High Fructose Corn Syrup – Sweet? or Sour?
Over the past few decades, high fructose corn syrup has gained popularity within the food industry. It is a highly processed sugar derived from corn starch. It is made into a syrup and originally has only glucose (pure sugar), but then enzymes are added to it which converts some of the glucose into fructose.
Fructose is the type of sugar we find in fruit, and it is very sweet. High fructose corn syrup is very common in sodas, candy, cereal, bread, baked goods, snack foods, yogurts, salad dressings and many other processed foods. Compared to regular sugar, High fructose corn syrup is cheaper, sweeter and is absorbed more quickly into the body. Americans consume large amounts of high fructose corn syrup – an average of 60 grams a day.
There was a time when high fructose corn syrup was advertised as if it were some kind of healthy alternative to sugar. However, over the past few decades, more and more scientific evidence has shown that this substance isn’t healthy at all – not even remotely close! First off, HFCS contains no enzymes, vitamins, or minerals. So, once you ingest it, there isn’t going to be anything left in your body except a long list of symptoms.
High fructose corn syrup is associated with heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels, and cancer. Fructose is broken down in the liver and eating too much high fructose corn syrup allows for a build-up of fat in the liver and deterioration of the intestinal barrier leading to a leaky gut.
None of this is good news.
Therefore, it is important to read labels before you make a purchase. When an ingredient is deemed “bad for you” it seems manufacturers try to hide it by renaming it. In the US today common names for high-fructose corn syrup include maize syrup, tapioca syrup, glucose/fructose syrup, glucose syrup, dahlia syrup and crystalline glucose.
So, what’s the bottom line? We need to be smart and vigilant consumers. Read the labels on the foods you buy, know what ingredients to avoid, and don’t be fooled by alternative names. It might take a little more effort, but your health is worth it.
Creswell, John D. “HFCS: the Hidden Danger in the U.S.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2010. Web. 23 Nov 2012.
Zawn Villines , What Foods Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, Medical News Today. 2019 May 29.
Kratz, M., et al. “High Fructose Corn Syrup: A Nutritionally Evil Ingredient That Destroys Our Health and Fuels the Obesity Epidemic.” Arvada: Natural Healing & Weightloss Centre, 2009. Web.
“High Fructose Corn Syrup Health Risks.” High Fructose Corn Syrup Health Risks. WebMD, n.d. Web. 23 Nov 2012.
“High Fructose Corn Syrup?” Corn Refiners Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov 2012.