The Harmful Substance That's "Sweeter" Than Sugar

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

As bad as regular cane sugar is, the real enemy is high fructose corn syrup.

This cheap sweetener, which is made from cornstarch, is seriously bad news for everyone, especially those of you with heart risk factors. It’s another man-made toxic burden for the body, and probably worse for our health than doctors and holistic practitioners ever thought.

High fructose corn syrup serves not only as a sweetener, but also as a means to enhance a product’s shelf life. As such, food manufacturers use it in practically everything. Soft drinks (including sodas and fruit-flavored beverages) and processed foods are especially notorious for it, as are canned foods such as baked beans (which, by the way, I ate as a snack until I discovered they contained high fructose corn syrup).

On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup per day, or approximately 1 in every 10 calories.

The list of potential damage that high fructose corn syrup can cause is long. The more you consume, the more you put your liver, kidneys, and arteries at risk; the more likely you are to put on weight; and the more prone you become to metabolic syndrome, a forerunner to diabetes, chronic hypertension, and heart disease.

The inability to properly process high fructose corn syrup often leads to an increase in the level of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is a normal product of cellular breakdown, but too much of it can lead to health problems. Most significantly, it can inhibit the ability of endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide—a substance that’s crucial for keeping arteries properly dilated. In fact, the connection between fructose and uric acid is regarded as a potential cause of high blood pressure levels and kidney disease (a common side effect of chronic hypertension).

For more information on cardiovascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.
 

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