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Interesting Article on High Fructose Corn Syrup

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Supplements' started by ebatch20, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    It's absolutely baffling to me that people want to argue the detrimental effects that HFCS has had on our society in general. HFCS by itself may not be the ultimate cause, but it's a factor and is a symptom of the entire structure of our mass-produced food these days, which focuses far less on nutrition and far more on the dollars and cents.

    HFCS, frankly, is simply unnecessary in one's diet, but I suppose it's the cool thing to do to constantly try to be "out of the box" and argue against anything that people might have substantial agreement on.

    That is to say that HFCS is something that, if one can do it, should be avoided, because you just don't need it in your diet. Why make it more complex?
     
  2. Nathan

    Nathan Active Member

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    It absolutely baffles me that people so hastily latch on to an unproven conclusion and then blithely repeat it in the face of contradicting evidence without being willing to admit the possibility that the conclusion may be wrong and is worth exploring further. If your mind is made up about the subject, feel free to avoid the discussion and adhere to your opinion, that's fine.

    Agreed, HFCS is in part the result of the desire to produce food more cheaply, thereby increasing profits. That gets tangled up in U.S. politics, the grain/farm lobby, capitalism, trade economics, and many other things. Can this lead to crappy food? Sadly, yes. Can it also lead to innovations that help feed those who haven't got enough food? Sometimes yes (grain bioengineering for example). This, however, is tangential to the HFCS discussion.

    Many, many things are unnecessary in one's diet, that doesn't make it rational to apply a blanket rule based on unsound research. If you want to exclude it, sweet (pun intended), go for it.

    By the way, your implication that I am merely trying to do "the cool thing" is disparaging and offensive. Those kind of ad-hominem attacks accomplish NOTHING positive in a discussion and are merely a way to insult someone for even having the discussion in the first place.

    I also think we've established that there is not necessarily "substantial agreement on" this topic, and it's been shown plenty of times in the past that even if a society or culture does have substantial agreement, that does not mean they are correct.

    Again, you present this as fact when it is opinion. I'd love to see a substantiated physiological reason for avoiding HFCS more than other sources of fructose/glucose with similar composition.

    As for complexity, people who are distinguishing between HFCS and other similar substances are in fact overcomplicating things unless we can actually demonstrate a reason for that distinction. If there is no real distinction, then we should simplify the discussion regarding the original problem (increased obesity, for example) so that we can be more productive in finding a solution.
     
  3. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    If you can find something everyone agrees on, it's wrong.”

    -Mo Udall
     
  4. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: epidemiologic evidence.

    Doesn't say how much sugar-sweetened beverages were consumed in order to see this effect.

    Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose

    However, chronically high consumption of fructose in rodents leads to hepatic and extrahepatic insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure. The evidence is less compelling in humans, but high fructose intake has indeed been shown to cause dyslipidemia and to impair hepatic insulin sensitivity.

    Um, we're not rats and it does say Chronically high consumption.

    Most of these studies are on juice and sodas and I don't think ANYONE would say that "well HCFC doesn't matter so I'll just down all the soda I can". Their is much alarmism with all this stuff but its only really hurtfull in high consumptions.

    Moderate consumption of foods, like sodas and the such, will not hurt you if you are getting sufficient amounts of nutrients from the lean proteins, carbs, and fats you get from your usual diet.
     
  5. Nathan

    Nathan Active Member

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    I'm not sure pointing out that fructose is a participant in lipogenesis is much of a distinguishing factor since glucose does as well, but it is interesting that the insulin response is different between the two, and absorption seems to be different.

    I think these articles are pretty interesting so far, but I notice none of them single out HFCS except the first one which uses HFCS and fructose interchangeably (incorrectly, I think) a couple of times. Each of the articles is focused on fructose, which is found in "sucrose from beet or cane, high fructose corn syrup, fruits, and honey" or "added caloric sweeteners such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup or fruit-juice concentrates, all of which result in similar metabolic effects" to quote a couple of the abstracts. This reinforces rather than refutes the idea that we should not be so focused on HFCS but should speak more generally about sugar consumption as a whole. It does, however, support the idea that sugar consumption (assuming sugars are comprised of some amount of fructose) probably has effects that are more complex than a simple "calorie-is-a-calorie" statement can cover. Perhaps this is where our disagreement stems from, I think a few of us feel HFCS is not so dramatically different than sugars in general and shouldn't be the dietary-panic buzzword it seems to be right now in the media. Part of Alan and Lyle's point is just that, stop demonizing HFCS, it's just another sugar.

