Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The sickly side of sweet

It's been implicated in the rise of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, not to mention other health concerns. On food labels you'll see it listed as glucose-fructose (a.k.a. high-fructose corn syrup), an inexpensive sweetener that's added to soft drinks, fruit drinks, breakfast cereals, baked goods, yogurt, canned fruit and condiments.

The potential health hazards of high-fructose corn syrup made headlines in 2004 when researchers in the United States published a report linking our increased use of corn syrup sweeteners over the past 20 years with rising obesity rates. Experts have argued that high-fructose corn syrup is processed differently than table sugar by the body. It's thought that fructose doesn't trigger hormone responses that regulate appetite and satiety, which could cause you to overeat.

Now, a new study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that fructose-sweetened beverages can impair how the body clears blood sugar and handles fat - detrimental effects that can increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Read the Entire Article at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Risks

Some research has suggested that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener in a wide variety of foods, may increase the risk of obesity and heart disease. Now, a controlled and randomized study has found that drinks sweetened with fructose led to higher blood levels of L.D.L, or "bad" cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight test subjects, while drinks sweetened with another sugar, glucose, did not. Both L.D.L. and triglycerides have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Read the Entire Article at the New York Times

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cheap corn syrup equals bigger waistlines

In a previous article, I discussed the contamination of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with mercury. While a great concern, it's not the only, or even the main, health risk. Among the issues is simply the ease of consuming far too many calories.

According to statistics from the American Heart Association, the prevalence of obesity in American adults was pretty stable from 1960-1980, then climbed 61% in men and 53% in women by 1988.

What change happened in the intervening 8 years? Along with the Soviet War in Afghanistan and the introduction of "Hair Bands" to the music scene was the virtually complete switch in soft drinks from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Read the Entire Article at

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sugar-sweetened soda is back in mainstream

Bowing to consumer trends, two soft drinks with connections to the past were launched this week for a national, but brief, eight-week run.

Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback are sweetened with sugar made from cane and beets, unlike their namesakes, which use high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup has been the mainstay for soda pop since the 1970s.

The intent, said Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley, is to remind Baby Boomers what the two drinks tasted like back in the 1960s and 70s. "And for Millennials, they’re something new," Bradley said, generally referring to those born in the 1980s and 1990s.

The sugar-sweetened products come as more consumers are returning to sugar and forsaking corn syrup, which is criticized as a contributor to obesity.

Read the Entire Article at

Dairy-Free Decadence: Vegan doesn't have to be boring.

Levine's vegan concoctions are in fact healthier than the treats found in many bakeries and stores, which are riddled with preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.

In a small kitchen in West Oakland, a batch of freshly glazed doughnuts cools on a baking rack. The rows of ring-shaped pastries glisten under coats of chocolate, cinnamon, and blueberry. It's a tantalizing scene for any junk food lover, but there's something missing from these doughnuts — and it's not just their centers.

The cake-style doughnuts made by Pepple's Donuts lack some of the quintessential ingredients of the traditional fried dessert. They're largely organic and totally vegan, meaning they're made without butter, egg, milk, or lard. While the term "vegan" may conjure images of a sparse diet of nuts and berries, Pepple's doughnuts are part of a growing number of non-dairy options that dispel that minimalist image.

"Vegans want junk food, but so much junk food isn't vegan — and the stuff that is, is just — junk," said owner Josh Levine. "I wouldn't even say that my doughnuts are junk food, because there's nothing junky inside them."

Read the Entire Article at East Bay Express

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fructose worse than glucose when it comes to sweetened drinks: study

All sugars are not created equal when it comes to how our bodies metabolize the sweeteners, a new study suggests.

People who drank beverages sweetened with fructose, but not glucose, showed an increase in intra-abdominal fat and blood lipid levels and decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin, researchers reported in this week's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The findings suggest that fructose-sweetened beverages can interfere with how the body handles fat, leading to medical conditions that increase susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.

