What is the big deal about high fructose corn syrup or HFCS? Most of us are aware that sugar is bad for us. But did you know HFCS is worse for your health than regular sugar?
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American eats over 100 pounds of sugar in one year!
- The average child (under 12 years old) eats 49 pounds of sugar.
- 1/2 of that sugar is high fructose corn syrup.
What is high fructose corn syrup?
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is a chemical sweetener blend of glucose and fructose.
- It is an ingredient found in many processed foods including soft drinks.
- HFCS is a highly processed sugar made from corn stalks.
How is HFCS Made?
- High fructose corn syrup is a man made chemical.
- It is created through a complex process involving extracting sugar from corn stalks.
- HFCS is cheaper than sugar because of government farm bill corn subsidies.
Why is High fructose corn syrup is bad for you?
- It is highly addictive
- A study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows definitive correlation between High Fructose Corn Syrup consumption and negative health outcomes.
- Fructose goes right to the liver and causes a condition called “fatty liver” which can lead to a damaged liver.
Health issues associated with HFCS
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Increased Belly Fat
Why is high fructose corn syrup worse than sugar?
- HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical.
- A slight chemical difference between the two causes the body to react differently.
- There is no chemical bond between the fructose and glucose molecules in HFCS so it can bypass digestion and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream – Dr. Mark Hyman
- The fructose goes directly to the liver, where it converts to fat.
- Sugar can make you feel full, but HCFS does not.
- The lack of a “full” signal causes you to eat more calories than you actually need.
How to avoid high fructose corn syrup
- Stop buying foods made with high fructose corn syrup.
- Read every label and if you see HFCS listed, don’t buy it.
- Sodas are the number one offenders. A lot of sodas use high fructose corn syrup as the only sweetener.
- Note that HFCS is also commonly found in things such as children’s medicine.
- Watch out for label changes in the near future.
Companies are getting smart and adding “fructose” instead of high fructose corn syrup. Don’t be fooled when the front of the package says that a product contains no high fructose corn syrup. This fructose is actually a manufactured sugar called HFCS-90, and is made up of 90% pure fructose.
Foods to check for HFCS include:
- Jelly and jam
- Condiments like BBQ sauce, ketchup mayo etc.
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream
- Cereals and breakfast foods
- Apple sauce
- Pasta sauces
You are in control of what you eat so just avoid it! We all know you are going to eat sugar because it’s everywhere, so avoid the worse stuff and go with the regular sugar!
Conclusion: The Hidden Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup
- High fructose corn syrup is a very popular ingredient, found in lots of processed foods.
- You may also want to watch out for the ingredient “fructose”
- It doesn’t come from nature and is created from corn stalks.
- It bypasses your hunger cues and makes you eat more
- Turns into fat instead of energy
- It is linked to common diseases like obesity and diabetes.
- You can easily avoid HFCS by reading food labels.