When tobacco giant Philip Morris changed its corporate name to Altria Group, it seemed they were trying to dodge the stigma of selling cigarettes that was attached to the original brand. Can't fool you! (Between 2000 and 2007, cigarette sales decreased by 18 percent.) Now the high-fructose corn syrup folks are trying to pull the same kind of switcheroo. They want HFCS to be renamed "corn sugar." Fortunately, the Corn Refiners Association got shot down by the Food and Drug Administration. The name stays the same for now.
Whatever you call it, high-fructose corn syrup or corn sugar — and even regular sugar in excess — is bad for you. It increases cardiovascular risks for young adults, promotes hypertension, adds body fat, and ups uric acid levels (that wrecks your arteries). High or low, added fructose (not natural fructose in fruit) in everything from ketchup to baked goods and soda to fruit juices messes with your appetite control system (the hormone leptin). We're chowing down a horrifying 63 pounds of the sweet stuff a year; it's making us fatter and fatter and more likely to get diabetes.
So if you have a hankering for something sweet, opt for an apple, nectarine, mango, or pineapple. Enjoy a handful of nuts and a half-ounce of dark chocolate twice a day; 30 minutes before lunch and dinner would be great. And keep your eye out for the words "dextrose," "corn sugar," "fructose," and "high-fructose corn syrup" on labels — and just say no.
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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