Food \ Healthy Skeptic

Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup Unhealthy?

"I definitely look for things that are lower in high fructose corn syrup, that are lower in sugars, because I think that's just really unhealthy."

"Well, personally I'm trying to lose weight so I'm trying to avoid HFCS and reading labels and trying not to have that in my diet."

If you read the fine print on labels, you know that high fructose corn syrup is in lots of foods we consume: soda, cereals, breads, cookies and crackers, to name just a few.

The sweetener extends the shelf life of products and is generally cheaper than sugar, which is why manufacturers like it. But some people consider it a dietary devil.

One concern is that it may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.

But the evidence for this is preliminary.

A more common claim is that it's a major contributor to obesity because its chemical makeup boosts our production of fat and causes us to pack on pounds.

So what exactly is in the sweetener? A combination of fructose and glucose⊦ the same ingredients in plain old table sugar, except in different proportions.

That similarity makes it unlikely that high-fructose corn syrup promotes weight gain any more than regular sugar, according to many nutrition experts.

What's more, a host of studies have by and large failed to prove the obesity claim.

Still, that doesn't mean it's okay to consume all those high-fructose sodas and cookies with abandon. Too much sugar, in whatever form, translates into too many empty calories. So by all means read the fine print on labels. Just be on the lookout for other forms of sugar as well.


This entry last modified on: January 31, 2013 5:33 PM

Comments: (2)

I've read in more then one source that you don't have the same sense of satiety with hfcs, hence, people eat more. Plain sugar in moderation is better, or some honey. Of course, to do this you have to be willing to do some baking because it is almost impossible to find products without hfcs. But there are a few manufacturers who have stood up for people and their health. I've been reading labels and avoiding hfcs and have been able to lose 40 lbs. I'm 62. Not alot of exercise, some. I've even found a soda with natural cane sugar, for the occasional splurge. Coconut water is great. It's really upsetting to see people standing up for a product in so many foods when you can visibly see the evidence in the levels of obesity in the world. The commercials are rediculous. For my good health and body, I'll abstain.

You go girl!!! You're right on! It's a revolving door between the FDA & Monsanto. They do their own research & come to those conclusions. I'd say there is a conflict of interest. If it's dangerous for rats, it's dangerous for us! We live longer & eat more! HFCS is seen as a foreign substance by the cells & it's stored in the liver as fat -- not in the cells for energy like sugar. Our systems aren't designed for processed foods, we preceed them. We are designed to eat REAL, Whole foods!

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About the Video

Is high-fructose corn syrup really hazardous to your health? Our Healthy Skeptic separates the truth from the rumors.

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