I was pretty distraught when I watched this commercial for several reasons.
In this commercial they compare high fructose corn syrup to sugar, the reason why they can do this is because both are lacking in nutritional value. These substances are refined sugars, that have been stripped of their nutrients. High fructose corn syrup is made by extracting the natural sugars in corn and adding chemicals to it. Table sugar starts off as a sugarcane plant, the juice is extracted, boiled, then the sugar is removed. Companies use over 60 chemicals to transform the sugarcane plant into sugar. So, neither of these are natural or healthful substances.
Wait don’t you need sugar to survive? This is true, you need natural sugars like glucose found in vegetables and fructose found in fruit for energy. These sugars are accompanied by fiber which helps the slow absorption of energy. It is the fiber in foods that give us a full feeling, this wonderful nutrient says “hey stop eating we’re done!” But when companies modify foods they strip the sugar from it’s natural context, and there is no fiber accompanying HFCS or sugar to let us know that we are full. When people eat foods that contain these sugars it is very easy to overeat.
This isn’t the only problem caused by these sugars. Another problem is that both these sugars release energy rapidly into the body. The energy is used up quickly and the body is left feeling hungry. A vicious cycle occurs and we need to eat more. When you intake simple carbohydrates and don’t exercise regularly these carbs are stored as fat.
When this commercial states, “fine in moderation,” my head wants to explode. This is because it is very hard to get high fructose corn syrup or sugar in moderation in this country. The average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year.
You may think, I don’t eat sweets very often, I’m below that norm. But both these sugars can be found in bread, ketchup, pasta sauce, soups, orange juice, soy sauce, yogurt, etc. So, even if you don’t consume candy or soda your intake of sugar can be very high, I didn’t notice this until I checked all my food labels. Check your food labels, you’ll see!
The increase is sugar consumption is related to the recent epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity. We are all aware that America as a nation is pretty fat, 2/3 of the adult population is overweight and 1/3 is obese. Not only are we fat, but we are unhealthy too. The average american spends more on medical care than on food. I believe this is because we are an overfed undernourished nation.
Why do people let this happen? Well because sugar is cheap. Corn is one of the most subsidized foods in the country, making HFCS is cheap. If that’s not enough to make you be weary of sugar, listen to this.
The USDA passed a guideline stating that daily calorie intake of sugar “should be limited and below 10%.” The sugar industries threatened to sue, so now the statement has been changed to “use in moderation and about 25% of your daily calorie intake.” One statement treats sugar as something to be used sparingly and the other has a very liberal approach. I would expect that if someones income is depending on you buying sugar they’d want you to be liberal with your sugar intake. They didn’t change the statement because they believe in the quality of their product, they changed the statement because their jobs depend on you eating massive quantities of sugar.
Check your food labels. Every time you buy something at the grocery store you are casting a vote, make it count.