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The Scoop on High Fructose Corn Syrup

If you keep up with the news on sugars, you have probably heard about high fructose corn syrup.

Yes, I realize that sugars do not affect gluten free vegan eating, but I feel that sugars are an important element of our diet to understand.  And high fructose corn syrup is especially problematic in our diets.

On of my favorite go-to experts, Dr. Mark Hyman (who use to be a resident doctor in the tiny town in Idaho where I live!), has an excellent article on the subject I would like to share:

5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill Youmarkhyman-header

Here are 5 reasons you should stay way from any product containing high fructose corn syrup and why it may kill you.  

1. Sugar in any form causes obesity and disease when consumed in pharmacologic doses. Cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup are indeed both harmful when consumed in pharmacologic doses of 140 pounds per person per year.When one 20 ounce HFCS sweetened soda, sports drink, or tea has 17 teaspoons of sugar (and the average teenager often consumes two drinks a day) we are conducting a largely uncontrolled experiment on the human species.Our hunter gatherer ancestors consumed the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per year, not per day.

2. HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body. High fructose corn syrup is an industrial food product and far from “natural” or a naturally occurring substance. The sugars are extracted through a chemical enzymatic process resulting in a chemically and biologically novel compound called HFCS. Some basic biochemistry will help you understand this. Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts.The enzymes in your digestive tract must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose, which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose. And HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of the government farm bill corn subsidies. Products with HFCS are sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. This allowed for the average soda size to balloon from 8 ounces to 20 ounces with little financial costs to manufacturers but great human costs of increased obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease.Now back to biochemistry. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which affects 70 million people.The rapidly absorbed glucose triggers big spikes in insulin–our body’s major fat storage hormone. Both these features of HFCS lead to increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more…

High doses of free fructose have been proven to literally punch holes in the intestinal lining allowing nasty byproducts of toxic gut bacteria and partially digested food proteins to enter your blood stream and trigger the inflammation that we know is at the root of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and accelerated aging. Naturally occurring fructose in fruit is part of a complex of nutrients and fiber that doesn’t exhibit the same biological effects as the free high fructose doses found in “corn sugar”.

3. HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA. An FDA researcher asked corn producers to ship a barrel of high fructose corn syrup in order to test for contaminants. …”.When HFCS is run through a chemical analyzer or a chromatograph, strange chemical peaks show up that are not glucose or fructose. What are they? Who knows? This certainly calls into question the purity of this processed form of super sugar.

4. Independent medical and nutrition experts DO NOT support the use of HFCS in our diet, despite the assertions of the corn industry. The corn industry’s happy looking websites www.cornsugar.com and www.sweetsurprise.com bolster their position that cane sugar and corn sugar are the same by quoting experts, or should we say misquoting … Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has published widely on the dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks and their contribution to the obesity epidemic. In a review of HFCS in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,(ii)he explains the mechanism by which the free fructose may contribute to obesity…., calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric over-consumption.”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 over-consumption of total calories.

True pharmacologic doses of any kind of sugar are harmful, but the biochemistry of different kinds of sugar and their respective effects on absorption, appetite, and metabolism are different, and Dr. Popkin knows that.

5. HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease-creating industrial food products or “food-like substances”. The last reason to avoid products that contain HFCS is that they are a marker for poor-quality, nutritionally-depleted, processed industrial food full of empty calories and artificial ingredients. If you find “high fructose corn syrup” on the label you can be sure it is not a whole, real, fresh food full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Stay away if you want to stay healthy. We still must reduce our overall consumption of sugar, but with this one simple dietary change you can radically reduce your health risks and improve your health….

Dr. Hyman concludes his article with these two points:

  • We are consuming HFCS and sugar in pharmacologic quantities never before experienced in human history–140 pounds a year versus 20 teaspoons a year 10,000 years ago.

  • High fructose corn syrup is always found in very poor-quality foods that are nutritionally vacuous and filled with all sorts of other disease promoting compounds, fats, salt, chemicals, and even mercury.

Very long quote, but worth it if you are interested in the true about HFCS!!



Dr. Mark Hyman: What I Learned from the Gluten Summit

Over the last weeks, I have been sharing information from the speakers at the Gluten Summit. Today I would like to share the interview with Dr. Mark Hyman.

