Fructose Corn Syrup: A Simple Carbohydrate?

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High fructose corn syrup is a simple carbohydrate also known as a monosaccharide. Sweet corn kernels are harvested and converted into starch by using caustic soda. Typically, cornstarch is 93% to 96% glucose. Because pure corn syrup is not sweet enough for food manufacturing, food processors add Enzymes to convert glucose into fructose, which changes the molecular structure. The exact ratio of glucose to fructose depends on the manufacturing process. Researchers from Princeton University concluded that the composition is about 42% glucose, 55% fructose, and 3% large sugar molecules. In HFCS, glucose and fructose occur in free form meaning they are not chemically bonded to each other. According to Dr. Kylie Kavanagh an assistant professor …show more content…
Shreela Sharma, a registered dietitian and associate professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, affirms that HFCS is a unique health threat because it is metabolized differently in the body. She states, “these small differences ultimately do end up making a big difference". Researchers at Princeton University determined that HCFS added to a normal diet in animals increased belly fat and circulating blood fats when it was consumed over a long period. These animal studies mimic human risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. According to the study by University of Southern California, sodas such as Pepsi, Sprite, and Coke from L.A. grocery stores and fast food restaurants contained a fructose-to-glucose ratio of roughly 65% to 35%. (Butler) Fructose does not send an insulin impulse signal to the brain notifying when someone is full according to Dr. Kathleen Page, an expert on diabetes and obesity and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. (Thompson) Both Sharma and Kavanagh believe that since HFCS is processed in the body differently than cane sugar because it promotes overeating and obesity. In 2009, The Minneapolis-based nonprofit Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) found mercury in over 30% of tested products containing HFCS. Mercury damages the brain, liver, and

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