IF YOU CAN’T CONVINCE THEM, CONFUSE THEM – Harry Truman
We have all seen in any product available at your grocery store (yes even at Whole Foods!) the ingredient “high fructose corn syrup” or “corn syrup”. They are in almost any processed food sweet AND savory and is incredibly harmful for your health.
But why? Keep reading this and banish it. You’ll thank me later!
What is high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener derived from corn. It’s different from regular corn syrup which is derived 100% from glucose. Most HFCS contains just 45% glucose. The remaining 55% is from fructose, a natural simple sugar found in honey, fruits, and vegetables.
Even if high-fructose corn syrup may be considered “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the FDA, doctors and health influencers COMPLETELY DISAGREE.
The terms “fructose” and “high fructose corn syrup” are often used interchangeably, which can get a little confusing. Fructose is also a component of table sugar, and can be used as an ingredient on its own. Table sugar (also known as sucrose) contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
Although, you can find HFCS and corn syrup is in almost every aisle of the supermarket, it sweetness level is comparable to table sugar but is cheaper and more efficient for manufacturers to use in foods. It’s found in many foods and beverages, such as fruit juice, soda, cookies, pastries, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup, and mayonnaise.
Why avoiding them?
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has received quite a bit of media attention in recent years. It’s the typical added sugar component of modern processed foods and can have potentially negative health consequences. Plain corn syrup is simply glucose, the most basic sugar molecule, and doesn’t receive as much media coverage.
According to many experts like Dr. Hyman or Dr. Mike Roussell, both are added sugars, and should be minimized in your diet as much as possible. “The negative health consequences can be seen in the different ways that fructose and glucose are metabolized. Fructose is absorbed in your small intestine but shuttled off to your liver for processing before it hits your bloodstream. If too much fructose enters your liver, whatever cannot be processed will be converted into fat, which will ultimately exacerbate metabolic syndrome” according to Dr. Mike Roussell.
In comparison, corn syrup, which is only glucose, is dumped directly into your bloodstream, ready for your tissues to soak it up and use as energy. However a recent studies brought into question the role of fructose in the health problems Americans are going trough, like high obesity and diabetes
It can make you diabetic
If you don’t have a history of diabetes in your family, don’t consider yourself safe if you are consuming those sweeteners. The prevalence of diabetes is 20% higher in countries with higher availability of high fructose corn syrup.
It can increase cancer and heart diseases
They have been related to cardiovascular diseases and multiples cancers.
It can make you fat
According to studies, since the introduction of HFCS as a cost-effective sweetener, the rate of obesity in the U.S. has exploded! Coincidence? After studying on rats, they discovered that consuming HFCS leads to more weight gain than consuming table sugar even when calorie intake is the same. Sugar intake is today very contested and has been qualified as more addictive than cocaine.
In hand with doctors and influencers, I recommend that you avoid both types of corn syrup. There is also another question that concerned more all types of sugar rather than just HFCS and corn syrup. Even if both HFCS and corn syrup are very used in processed, if you drink a 20-ounce soda containing HFCS, corn syrup, or even sucrose, your major health concern shouldn’t be the type of sugar… but the fact that you just drank 15 teaspoons of sugar!
The key is to avoid any overconsumption of added sugar and read labels.
Raw honey is my favorite alternative. I use it for baking and cooking. My favorite honey is Manuka honey but for baking I would recommend a less expensive honey.
Coconut sugar is also a great one if vegan and raw.
Finally, if you some sugar, believe me, as crazy at it is, you want to buy sugar with the mention “vegan on it. I just learned that they use animal bone char for refined sugar and it’s really gross.
Thanks for reading me and I hope you will find this helpful! I’ll write an article about sugar and the harm for your health.
- Institute of Integrative Nutrition courses
- Dr. Marc Hyman
- Picture from oukosher.com