Snack on Crack- The Sugar War
“Snack on Crack”–This is what the Sugar Industry believes the Corn Industry is saying about their “corn sugar”. The war between the Sugar Industry and Corn Industry has finally hit the papers. The fight began when the Corn Industry realized a net loss in corn syrup sales and began using a different advertising tactic. The tactic stated that High Fructose Corn Syrup was now going to be called Corn Sugar.
This is a misleading description of what High Fructose Corn Syrup is. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a manufactured alteration of the chemical composition of sugar. It is not the same and it does not react the same in the body. It is a foreign substance and, in my opinion, is a shock to the system.
Remember that all sugars not used by the body are filtered through the liver. If there is no room to store this sugar (as glycogen), it packages it up as triglycerides and sends it back into the body. Sugar and fat are directly related to each other.
What this war about is that high fructose corn syrup is NOT corn sugar. It is false advertising. So far, the Sugar Industry has won this part of the battle. The use of Corn Sugar cannot be a substitute for HFCS and this part of the court case will continue. Part 2: The Sugar Industry did not win the portion stating that this false advertising has led to monetary damage. So this will lay low for awhile.
The following is an explanation of the different types of sugars:
You do not eat glucose. Glucose is the simple sugar made by the body through digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source of energy. Sometimes glucose is called dextrose. When a woman is pregnant, the doctors will give them a bottle of processed glucose to drink and see how the body metabolizes this sugar. I consider this an unnecessary test during a normal pregnancy.
CH Sugar. White sugar Table Sugar. It is made from highly processed sugar cane or sugar beets. The composition of sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose, which separates during digestion. Pure sucrose is devoid of any nutrients.
Fructose, commonly called fruit sugar, is a simple sugar found in honey, tree fruits, berries, and melons. You are NOT eating fruit sugar when you see “fructose” on a label. Pure crystalline fructose comes from two sources: corn or sucrose (table sugar). Corn starch is processed to release fructose. Sucrose (table sugar) is enzymatically hydrolyzed to separate into glucose and fructose. Crystalline fructose is pure fructose from one of these two sources.
High fructose syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from starches like corn, wheat, and rice. High fructose syrups contain nearly equal amounts of glucose and fructose, a composition nearly identical to sucrose (table sugar). The reason high fructose corn syrup is so abundant in our processed food is simple-it’s cheaper than sugar. Because we highly subsidize corn and place taxes on sugar imports, high fructose corn syrup is much less expensive.
Pure fructose is 1.2-1.8 times sweeter than sucrose so less is needed for the same level of sweetness. It is low on the glycemic index, therefore it does not lead to peaks and dips in the body’s glucose levels. But fructose is processed in the liver. When too much fructose enters the liver at once, the liver can’t process fructose as a sugar. Instead, the liver turns excess fructose into fats-triglycerides. When you incorporate these fats into our bodies cells (the cell membranes) triglycerides cause these cells to be insulin resistant. This is the reason that high fructose corn syrup leads to diabetes. Fructose is linked to significant increases of both cholesterol and triglycerides. And remember-fructose, like sucrose-is a highly refined processed sugar with no nutritional value.
In our bodies, maltose is formed as the first step in digestion of starchy foods. It is then broken down into glucose. This is a natural process.
Maltose, also known as malt sugar, is half as sweet as sucrose (table sugar). It is produced from starch (barley, wheat, rice or other grains). It has been produced in China since 200 B.C. We use it in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.
Lactose is the sugar found naturally in milk. Most of you know that I am an anti-milk practitioner and so completely understand the lactose intolerant person. If it makes you feel sick, you most likely don’t need it.
Date sugar is 100% dehydrated dates ground into small pieces. It is a whole food, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Date sugar can be substituted for granulated sugar or brown sugar cup for cup, but it does not dissolve in liquids. This is a healthy sugar alternative.
Sugar Alcohols or Polyols
Maltitol, maltitol syrup, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, lactitol, erythritol, and isomalt are examples of sugar alcohols. They occur naturally in plants, but are usually manufactured from sugars and starches. Sugar alcohols have fewer calories than sugars because they are not completely absorbed by the body. They can ferment in the intestines and cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
However, pure xylitol can be very helpful in bladder infections. The bacteria in the urinary tract do not like xylitol. A teaspoon of xylitol can kill many bacteria in the bladder by literally choking them to death. They can’t “breathe” in a xylitol environment. Xylitol has a very low glycemic index (4) and this leads us to What Is The Glycemic Index?
When carbohydrates are digested, glucose is released into the bloodstream. The glycemic index is a measurement of the amount of glucose released by a particular food over a two to three-hour period.
This time frame indicates that testing for blood sugar imbalances requires a 2-3 hour test. There is also a 6 hour glucose tolerance test that can also be done for people with severe glucose disturbance.
Foods that rapidly release glucose rate high on the glycemic index (GI). Foods that slowly release glucose are low on the glycemic index. Mixing high and low GI foods can result in a moderate glucose release.
There are many charts you can find on the internet that state the glycemic index of most foods. To simplify, all processed foods have a high glycemic index. Natural foods have a lower glycemic index. Certain fruits and vegetables and grains will have a higher glycemic index and would be utilized best in high energy activities—such as running a marathon or hiking The Grand Canyon.
We are raising a country of roly-poly, chubby, fat children. This has a diagnosis in the medical books: Obesity. Obesity will cause enormous health care costs for their future. Diabetes is an epidemic for our young children. Education is the way to prevent this catastrophe. Teach your kids to eat more natural foods and avoid the sugar-laden foods advertised on TV and in magazines. Options are their best friend. And we are provided options through education. I’d rather spend my tax dollars on education our children than on treating the health problems resultant of poor food choices. What about you?
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Kim Kromas, DC, PhD
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