Gluten Summit 2013A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit

Presenter: Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
A “Functional Approach” to Lifestyle
Can Transform Your Body

NOTE:  Dr. Mark Hyman’s book, UltraMind Solution was instrumental in helping me find help BEFORE I was diagnosed with Gluten Intolerance.

  • Sugar, not fat, is causing more health problems  and sugar, in the form of flour, is a big source of sugar in our diet.

Fat makes you thin. And, sugar makes you fat. And, sugar in the form of flour is one of the biggest sources of sugar in our diet.

The way in which we grind the flour, the way in which it’s grown, the super starch molecules that are in it–the amylopectin-A–because of the genetic hybridization creating a dwarf wheat strain that’s got a much higher starch content, the average whole wheat bread today has more sugar content than sugar. So, if you have two tablespoons of whole wheat bread, you’re going to raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar. And, most people don’t get that. And, once you get that you’re going to change your relationship for the foods you’re eating and the wheat you’re eating.

… Two tablespoons of bread have more of an effect on blood sugar than two tablespoons of sugar.

  • Gluten free flours have a greater impact on our glycemic index than wheat flour

I would say that gluten-free cakes and cookies are still cakes and cookies. In fact, it may be worse than cakes and cookies because it’s made from flours that are even higher glycemic than wheat. Flours like rice flour or potato starch or tapioca starch or other kinds of flours that are extremely high glycemic.

…which means it raises your blood sugar faster. So, if you take whole wheat flour and you compare it to, let’s say, rice flour, the rice flour is actually worse in how fast it raises your blood sugar. So, you’re substituting a thing that’s very bad with something that’s even worse. And, I see often people balloon up on gluten-free foods. So, gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

  • Gluten sensitivities can cause a host of other problems

There are people who have antibody-mediated sensitivity. So, they have other antibodies, gluten antibodies, anti-gliadin antibodies. And, they’re elevated. But, they don’t have full-blown celiac. So, they have a negative biopsy, but they may have intestinal inflammation. Those people are also ill. There’s about 7 or 8 percent of the population that has that. Certain populations like autistics and schizophrenics, it’s up to 18 to 20 percent of those people. That’s almost one in five autistics or schizophrenics that have anti-gliadin antibodies. That’s another level.

  • Artificial sweeteners are just as bad for us as sugar

Artificial sweeteners we think are a free food…..One large soda–a 20-ounce diet soda– which is common, increases your risk by 66%. And, the average diet soda drinker has three per week. And, some people have three per day.

And, we know that this drives significant cravings that dysregulate their brain chemistry. So, you have an extraordinary amount of sweet receptors on your tongue. And, also, even in your intestinal tract you have sweet receptors. And, when you stimulate those sweet receptors with a compound that’s a hundred to a thousand times sweeter than regular sugar, it’s like crack cocaine for your brain.

And, I can tell you if you’ve talked to people who drink these things, they’re highly addicted to artificial sweeteners. And, it causes a cephalic phase insulin response where you get a spike in insulin, which then causes your body to shift into a fat storage mode. And, it also can affect your sugar, your blood sugar, causing a drop in blood sugar, leading to increased appetite. It also slows your metabolism.

And, in animal studies, they found that animals who have artificial sweeteners actually eat more food quantity even though it’s less calories, and they gain more weight. They gain 14 percent body fat in two weeks simply by switching to artificial sweeteners. So, if you’re going to have something sweet, have something sweet.

Watch for more of “What I Learned from the Gluten Free Summit” in later posts.




What is a Healthy Diet?

What is a Healthy Diet?  Does anyone know anymore?

So much information us going back and forth these days:  eat soy, don’t eat soy; include oil in your diet, oil is deadly; carbs are good for you, don’t eat carbs; vegan diet is the best diet for everyone, Paleo diet is the best!  What do you believe??

First off, I am not a doctor!  I have not taken any college health or medical classes,  but I have done LOTS of research — at least enough to know that what was a healthy diet 50-100 years ago, barely exists today!

I have been interested in creating good health for over 40 years when I discovered my 2 year old had a serious problem with sugar.  Fast forward 35 years when I started having ‘Alzheimer’s symptoms’ and began my quest to find out some resources that would help.

