Archive for the ‘HFCS’ Category

What’s in a name? CRA seeks name change from High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar

In order to shake the carefully crafted misperceptions of high fructose corn syrup launched by anti-commercial agriculture interests in the last few years, Corn Refiners Association on September 14 officially petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration to allow a change in the name of the product to “corn sugar.”

The group hopes the new name will properly reflect the corn-based sweetener as a nutritive sugar–ie a sugar that imparts energy and calories (as opposed to non-nutritive sweeteners like Saccharin, which contain no calories or energy).

“We think it’s a debate about choices,” said Greg Schwarz, a corn farmer in Le Sueur, Minnesota, and president of Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “Consumers should be in control. They are the ones who need to make choices about their diet and nutrition, and the best way to do that is to have accurate information.”

A huge number of people have become convinced that corn-based sweeteners are more harmful than others, despite actual proof that the opposite is true, that corn-, cane- and beet-sugars are all equivalent. A recent article written by New York Times reporter Tara Parker-Pope cited a poll which found that 55 percent of Americans have bought into the false information and believe that high fructose corn syrup is harmful at any level and more harmful than other sugars–the poll found the only worries that top HFCS are mad cow disease and the presence of mercury in fish.

Parker-Pope reports: “But most nutrition scientists say that consumer anxiety about the sweetener is misdirected,” and she adds, “Only about half the added sugar in the U.S. diet comes from corn sources.”

The Corn Refiners Association cites reports from the American Dietetic Association that high fructose corn syrup is “nutritionally equivalent to sucrose (table sugar)…and that the sweeteners contain the same number of calories per gram…once absorbed into the blood stream the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

Make no mistake, sugar in any form means empty calories. But it’s also a pleasurable taste that is not harmful in small quantities, according to nutrition experts. 

The fact, as reported in the New York Times, that sugar makes up 16 percent of the caloric intake of Americans goes against an optimally healthful diet.

The USDA put together the DASH diet in 2005, to help people reduce high blood pressure, but it serves as an excellent guide to balanced eating. When following the DASH diet added sugars can make up as much as 13.35 percent of daily calories–the equivalent of 8 teaspoons of sugar or 267 calories–in a healthful 2,000-calorie per day diet. This compares to two cups of fruit, 2.5 cups of veggies, 6 ounces of grain-based products, 5.5 ounces of meat and/or beans, 3 cups of milk/cheese and six teaspoons of oils. American Dietetic Association says that consumption of fructose and sucrose becomes problematic when it reaches above 25 percent of a young, growing person’s calories.
 
The USDA states the bottom line of the DASH diet:
–More dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat milk and milk products.
–Less refined grains, total fats (especially cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and calories.

“No one should be consuming too much sugar in their diet–doctors and dietitians can help people learn what’s the right level to maintain good health,” said Schwarz. “But when you do want something sweet, the fact that corn sugar and beet sugar and cane sugar all flow into the sweetener market makes sweetened foods cheaper. Then it’s up to the consumer to put that savings into other things to benefit themselves and their families. Cheaper sugar doesn’t need to mean over-eating the sweet stuff. We trust the informed consumer to make the choice about what’s the right amount.”

Read the full NY Times article at:
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/104177393.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

Read more about the DASH diet at
http://www.iom.edu/Object.File/Master/21/372/0.pdf