High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a clear, colorless, highly processed liquid. HFCS is used as a sweetener in many processed foods because, thanks in part to large agricultural subsidies to the corn industry, it’s cheaper than sugar. That means HFCS is everywhere, even in products you wouldn’t expect to see it in.
HFCS is comprised of two sugars: fructose and glucose – but HFCS is very different than table sugar.
In HFCS, the glucose and fructose are not bound together, resulting in “free” sugars. Table sugar is a disaccharide with a bond between its glucose and fructose. The difference sounds small, but HFCS is NOT something you could make in your kitchen. In fact, it takes several steps with enzymatic chemical reactions and bacteria attached to rods to create. HFCS IS NOT as close to the ground as you can get.
Why is HFCS Unhealthy
The corn industry tells you that HFCS is ok “in moderation.’ What they don’t tell you is that consuming HFCS “in moderation” is nearly impossible with foods from a normal grocery store. Check your labels and you’ll see that HFCS is everywhere – in many foods including ketchup, bread, granola bars, flavored yogurt, and more. What the food makers do not tell you is how much HFCS they add to their products.
Research has shown that free (unbonded) fructose may be bad for us. It has been linked to excess fat buildup, leptin resistance, ghrelin suppression, and increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These research studies were not performed specifically with HFCS.
However, a recent study by Princeton University using High Fructose Corn Syrup suggested that FHCS may contribute to increased weight, increased abdominal fat, and increased triglyceride levels in the blood more rapidly than table sugar (sucrose).