Monday, June 13, 2011


We have a new contributor to the Shuttle blog roll a Mr Steve Cook and I hope that his initial posts are not an indicator of future ones. He starts off with an attack on Fructose which sadly repeats many scare stories that have been bandied about.

Fructose sounds harmless but it is deadly and can be concealed in soft drinks and fast foods and behind the datum that it is "a sugar found in fruit." 
As it's an ingredient it can't be hidden and indeed isn't. As for being a sugar found in fruit it is along with sucrose and glucose which Mr Cook isn't attacking.
One of its deadliest forms, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is now the main ingredient in most soft drinks and many processed foods. 
Why deadly? Corn syrup is naturally composed of glucose and fructose (keeping it simple); the process here is to convert some of the glucose into fructose to make it taste sweeter. So it's just fructose, nothing sinister added to make it more deadly. Why is it such a used ingredient? Because it's cheap.
Fructose affects the body’s biochemistry in ways that lead to elevated insulin levels,
Disputed. There's a few to many "if's" in the research.
Those concerned about their weight should know that HFCS is the number one source of calories, having 250% more calories than sugar.
Sucrose (table sugar), glucose, and fructose share roughly the same number of calories per amount about 3 Calories per gram. The most common HFCS is a combination (55% Fructose 45% Glucose) and has the same relative sweetness as sucrose. Same sweetness equals same amount equals same calories.
Apparently, fructose contributes to other health problems like increased inflammation, high blood pressure and excess uric acid as well as causing fatty liver deposits in ways similar to alcohol.
Partially correct though most often these occur in individuals who have an intolerance for it. In the case of the liver fructose has to be metabolised by it whereas glucose can be metabolised anywhere in the body.
If you are searching for a major cause for widespread obesity and other modern health problems, shine your searchlight on soft drinks and the HFCS hidden therein. 
Better to just look at all the sugars they contains and combine that with the increased consumption of such and the postulated lower levels of exercise.

The notion that fructose is an acceptable form of sugar is dangerously false
It's sugar! There's no question of it being acceptable or not it's just sugar.
HFCS metabolizes to fat in your body even more quickly and its negative effects are magnified when you consume it in liquid form. 
It's the fructose not the HFCS that is metabolised into fat by the liver. As for the liquid part, that's more to do with appetite.
Even worse, the corn that the high fructose corn syrup comes from is genetically modified corn, which insinuates even more health risks into your food chain.
Shall I bother?
It is however surprising that the government of our beloved European Union has recently gone out of its way to ban many traditional herbal remedies that have no such links - and have indeed proven pretty safe after hundreds of years of use - while leaving the field wide open to substances that are positively lethal.  
Oh dear. As I've already stated no-one is banning herbs particularly those that have been proven (i.e. tested scientifically) to be safe. As for fructose being potentially lethal  Orphi can provide the Latin quote - anything can be lethal given the dosage.
None of this should, however, put you off eating fruit.
Moderate amounts of whole fruit will not hit you with huge amounts of fructose and should not be a problem. On the other hand, foods containing fructose in concentrated amounts, such as fruit juices, sodas and other beverages sweetened with it, should be avoided. 
I agree; but that's only part of the matter.
The way to defend yourself and your children against a food industry armed with fructose is so simple anyone can do it. Just don't consume foods or drinks containing fructose. 
Except for fruit apparently that's fine.

Okay in terms of the main theme I agree we should be avoided high-fructose foods and drinks; but we should be avoided any such item that contains high levels of any sugar; or fat; or salt. Aiming at one specific item and demonising it is not helpful. Instead of HFCS in soft drinks they'll return to using sucrose which has it's own harmful side effects when taken in the same dosage levels.

Just look at the information that by law appears on packaged food products; check the handy colour-coded wheel and don't gorge yourself. It's really that simple.


Anonymous said...

I don't know why they don't rename the "blogs" section as "Cranks corner" and have done with it. Especially given there now protected status. You should write to the shuttle flip and point out the misinformation and bullshittery they're happy to put up without challenge.

FlipC said...

I'm not sure the Shuttle would want to start an internecine war ;-)

Given Roy's return and Steve's arrival have both published without a comment section, yet Bruce's entries posted between them still sport one I wonder if someone's just not ticked a variable in the account?

As to Cranks Corner... sigh. Rosemary's still plugging away with a note of sanity and Lord Baldy appears on occasion to liven things up.

It's just that so much of what's being written is either from the standard tabloid fact-mangling or pure political ideology... or Bruce.

Just some small amount of fact-checking looking at the actual sources rather than the 'quotes' from sources would solve so much. I mean Steve has a valid point buried amongst the rubbish it would just shine through that much greater if he'd removed some of it.

walkerno5 said...

Incidentally, check out the website of our friendly pseudo-scientific claptrap provider.

Turns out he's a scientologist and 9/11 truther.... a winning combination to be sure.

FlipC said...

Ah. I did visit the two sites mentioned at the end of the article, but it was quite sparse at the time.

When I get chance I'll trawl through WellHealthy (where have I heard that of that site before?) and the link to PublicInterest.