I first discovered Dr. Mark Hyman and his book, “The Ultra Mind Solution”The UltraMind Solution.  At the time, the book was a godsend to me!  From reading it, I discovered that I had Adrenal fatigue, Thyroid issues and some obvious food allergies.

A few months later, I was tested by Dr. Jim Said where I found out I was intolerance to gluten, dairy, eggs, almond, Brazil nuts, flax, and some beans.

These two men became my mentors and health advisers.

So, back to my question:  What is a Healthy Diet?  No pat answer can be given to that question as we are ALL DIFFERENT!  What works for me, does not work for my husband …. and so does not work for other people.  But there are a few tips I have learned from these men that seem universal to all:

  1. Eliminate, or at least, greatly reduce sugar from your diet.  This includes artificial sweeteners, high sugared jams and foods.  The only sugars my doctor recommends is coconut sugars, stevia, xylitol and maple syrup — and only in small amounts.
  2. Eliminate as many process foods as possible.  Processed foods are those that are in a package or can — especially those that have more than five ingredients or list sugar or oil high on the ingredients list or contains ingredients you can’t pronounce!
  3. Eat more vegetables — preferable organic non GMO veggies.  The standard American diet, historically, includes too much grain and meat products.
  4. Eliminate bad fats from your diet and replace them with good fats such as coconut oil (for cooking) and olive oil (for non-cooked foods).
  5. Learn how to prepare foods from natural ingredients— you know, like your grandma use to cook, using REAL food!
  6. Cook/eat a variety of foods everyday.  Maybe you just love your green salads, but mix them up with different ingredients or make a stir fry or soup once in awhile.

Well, that is my two cents worth.  I am a firm believer in moderation in everything, including my diet.  A little sugar once in awhile will not kill you, and neither will a bit of oil.  If you are eating healthy with everything else, these things will be minor.

What are your thoughts?




Dangers of Wheat

Dr. Mark Hyman posted a length article on the negative impact and dangers of wheat consumption.  The article goes way beyond just the dangers of gluten …..

Yes, gluten is a real problem.  But the problem is not just gluten.  In fact, there are Dangers of Wheatthree major hidden reasons that wheat products, not just gluten (along with sugar in all its forms) is the major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and so many other modern ills. …

The three hidden reasons according to Dr. Hyman ….

  1. It contains a Super Starch – amylopectin A that is super fattening.
  2. It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
  3. It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.

He talks about the genetic manipulation that have drastically changed our wheat into what he calls “FrankenWheat” — and this is the wheat we are all using!  The article does go on to address the high gluten in our wheat and what it does to our bodies ….

Five Ways Gluten Makes You Sick and Fat

Gluten can trigger inflammation, obesity and chronic disease in five major ways.

  1. Full-blown celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that triggers body-wide inflammation triggering insulin resistance, which causes weight gain and diabetes, as well as over 55 conditions including autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel, reflux, cancer, depression, osteoporosis and more.
  2. Low-level inflammation reactions to gluten trigger the same problems even if you don’t have full-blown celiac disease but just have elevated antibodies (7% of the population or 21 million Americans).
  3. There is also striking new research showing that adverse immune reactions to gluten may result from problems in very different parts of the immune system than those implicated in celiac disease.  Most doctors dismiss gluten sensitivity if you don’t have a diagnosis of celiac disease, but this new research proves them wrong. Celiac disease results when the body creates antibodies against the wheat (adaptive immunity), but another kind of gluten sensitivity results from a generalized activated immune system (innate immunity).  This means that people can be gluten-sensitive without having celiac disease or gluten antibodies and still have inflammation and many other symptoms.
  4. A NON-gluten glycoprotein or lectin (combination of sugar and protein) in wheat called wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)(1)   found in highest concentrations in whole wheat increases whole body inflammation as well. This is not an autoimmune reaction but can be just as dangerous and cause heart attacks (2).
  5. Eating too much gluten free food (what I call gluten free junk food) like gluten free cookies, cakes and processed food.  Processed food has a high glycemic load.  Just because it is gluten free, doesn’t mean it is healthy. Gluten free cakes and cookies are still cakes and cookies!  Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds and lean animal protein are all gluten free – stick with those.


An interesting article that EVERYONE should read to find out what “FrankenWheat” is doing to our bodies and why we should not eat it!