    That said, it's worth considering whether HFCS made 'sugar' (in whatever form) far more widely available, but I don't think that means it's to blame for our problems. If people want cheap sugary food, they'll get it, with or without HFCS.

    So if we avoid the cultural discussion above (for now) is the physiological debate really about fructose (as a component of sugar), not HFCS, as seems to be the case with these studies?

    The study on Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is kind of interesting, but the Mayo Clinic (from very brief digging, I admit) states that "The wide range of diseases and conditions linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is so diverse that it's difficult to pinpoint any one cause." which makes me wonder if the same condition can be linked to excessive fat intake (didn't this happen to the Fast Food Nation guy?). The conclusions for that study are stated really tentatively as well, and the authors address a few important limitations.

    Regardless, good info, thanks for sharing :)
     
    #25 Nathan, Apr 9, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  6. kribrg

    kribrg Well-Known Member

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    Chris, I'm learning a lot from reading those. I'm going to come back to them but thanks for providing the links.

    As I was looking through them I thought of a question though.

    I'm trying to figure out a little about the context you are coming from. Let's just take a 2600 calorie diet for simplicity sake. From your views, what would you consider "excess carbs" to be in that scenario?
     
  7. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    This is true in spades. HFCS typically replaces sucrose (e.g. cane sugar, etc.) and sucrose is a molecule made of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose stuck together. The chemical difference between sucrose and the HFCS used in soft drinks or baked goods is therefore very small.
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    The fructose issue specific to HFCS really is minor though, since the HFCS which is pervasive in our food supply has replaced sucrose, which has almost the same amount of fructose and glucose. So the shift from sucrose to HFCS does not represent a big change in fructose intake. The fructose in HFCS is replacing fructose in sucrose.
     
  9. HalfGorilla

    HalfGorilla Active Member

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    What about Australia where we don't have HFCS but we still have major obesity issues?
     
  10. cwbolton

    cwbolton Well-Known Member

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    Yes i couldn't agree more, obesity is caused my HFCS and excess carb intake, along with many other contributing factors. But if a person is ignorant on the topic maybe he has solid evidence backing his claim, you said yourself the body is such a complex organism, we cannot begin to understand the body as a whole, so who is to say who is right? Do you have a degree in the subject? Does he? You are both right and wrong in your own ways, i would have to side with you chris but don't be set in your ways in the future.

    All the best
     
    #30 cwbolton, Apr 10, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  11. kribrg

    kribrg Well-Known Member

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    You said
    This implies that people became/are becoming obese, on average, due to excess carbs. I would like to stick with that if we can.

    "Excess carbs" doesn't mean anything if there is no baseline established. So I'm trying to drill down to what you consider excess carbs to be in real numbers.

    So take the 2600 kcals for an average sedentary male who is 217lbs (approximately 12X calories should be realistic). The guy is borderline obese and excess carbs are gonna take him over the line. What would you consider excess carbs to be in the 2600 calorie diet?
     
  12. HalfGorilla

    HalfGorilla Active Member

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    Contributed significantly? :)

    "HFCS is a significant source of the obesity epidemic in the western world"

    So Mr Mason, is it possible to become obese without consuming a single carbohydrate and not entering this hyperglycemic state?
     
  13. nomadsails

    nomadsails Active Member

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    Here's how the dietitian at work explained HFCS based on current research (I'm a RN):

    HFCS just has a higher % fructose than say, table sugar. However the way other sugars are absorbed vs fructose is completely different. Dextrose, sucrose, etc, are metabolized via the pancreas causing the insulin response. Fructose is metabolized in the liver and linked to leptin causing use for body fat. Essentially, whatever % a HFCS is, say 55% fructose / 45% dextrose, more greatly impacts blood sugars and essentially, in order to burn off the calories gained by HFCS you have to burn those calories from body fat instead of burning them as free carbs.

