3 reasons to ditch the soda!
Artificially produced high-fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, has been linked to the obesity epidemic and other lifestyle-related diseases that are on the rise in the developed world. Found most often in sweetened beverages, including soft drinks, this sweetener provides a hefty dose of fructose, a simple sugar ordinarily found primarily in fruits and vegetables.
Although industry defenders vehemently deny that fructose is processed differently in the body, evidence continues to mount that HFCS intake is far from beneficial. In fact, partially in response to pressure from consumers who are uncomfortable with the potential health effects of HFCS, several major soft drink manufacturers have switched to cane sugar to sweeten their products, even as the defense of HFCS in the food supply continues.
While it’s true that Americans’ consumption of sugars in general has risen in recent decades, and all excess sugars are arguably bad for you, it’s simply not true that fructose is handled exactly the same in the body as glucose. Together, glucose and fructose comprise sucrose, or table sugar. Cane sugar is simply table sugar derived from sugarcane. HFCS supplies a slightly larger percentage of fructose than you would obtain from table sugar.
Now, a large study published by researchers at New York University Medical College and the University of Massachusetts has concluded that intake of HFCS from soft drinks is related to the risk of developing asthma and bronchitis. Essentially, investigators discovered that among people aged 20-55, drinking HFCS-sweetened drinks is correlated with chronic bronchitis. Researchers believe the problem arises in the gut, when the body fails to absorb the rapid influx of fructose.
This “fructose malabsorption” may lead to the formation of aberrant compounds called enFruAGEs; compounds that spark inflammation in the lungs. EnFruAGEs are a form of damaging compound formed when sugar molecules crosslink with a protein fragment, in a process called glycation. These advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are thought to play a key role in a wide range of diseases and degenerative processes. They may even account for accelerated aging. They’re often formed during certain methods of high-heat cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking.
It’s interesting to note that, although these compounds can form in the body, the reaction is prevented by certain dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin C. This may hint at the reason that natural fructose, obtained from whole fruit, is considered perfectly safe and even beneficial.
3 Reasons to ditch soda:
1) Lose weight without dieting
2) Boost your immune system
3) Reduce inflammation in the body