HFCS has been been attributed to increased rates of kidney and liver disease. How? With regard to the liver, one of the multitude of functions of the liver is to metabolize fructose, a fruit sugar in which HFCS is broken down into. The problem is that eating too much processed foods loaded with fructose (in the form of HFCS) overworks the liver. Consider this example: a cup of blueberries has about 30 calories worth of fructose whereas a can of Coke contains three times this amount! Your body, specifically your liver, reacts negatively when inundated with so much fructose. This organ cannot keep up with the demands put upon it and as a result fat becomes a byproduct. In fact, increased HFCS intake increases fat accumulation, which in turn causes liver disease.
HFCS has been linked to heart disease, the number one cause of death in America. Too much fructose (primarily from HFCS) can result in an elevation of blood triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol. According to Harvard Health, two studies have linked a higher intake of fructose with elevated risk of developing or dying from heart disease.
HFCS (along with excessive sugar intake) may also contribute to decreased cognition. This means that the consumption of large quantities of artificially-sweetened foods, most of which are processed, may make you dumber. Drop the can of soda now since it may be a contributing factor in why you don't have a college degree!
How does increased fructose intake cause bodyfat accumulation? Remember that fructose is a fruit sugar which the body cannot metabolize as quickly as other sugars like sucrose found in table sugar. Once the liver breaks the fructose down into glucose, blood sugar levels rise and insulin secretion from the pancreas elevates. This increased insulin secretion, in turn, stimulates fat cells to store calories from glucose once the blood sugar level becomes sufficiently elevated. Translation: when you eat too much fructose you get fat!
BOTTOM LINE: Reduce your consumption of processed foods such as candy, sweetened cereal, pastries, and especially soda to reduce fat retention.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."