Showing posts with label Obesity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obesity. Show all posts

Aug 2, 2013

Sugar and HFCS

According to a report published by The American Council on Science and Health, "Since the 1970s, the use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the US food supply has increased dramatically, typically as a replacement for sucrose (table sugar) in soft drinks and many food products.

The prevalence of obesity has also increased substantially between the 1970s and the early 2000s. Because of this coincidental timing, HFCS has been erroneously demonized as a unique cause of the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Sucrose and HFCS have essentially the same composition, and thus it would be highly unlikely for them to have different effects on body weight or metabolism. Experimental evidence, as well as analyses of epidemiological data, indicate that sucrose and HFCS have equivalent effects on food intake and therefore on body weight. Scientific evidence does not support the notion that HFCS is responsible for the American obesity epidemic."

May 31, 2013

Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose

Glucose, fructose and sucrose are three types of sugar. Sugar production has been around for a few thousand years.  In 2011, worldwide production of table sugar was about 168 million tons.

Glucose, also known as dextrose, is the most common sugar. It is rarely found in food in its single molecular form, but is found as a building block for more complex carbohydrates. Foods containing glucose include: bread, pasta, cereals, rice, most fruits and vegetables, dairy products, maple syrup, pancake mixes, commercial salad dressings, and spices, and all foods containing sugar. Brain cells show a marked preference for glucose.

Fructose is the sugar that sweetens fruits, and it is also naturally present in some vegetables. One of the major differences between fructose and glucose is that cells require insulin to take up glucose from the bloodstream, but fructose is absorbed directly without insulin.  Fructose a healthier choice for individuals with diabetes than glucose or sucrose. Foods rich in fructose include, agave, apricots, blueberries, figs, dates, grapes, honey, and raisins.

Sucrose is made up of two smaller sugar units, glucose and fructose. Sucrose is the type of sugar you use in your kitchen and in cooking. It is usually derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. An apple contains both fructose and glucose. Sucrose is digested into glucose and fructose before it enters the bloodstream.

Glucose, fructose, and sucrose contain identical amounts of energy. Each provides four calories per gram.  Glucose and fructose units are absorbed across the intestinal wall by active transit into the portal vein. They are then transported to the liver where they are converted to energy units. When reading food labels, sucrose can be listed as sugar, glucose can appear as dextrose, and fructose as corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.

Bottom line - Cells require a constant supply of energy to keep running. Glucose and fructose have identical chemical formulas. Glucose and fructose can be burned for immediate energy or stored as body fat. It is not important where sugar comes from. Too little and your body is deprived of much needed nutrients, too much and your body stores sugars as fat. There is a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity, but no proven causation. Headlines about soda and obesity are mostly non-scientific mumbo jumbo designed to titillate, but not educate.

Feb 5, 2013

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Obesity

HFCS entered the American food supply in the 1970s and the rates of obesity began to rise about the same time. Consequently, many blame HFCS.

However, the calories in HFCS are no different from those in refined white sugar. The makeup of HFCS (55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose) is close to that of white sugar (50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose) and our bodies digest HFCS and sugar in very similar ways. Nutritionally speaking, the two are virtually identical.

Interesting Fact: Coca Cola produced in Mexico is still made with sugar (as opposed to corn syrup in the US), and many people claim to be able to taste the difference, but after numerous tests, results vary widely in their conclusions.

Jan 17, 2012

Obesity is Shrinking

A new Gallup report shows that obesity in America has declined between 2010 and 2011, from 26.6 percent to 26.1 percent.

The shift is likely caused by more Americans reporting that they were of normal weight, from 35.4 percent in 2010 to 36.1 percent in 2011, according to the report, based on data taken from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Lets check the math - 26.1 percent obese, 36.1 normal - that leaves 37.8 percent as either skinny or otherwise abnormal. This is another of those great headline making studies. People are less obese, because they say they are. Hmmm,
Gallup was actually paid to ask people if they were obese, then reported that those people said they were not? Maybe it was a blind study.