Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Really Ok to Eat?



You see the commercials all the time now. Someone mentions that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you, and then someone else steps in to tell them that it's pretty much the same as sugar and that it's fine in moderation. But is what these commercials say really true? That's exactly what I tried to find out.

High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is primarily any group of corn syrups that have been refined by converting its glucose into fructose and then mixed with pure corn syrup for its sweetness. HFCS is usually used as a sugar substitute in a variety of processed foods and beverages. But recently many people have been attributing HFCS as "a toxic chemical concoction" which is aiding in the US's obesity epidemic.

The truth is, high fructose corn syrup is cheaper to use and it is fine in moderation. But it's being used in almost everything we buy as consumers.

Recently the Corn Refiners Association has been trying to change the way people view HFCS with their commercials. Their message says that "it's made from corn, doesn't have artificial ingredients, and like sugar, it's fine in moderation." But according to the Consumer Report Health Blog, this message may actually be a little misleading.

The fact that it's made from corn is actually true, but it is a little misleading. It doesn't have any of corn's nutritional benefits, and it's actually chemically derived from corn. HFCS isn't really all natural, it is actually manmade and it uses the synthetic agent glutaraldehyde, but it is fine in moderation; it's not any healthier than sugar though.

The reports concerning that HFCS is actually the root of obesity is actually both true and not true. HFCS isn't the sole reason why the health of America has been flushed down the toilet, but it is part of the problem.

Because HFCS is added in almost everything we buy today, people end up consuming more than they think they are in the long run. I even checked the labels of all the food and beverages in my house and noticed HFCS in everything but my bottled water and my fresh fruit and vegetables. I was surprised to even see it in the label on my canned soup.

And when high fructose corn syrup is added almost anything that we buy, it becomes difficult to consume it in moderation. And because of this more people are attributing diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease according to the Mayo Clinic.

It seems the only way to get around this dilemma is to buy organic, finding foods that don't have HFCS on the ingredient list (which is few but still in existence)and to avoid or limit eating foods with preservatives and consume more fruits and vegetables instead. And it won't kill you to eat foods with high fructose corn syrup in it, but just keep in mind eating too much of it can.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you were simply being hyperbolic to drive home your point, but fear mongering about one ingredient, high fructose corn syrup, misses the target entirely.

    High fructose corn syrup is not a “sugar substitute.” It is a type of sugar, and just like every other type of sugar, it should be consumed in moderation.

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