What do "The Waltons," "The Andy Griffith Show," and "Little House on the Prairie" have in common? They pulled on your heartstrings, even if they were kind of sappy.
With some things, a touch of corniness is welcome.
However, when it comes to your food, researchers at UC Davis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, say that even a little high fructose corn syrup should have you turning the channel (so to speak) and choosing HFCS-free foods.
The scientists found that consuming a moderate amount of HFCS (equivalent to half a can of soda at breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for two weeks can raise bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and hikes your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Eighty-five healthy volunteers were divided into three groups: One group got drinks sweetened with a 25 percent concentration of HFCS, one with 17.5 percent, and a third with 10 percent.
The 25 percenters saw their LDL go from 91 to 107 mg/dL; the other HFCS-drinking groups went from 93-95 to 102. (Healthy levels are below 100.)
Unfortunately, in 2009, each North American ate more than 35 pounds of HFCS. And now, some say it's up to 66 pounds!
Heart woes aren't the only problem researchers report that HFCS can trigger: Scientific articles say it leads to weight gain by inhibiting secretion of the "stop eating" hormone leptin and never shutting off the "feed me more" hormone ghrelin.
Read ingredients labels on every food you buy, and go with fruits and berries for your natural sweet treats.
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