High Fructose Corn Syrup:
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a mixture of Glucose and Fructose (55% fructose & 45% glucose)
Glucose is our cells primary source of energy. Our body converts carbohydrates into Glucose, after which Insulin is released from your pancreas to balance your blood sugar. Eating too much processed foods and/or foods high in sugar can raise Glucose levels, often causing the pancreas to become exhausted and eventually unable to efficiently release Insulin.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in plants. Fructose is absorbed directly into the blood stream during the digestion process. Too much Fructose can overload your liver and contribute to high triglyceride levels.
There are many facts and figures related to how Glucose, Fructose, HFCS and other sweeteners behave in the body, but to keep this newsletter short and sweet (no pun intended!), I'm going to focus on its affects on the hormones Leptin and Ghrelin.
- Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your brain you are hungry.
- Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain you are full.
Consider this, let's say you go to a restaurant and order a soda before your meal. The soda likely contains HFCS (55% fructose) which boosts the hormone Ghrelin telling your brain you are very hungry. Simultaneously, the hormone Leptin is delayed from turning on, which means your brain receives the message of being full long after you're actually full. In this scenario, you can see how it would be easy to take in hundreds, even thousands of calories.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in sodas, candy, many processed foods, bread, cereal, even cough medicines. Pay attention to how you feel when eating or drinking foods containing HFCS and decide whether its worth the extra hours at the gym it will take to burn off the hundreds of calories HFCS has been driving you to over consume.
*According to a study published in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (June 2004).