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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Greening - Advertising's Illusion - Re-Visited

Dear Folks,

A comment from a reader got me looking at a blog post I did January 3, this year.

Greening-Advertising's Illusion of Information

In that I discussed how the words and information 'seemingly' imparted to the consumer were sometimes a lot about what they left out.

An anonymous reader commented:  I have read an article about fructose and it's not good. According to the article it can be the causes of obesity, heart diseases, liver diseases and insulin resistance.

Since Anonymous made reference to fructose and not High Fructose Corn Syrup, I went to wikipedia for some clarification on sugars.

Fructose by wikpedia

This is an excellent and scientifically approached discussion.

Some points:

Fructose - fruit sugar - (not HFCS) occurs naturally in fruits, honey and other plant types.

Sucrose (table sugar from plants like sugar cane and sugar beets) is also a plant sugar - commercially the typical white table sugar goes through a process to reduce the original plant juice to crystal, then refined to make it white - organic sugar (I personally use this) is the least refined of table sugars.  Sucrose is a natural combination of fructose and glucose.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a manufactured (lab) created sweetener (and is very different from original corn syrup).  HFCS winds up with a chemical composition similar to sucrose but which behaves differently in the body.

Pure fructose has a low glycemic index (good for diabetics) because it has to be processed almost entirely by the liver first.

Sucrose is partially processed by the liver but primarily processed through the stomach which is why it is bad for diabetics - it reaches the blood too quickly.

HFCS has a structure similar to sucrose, but chemically it behaves differently when metabolized in the body.

While some of the earlier reports on HFCS effects on ghrelin and leptin levels (those amino acids which trigger urges like eat / satiety) have been revised, the one glaring point in the wikipedia article is on the fact that HFCS has to be mostly processed through the liver first.

all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high-fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic AND Excessive fructose consumption is also believed to contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

With all the work our livers have to do in our processed food lives do we really need to consume things that make the liver really sick?

Besides making wiser choices in the foods you buy and consume, consider adding a member from the broccoli family every day to your dinner plate -- it aids the health of the liver.  Broccoli is consider one of the best examples, but radishes, kale and cabbage are also great - your liver will be grateful :-)

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady