Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is Crystalline Fructose?

One of my fitness clients showed me the ingredients of his bottled drink. A type of “health” drink, I don’t recall the brand and asked me if crystalline fructose was the same as high fructose corn syrup. I was very intrigued and set out to do some research on it. What I have learned is that crystalline fructose, is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup. This information is from the sugar producers themselves, at sugar.org. This explanation is very straightforward: it is made from corn syrup, and not only corn syrup, but “fructose enriched” corn syrup. Would another name for that perhaps be high fructose corn syrup? HFCS can be manufactured to either contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose, or up to 80 percent fructose and 20 percent glucose.” Fructose and glucose are metabolized differently in the body. “Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, however all fructose must be metabolized in the liver.

http://www.sweetdisguise.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/lungcancer.jpgI have learned that Crystalline Fructose contains 99.5% minimum of fructose assay, which is an even higher percentage of fructose than what makes up HFCS. Another ingredient of crystalline fructose is arsenic. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care what the amount is, in this case the chemical specs state 1 mg/kg maximum, I don’t want to be ingesting arsenic. Additional chemical compounds that make up crystalline fructose are heavy metals, lead, and chloride. I obtained this information from admworld.com in their PDF document that I used to research this post. Even if you do not drill down into the chemical composition of crystalline fructose, the bullet points of the document clearly show that this sweetener provides the same outcome and is used in the same way as HFCS is:
  • It is an ingredient in the same processed foods that HFCS is: sodas, other beverages (sadly, it is used in “health drinks” like the one my college professor had), breads, low-calorie dressings (read the labels of low-fat salad dressings), cereals, frozen foods, protein bars (supposed to be healthy!), and basically all processed foods.
  • It extends the shelf life of food.
  • It provides intense sweetness so only a small amount needs to be used (economical).
  • It is made from corn (again, economical).
  • It prevents baked goods and “nutrition” bars from drying out.

    http://mindfuleats.typepad.com/.a/6a010536eceaf8970b0111689c7550970c-800wiOf course, the health dangers of crystalline fructose are not outlined, and they will be the same as high fructose corny syrup since this is simply another form of fructose corn syrup, however crystalline fructose includes an even higher percentage of fructose than HFCS does. Remember that fructose must be processed completely in the liver, and when a diet includes a large amount of it, if you eat mainly processed foods. Then it creates a fatty liver, and even cirrhosis. I used to believe that fructose was a healthy alternative to cane sugar. It is NOT. I stand corrected. My new stance is stay away from HFCS and stay away from Crystalline Fructose! Stick with more natural sweeteners like honey. Good Luck..



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