(NaturalNews) High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used to sweeten many food products, like popular ketchup brands, pancake syrups and barbecue sauces. The grocery store is loaded with HFCS food concoctions, but the greatest concern regarding health is probably sodas, since these beverages are easily consumed en masse.
24-packs might only last a few days in some households. The average person can conveniently fill up a 44 oz cup of soda at a gas station. Retail stores now sell kits allowing consumers to mix their own beverages at home.
Labels reveal overall sugar content, but according to a new study, there's more to the story when dealing with HFCS products. Sodas actually contain more health-harming fructose than labels lead people to believe.
Labels are not honest about sugar content and composition
Sugar (sucrose) is generally 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Fructose is the harmful part of sugar that contributes to weight gain and diabetes. Fructose is processed almost entirely in the liver, where it is converted into fat, unlike glucose, which is the part used throughout the body as fuel.
A new analysis of 34 popular beverages reveals that labels aren't accurately representing the actual fructose content in many popular sodas. In fact, nutrition labels lead people to believe that all sugar is the same. It turns out that this is untrue.
"We found what ends up being consumed in these beverages is neither natural sugar nor HFCS, but instead a fructose-intense concoction that could increase one's risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease," said lead author Michael Goran of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
Labels are really just leaving consumers out in the dark. This leads to unexpected weight gain and diabetes, because consumers don't know how much of the actual health-harming fructose is in their beverages.
Researcher makes another important discovery
The high-fructose corn syrup industry, represented by the Corn Refiners Association, has always broadcasted that HFCS is similar to real sugar (sucrose). This new study debunks that myth and is calling out for more transparency in the big HFCS industry.
According to Goran's findings, Coco-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite all contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose. Not all sugars are the same, as Goran pointed out, finding a 60:40 ratio of fructose to glucose in popular HFCS-containing beverages.
Upon further investigation, Goran's team also found out that some beverage labels may be fronting a lie altogether. For instance, on the label of a Pepsi Throwback, real sugar (sucrose) is listed. After testing the soda's fructose to glucose ratio, Goran found that the drink contains more than 50 percent fructose, indicating that the product is not 100 percent real sugar. The results were published in the journal Nutrition.
That wasn't the only product that was found to be a lie. Sierra Mist, Gatorade and Mexican Coca-Cola also had higher concentrations of fructose than implied by their labels, suggesting that the soda manufacturers use some HFCS without labeling it.
Goran makes an important point about the new discoveries: "Given that Americans drink 45 gallons of soda a year, it's important for us to have a more accurate understanding of what we're actually drinking, including specific label information on the types of sugars." With Americans leading the world in HFCS consumption per capita, doubling its intake of HFCS over the last three decades, diabetes rates have tripled.
Mass consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks is creating a culture of unnecessary weight gain and diabetes, as people are obliviously inundated with extra health-harming fructose that's not differentiated properly from glucose.
This label trickery is creating a silent health crisis. Labels could be more honest if they showed the percentage of fructose compared to glucose, letting the consumer know if the product actually contains real sugar or a more dangerous counterpart.