Corn Syrup and Sweeteners
Hi Kelli, I like to sweeten my tea and things like oatmeal with something to help make it taste better to me. I had been using a little corn syrup but have read a lot of negative things on it. Can you help me out on what is best to use?
Many say corn syrup is no different from sugar. Sure, it has the same calories and carbs of sugar. However, it’s been a long time since I believed that nutrition, fat, metabolism and health were based on only calories. There are so many more factors at play with metabolism – how do hormones (such as insulin) respond to the food. Does it provide satiety (fullness), or simply work through you too fast for your cells to notice? Does it offer anything that benefits you – such as the enzymes, antioxidants, or immune-boosting nutrients found in honey?
And anyway, since when is rating ”as good as table sugar” make it a good choice?
After diving into current animal studies and research, I for one am convinced that it’s an ingredient that does not need to be in your diet (or your friends’ diets, your kids’ diets, etc). Rats fed a HFCS diet, in one particular Princeton study, gained significantly more fat than counterpart rats fed a regular table sugar diet…the calories, nutrients, and activity being equal. HFCS is a cheap, processed, broken-down sweetener that is quickly absorbed and used in our bodies. Since we don’t have to do any “work” to break it down, it travels through our digestive pathways very quickly. And, you guessed it, likely increases insulin reactions which increase fat storage and impede fat loss. What a drag.
And energy? Any high glycemic food shoots energy up, and then drags us down – quickly. It will not provide sustained energy for Daily Nutrition or even Training Nutrition. Double drag.
How can you minimize this ingredient in your home? First, whenever you can make things at home, from scratch or close to that, do. Homemade brownies only take 10 more minutes than boxed. The same is true for almost-from-scratch spaghetti sauce…just start with crushed tomatoes and go from there. Secondly, read the ingredients list. HFCS can be snuck into almost anything: from ketchup to cereals to sports drinks and bars to salad dressings. And lastly, get rid of the biggest offenders – soda and fruit drinks!
By avoiding HFCS and sweetening with small amounts of honey, agave, or Stevia, you’ll do your energy levels, health, training, waistline, and metabolism a favor. Put down the HFCS and walk away for good!