The results could be important given that in 2005, the average American consumed 64 kilograms of added sugar, a sizeable proportion of which came through drinking soft drinks, said study author Peter Havel of the University of California at Davis and his colleagues.

Consumption of sugars and sweeteners in the U.S. went up by 19 per cent between 1970 and 2005, according to a commentary accompanying the study.

Increased use of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener in pop in the last few decades has been proposed as one dietary change fueling obesity in developed countries, Matthias Tschöp and Susanna Hofmann of the University of Cincinnati-College of Medicine noted in their commentary.

The most common form of the syrup contains five per cent more fructose than glucose and is perceived as sweeter, according to food and drink manufacturers.

Metabolic changes

In the 10-week study, 17 subjects consumed a quarter of their calories from fructose-sweetened beverages and another 15 subjects drank the equivalent amount in glucose-sweetened beverages. Participants had an average age of 50 and a body mass index of 29, which is considered overweight.

Both groups put on the same amount of weight, but only the fructose group showed the other differences.

People drinking fructose became less sensitive to insulin, which helps control glucose levels in the blood, and showed signs of dyslipidemia such as high cholesterol.

The long-term effects of fructose remain unknown, but it's clear that chronic overconsumption of dietary sugars in general is harmful to health, the commentators said.

"For our part, we will continue to aim for moderation of balanced caloric ingestion without excluding the occasional sweet soda," they concluded.


High fructose corn syrup: How dangerous is it?

Sweetener has been called diet enemy No. 1 — but that's not the full story

In the grand tradition of nutritional scapegoating, high fructose corn syrup has stepped into the spotlight as dietary enemy No. 1. It's an easy target. The corn-based sweetener is found throughout the American diet, in everything from sugary foods like soda and cookies to savory products like tomato sauce and salad dressing.

That's precisely the problem, say critics who blame the vast quantities we consume for the nation's soaring rates of obesity and diabetes.

But not everyone is convinced. Last June, the Corn Refiners Association launched an ad campaign telling the other side of the story — namely, that HFCS is "made from corn [and] has the same calories as sugar."

Read the Entire Article at msnbc

Saturday, April 18, 2009

13 Foods To Avoid

As a doctor I have made it my mission to educate as many people about the philosophical pitfalls of believing "If it's on the shelf, it must be safe." In the US, we suffer from something called the "shortest healthy lifespan". That means we spend more years battling chronic disease than our peers from the 12 industrialized nations. There are many factors leading to this problem, but one of the obvious is how loaded our diets are with artificial chemicals.

Read the Entire Article at the Huffington Post

Review: Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Ketchup Sweetened with Xylitol

Get all the taste of ketchup that you love without the HFCS

Although it was once proposed back in the early 1980s to be classified as a vegetable, ketchup has and always will be a part of the American diet. This popular condiment used on hamburgers, hot dogs, and anything else for a sweet tomato flavor boost has a major problem for those of us who are livin’ la vida low-carb, though. It’s LOADED with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which we now know from a recent published study contains mercury. I never realized ketchup had sugar in it prior to going on the Atkins diet in 2004 and always thought of it as a healthy food. Boy, was I wrong!

Read the Entire Article at Carbwire

More Reason to Avoid Corn Syrup

Extra Stuff in HF Corn Syrup

Besides being sugary, high fructose corn syrup is contaminated with mercury. Yes, you read it right - 50% of the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has mercury in it.

Mercury is one of the most toxic natural elements. It can be absorbed through the skin and once swallowed by volatile means (chewing with silver amalgam fillings), or digesting food containing mercury, can be absorbed into our tissues.

According to studies done in 2005, one-third of all foods containing HFCS have mercury contamination. What’s worse is that the FDA was aware of this issue in 2001, and has not reported this finding. There has been no testing or regulation put into place by the FDA for the manufacturing of HFCS.

Read the Entire Article at