How many times have I said that my readers are the smartest anywhere? I love how much I learn from you guys! Yes, I know I just posted on the topic of High Fructose Corn Syrup last week, when I gave you a sneak peek at my upcoming Real Food for Rookies Class (last chance to sign up is THIS WEEK!) and an interview with Fat Head filmmaker, Tom Naughton, but at that post I had a commenter who shared some scoop on HFCS that I didn't know. She also corrected me on something, and made other interesting clarifications.
Her name is Cynthia, and she said I could post what she had to say…
“Hi, My Google alert for HFCS picked up your post. Good reading. I scurry around websites to make sure the carbohydrate descriptions are accurate. Corn syrup = 100% glucose. That bottle of Karo Corn Syrup your mom added to pecan pie is 100% glucose. (Update! A correction on this in the comments below!) HFCS is a blend of fructose and glucose. In food stuffs it can be of several variants. The Corn Refiners Assoc (CRA) claims to use HFCS-42 for baked and dairy products and HFCS-55 for sweetened beverages (soda). Although the ratios seem similar to sucrose they are not, especially with respect to HFCS-55. HFCS-55 is 55%:45% fructose. 55%:45% = 55/45 = 1.22. This means that in every American Coke there is, compared to glucose, 22% more fructose. We have been inundated with excess fructose ever since 1984 when Big Soda, Coke and Pepsi, switched to HFCS-55. Look at the Obesity and HFCS graph. Note how obesity really starts climbing after 1984. Also, some readers and the CRA say that the fructose: glucose ratio in honey is approx the same as in HFCS-55. The CRA is pulling a fast one. According to Wikipedia:
Honey: Fructose 38.2% (apparent F/G = 1.22, close to HFCS-55) Glucose 31.3% Sucrose 1.3% Maltose 7.1%
However, Sucrose is a disaccharide of fructose and glucose 1:1 and Maltose is a disaccharide of glucose so the resultant breakdown of honey is: Fructose 38.2 + 0.65 = 38.85 (F/G = 38.85/39.05 = 0.99 ~ 1.0) Glucose = 31.3 + 0.65 + 7.1 = 39.05
Mother Nature seems to like that ratio! Working to get the HFCS-out, Cynthia
I asked how she knows all this stuff:
In a past life I was a medical research technician for 23 years in the areas of Pediatric research in Infectious diseases and basic immunology. My education: B.A., Montclair State College, Master Of Science, Illinois Institute of Technology. Of course, you know which side of the net I am on—the one trying to get HFCS out of our food supply. But, I believe I am fair. If a website author thinks that HFCS is pure fructose, I try to inform them that it is a mixture of fructose and glucose. The Corn Refiners Association has some very powerful and well credentialed scientists at their disposal. If we as educated consumers are trying to better our health environment, then we need to be accurately informed. I have access to other Ph.D's and M.D.'s who are investigating the HFCS vs. sugar issues, and can consult them if I get stuck.
Good luck in your classes. The way we are going to topple this “HFCS empire” is one brick at a time. Please email or write a letter to the Sierra Mist division of Pepsi Co and tell them that you are thrilled that they have reformulated Sierra Mist and switched to sugar. I truly believe that it is the extra fructose that is killing us. The CRA is screaming marketing gimmick. I think the consumers are looking around and seeing the morose state of our general health.
I was in Europe for a few weeks this summer, and when I came back I suddenly noticed how fat our nation is. I almost cried. I am more passionate about my crusade to eliminate HFCS. Do you know what the stats are? One out of three children born after 2000 is destined to be diabetic. Today's adult generation may have the sorrowful task of burying this generation's children. Finally, Big Pharma is making billions on this new diabetes epidemic. There are very strong financial interests in keeping the status quo. I try to stay away from the political issues and stick with the chemistry and metabolism of HFCS.
You might try StopHFCS.com for an extensive list of HFCS-free foods and beverages.
I do want you to know that many times after I have written a response to a website's post on HFCS, it has been followed with a boiler plate edition of sweetsurprise.com by Audrae Erickson, the president of the CRA. You may be visited by her. But don't worry, they have been singing the same tune since 2004 after Bray's original paper opened up Pandora's “Could HFCS be making us fat?” box. It will be good to have a voice.
Thanks for sharing all your research, Cynthia!