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Hidden Poison: Fructose in Sugared Sodas


© John Whitcomb

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled "What Will Work for Me?". View all columns in series
Reference: Obesity, October 2010 on line from the Keck School of Medicine Competency: Sugar

High Fructose corn syrup is known to be a danger because it is so inflammatory. It creates inflammation in our bodies. You think of it as a sweetener and a sugar. The chemical fructose is actually in the aldehyde family and is not digested like glucose. It can only be digested in your liver, and in so doing it is changed into LDL fats. Those LDL fats hang around in your liver and give you fatty liver because you have no way of regulating the speed at which you digest the fructose. With that comes inflammation through the FOX1 gene. Fructose is just plain trouble.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, I have been led to believe that high fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. That’s pretty close to the proportion of table sugar, which is exactly 50:50. Hence, we have confidently been stating that drinking a fully sugared soda is as bad as having so many teaspoons of table sugar, but no worse. What the article from the journal, Obesity, shows is that we have been sold a subtle bill of goods by the soda industry. While the common knowledge is that HFCS is 55:45, the industry is actually given a 20% leeway in which the fructose content of soda can range. In other words, the fructose content of the soda can be as high as 20% off their registered label of HFCS or 55:45.

Guess what the researchers found? Coke and Pepsi both push the limit of the 20%. Instead of being 55:45, they run 64:36. That’s not just high fructose, that’s REALLY high fructose. The deceit is that fructose is so bad for you. Instead of getting a drink that is 50% fructose (really awful for you), both Coke and Pepsi are TWO THIRDS fructose (really over the top bad).

What’s their incentive to do this? Money. Fructose is cheaper. Fructose is sweeter, more stable and it’s easier to transport. There is no consideration of your well-being when it’s put in the sweetened beverage. This is food politics at its very worst. American food giants are cynical in their disregard for your safety and well-being. This is not accidental. It is well known to the soda industry what the effects of fructose are. This is cold calculated money.

Were fructose to be brought to the market today and introduced as a drug on the market, it would have a hard time passing muster with any hospital research committee. If any dietician or nutritional specialist would show its effects to a rational audience, and claim it as a valuable and useful food, it would never be permitted in the market place. Because it is so ubiquitous, and in so many foods, we stand by quietly and let ourselves be exposed to it in every venue.

WWW: What will work for me. Time to rethink. If you are concerned about your personal health, you must simply stop all sugared sodas. They aren’t just made with sugar, they are made with two thirds fructose. Our next series will be on the connection between diabetes and cancer. When you understand the link between fructose and diabetes, and diabetes and cancer, you will start looking at sugared soda as the way to commit slow death by cancer. And you thought soda was just empty calories. Oh my.

 
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