    The physiologic response here actually increases hunger for the sugar-rich food because your body is confused and does not understand why the excess fructose is not triggering an insulin response.

    So while the metabolic pathways for turning a sugar into energy is always equal, your body's ability to utilize them is vastly different with most of the fructose based calories being retained as additional body fat.

    Pair this with the idea that HFCS makes food tasty and extends the shelf life of most products by about 20%, it is no wonder manufacturers like the stuff.

    As to humans needing a ton of HFCS and it simply not being realistic, consider that it is found in our major breads, sauces, dressings, sweets, and sodas. I can't speak for anyone else, but 6 or more soda's per day and a few cookies were not uncommon for me on a daily basis. When you have 3-6 sodas at home, eat out for lunch and get a 32oz soft drink, and the same for dinner, I'd say that you people are just too damn healthy to understand how much of this stuff we actually get.

    HFCS isn't pure, concentrated evil and a little won't hurt anyone who is healthy. But for the ignorant masses who consume the stuff like candy and are trying to lose weight at the same time it can be a lot like grabbing a boulder and hopping in the ocean.
     
  14. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Alan Aragon's new Research review just came out on this issue. Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose is one of the studies critiqued.

    Of this study, he writes that the author uses excessive fructose treatments were used. The actual population consumes much less. Other factors contribute to the rise in obesity like the increase in sedentary activities in all walks of life.
     
  15. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    I'd actually like to hear the answer to this as well. Though I believe that the average sedentary male who is 217 pounds would more likely have been taking in about 3200 calories, in a regular long term pattern of eating.

    I know of plenty of obese people who certainly get a much lower proportion of calories from carbohydrates than I do. In fact, I know several overweight people who most likely get a lower absolute volume of carbohydrates in their diet than I do. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I'm so incredibly unique to be the only one who is able to maintain a healthy weight, body shape, and physical fitness level by following the typical government recommended energy intake of approximately 2000 calories made up of approximately 60% carbohydrates.

    How would you measure metabolic/cardiovascular health and benchmark it against the general population?
     
    #35 guava, Apr 12, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  16. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Is that possibly the issue? In a regular diet without significant blood sugar spikes and flatline and wild hormonal fluctuations, a person could take in a lot more total energy without being obese than a diet which is rich in HFCS?
     
  17. kribrg

    kribrg Well-Known Member

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    Taken directly from the JSF BodyShop calculator.

    Male. 35 years of age. 6 ft 1 in tall. 217 pounds. Activity Level=Sedentary. Goal=maintain, Method Harris Benedict model.

    Can you answer the question now?
     
  18. The Homebody

    The Homebody Active Member

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    This was a great article. When it comes to things like high fructose corn syrup and MSG, I just like to go on the side of caution. Mainly because I'm already so sensitive to everything.
     
  19. kribrg

    kribrg Well-Known Member

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    We can agree about obesity, health, or whatever as long as you include that. You weren't, but now you are. I thought your position was that you could gain fat and become obese without eating over maintenance?

    You were very authoritative saying the obesity epidemic is because of excess carbs (and the fallout from that) and downplayed peoples intelligence if they stated it was because of excess calories. Ironically (or not) , with your last post, you include excess calories like it was what you were saying all along and now you are baffled about how we are disagreeing...with our OWN position!
     
  20. kribrg

    kribrg Well-Known Member

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    Which by the way is what a majority of those studies you posted are saying also.

    People drink surgery drinks, don't account for them in calories, gain fat, and bad things happen.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086073

    Sweetened beverages don't have the effect on satiation that food does. This can lead to all kinds of problems like the ones they listed.

    But then they say...

    this above quote came from the paper you brought to the table.


    Another one of sweetened beverages.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20138901

    I'm not sure what your lesson was with those studies. That sugar sweetened drinks in high amounts is bad? That people that tend to drink a bunch of calories are also more apt to eat over maintenance? Great, I agree.

    Are you going to tell me that lean muscle weighs more than fat?:confused: I'll just assume you meant on a volume basis.

    Anyway, yes..in newbies, people coming from layoff, steroid users, when you get into calorie partitioning and nutrient timing, etc.

    Ok, I will try but pictures really would have made it easier for lil' ol' me.
     
    #40 kribrg, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010

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