned)"

Quite simply no it won't, and trying to force the data to conform to this "theory" is part of what makes the whole subject seem/appear so confusing. You only need to look at people whose weight stabilises even in the face of eating more calories than they are utilising per day. That happens to just about everyone who puts on weight, we all have these plateaus. If the system were really just driven by that equation why do these plateaus exist? A case study in the original Atkins book is of one patient with a 5000 calorie a day diet who still loses weight. Both those kinds of observation demonstrate that said equation is fundamentally not what is going on inside people's bodies, specifically that such a hypothesis of metabolism is incorrect. Maybe, although I doubt it, it's a useful rule of thumb to live by for an average person eating a well balanced diet but you shouldn't mistake a useful yardstick for an understanding of the actual process.

The fundamental issue is this; your body does not deal in calories. There is no calorimeter in your gut, bloodstream, liver or brain. Your body is not capable of taking reading on how many calories your are eating or using. What you body does have is receptors for a wide variety substances; for proteins, for fats, for different types of sugars. And associated with each receptor is a distinct (although interlinked) chemical and hormonal pathway for dealing with each of these substances. If you actually want to understand weight gain you have to understand the different pathways and effects for each type of substance. And that point is at the root of what the Lustig talk I linked is all about.

We've lived with this equation as a truism for 50+ years now and that's a period where obesity has flourished. We clearly got it wrong with that hypothesis. It is time to move on to a more nuanced and correct understanding of the system.

DanB wrote:

Re: HFCS
Here's a great Robert Lustig talk on why fructose and by extension HFCS are super bad for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnni...

Incidentally it's worth noting that sucrose, HFCS, honey and agave syrup are all essentially the same substance; a roughly 50-50 split of Fructose and Glucose.

Seth wrote:

My religion is "mass = (calories in) - (calories out)", which while mathematically accurate only answers the problem of weight, not full nutritional health.

This actually explains nothing. Not least because the total amount of energy in the system is not the only operant factor. If it were really the case why don't sedentary people on 4000 calorie per day diets limitlessly put on weight? People on 2000 calorie a day low-carb diets hold a steady weights while people on 2000 calories of refined carbohydrate diets will put on weight. Such a simple calorie subtraction can't explain either of those two cases. There are a wide array of complicating, hormonal and digestive factors that do complicate that kind of simple "equation" and that is why nutrition science is a complex and dark art.

This is the kind of flat out lies - usually preached by or to the obese community - that serves to muddy the conversation. Show me five examples of people on a 4000 calore diet that are sedentary with a bmi under 22. The fact of the matter is that the human brain is largely incapable of estimating calorie amounts when the portons grow too large.

There may be MINOR, MINOR variations in metabolism but what you are describing is absolutely the result of the obese community trying to find a scapegoat for the consequences of lifestyle.

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