Not long ago, there was a major ad campaign launched by corn manufacturers touting the innocence of high fructose corn syrup. “It’s just like sugar,” the ads claimed. “Just another natural sweetener,” they insisted. This, however, is blatantly false. High-fructose corn syrup is not natural nor is it harmless. In fact, there is mounting evidence that high fructose corn syrup seriously messes with the human body, from inducing food allergies to instigating hormonal imbalances. Read on below for some solid evidence as to why you should avoid all foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.
1. Increased Risk of Obesity and Diseases
Just as cane sugar is dangerous in high doses, so is high fructose corn syrup. The scariest part, however, is that many of us consume way more HFCS than we think, because it is hiding in everything from our sandwich bread to our favorite snacks and drinks. This consumption of HFCS leads to weight gain, increased appetite, diabetes, and possibly even cancer.
2. HFCS is NOT the Same as Cane Sugar
While both are dangerous in high amounts, high fructose corn syrup poses more threats to the human body, no matter how big or small the amount. HFCS is a heavily-processed, chemical compound, whose creation process is known by only a few. The process results in a sweeter, cheaper product than pure cane sugar, with a higher fructose-glucose ratio. This higher concentration of fructose in the body results in liver damage and huge spikes in insulin. Thus, high fructose corn syrup ends up messing with your entire metabolism and increasing your appetite, cravings for sweet foods, and risk of diabetes along with other diseases. When eaten in its natural form and in moderation, pure cane sugar does not wreak havoc on the body as high fructose corn syrup does.
3. HFCS Can Contain Harmful Ingredients
One study by a self-claimed FDA researcher found that a test barrel of high fructose corn syrup contained high amounts of mercury. Others have noticed that when samples of HFCS were run through a chemical analyzer, odd spikes of chemicals became apparent. Because the production of high fructose corn syrup is so secretive, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what goes into making this product, and it’s just another reason to avoid HFCS as much as possible.
4. Health Professionals Warn Against Consuming HFCS
Barry M. Popkin, PhD, Professor in the Department of Nutrition at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has written about the threats posed by high fructose corn syrup. According to Dr. Popkin, fructose can mess with the body’s metabolism and lead to issues such as increased weight gain. It is difficult to find a health professional that advocates for the use of high fructose corn syrup.
5. High Fructose Corn Syrup Masks Poor Food Quality
Because it is so sweet, HFCS is often used to add flavor to nutrient-depleted foods and make them more appealing. If you see high fructose corn syrup on the list of ingredients, it is almost a sure bet that the food item in question does not contain many beneficial ingredients, such as fiber or vitamins and minerals.
Clearly, high fructose corn syrup is not the same as real sugar, and should be avoided as much as possible. For as much as we do know about the harm of HFCS, we still have that much more to learn about it. It is quite likely that as the earliest generations raised on HFCS age, they will develop new and unique health issues that are difficult to overcome. For the health of you and your family, avoid consuming high fructose corn syrup as much as possible.