Nowadays, we can find so many artificial sweeteners that we barely use sugar anymore. Manufacturers advertise them as being low in calories, healthier, and even cheaper, so there’s no surprise that a lot of people have switched to them for their daily consumption. However, at the same time, there are many people who are concerned about dangerous side effects associated with their consumption. It is rather difficult to tell what the truth is. One such artificial sweetener is high fructose corn syrup. While it seems to bring some benefits, there is still some amount of controversy surrounding its consumption. Why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you? We are going to answer this question and more in the following guide.
Why Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad?
What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup and How Is It Made?
Before getting into the dangers of consuming high fructose corn syrup, we thought we’d take a look at what it actually is and how you obtain it. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener that people make out of cornstarch. The way to get it is to break the cornstarch down into several glucose molecules. Manufacturers have to mix the syrup that they get (and that is basically pure glucose) with enzymes in order for it to become the high fructose corn syrup we are all familiar with. This process of adding enzymes turns part of the glucose into fructose.
Now, the level of fructose a certain type of corn syrup has can vary from 42% up to 90%. Usually, the rest of its composition is simply glucose and water. Manufacturers add HFCS to so many products nowadays that it is difficult for us not to consume it. We find it in processed food, baked products, cereals, soft drinks, jelly, ice cream, yoghurt, salad dressing, and so on.
Why Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for You? – 5 Main Reasons
Finally, we have reached the most relevant part of our guide, namely informing you why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you. To that purpose, we have gathered 5 concerning reasons that you should keep in mind. Let’s have a look!
It Can Cause Obesity
Obesity has become a really serious issue nowadays, as more and more people have stopped paying attention to what they eat. For instance, the consumption of too much sugar on a daily basis can cause obesity. That is especially true for children who are usually more careless with what they consume. In this case, it does not matter what the sugar masquarades as. Especially since people usually compare high fructose corn syrup to actual granulated sugar. In fact, its biochemistry is quite different, which we will touch upon next.
It Is Not Natural
As you’ve probably already been able to figure out from the above information related to how people make high fructose corn syrup, this sweetener is not natural at all. What does this mean for us? Well, first of all, since we make it from fructose and glucose (but more fructose, which is also sweeter), our body does not need to digest it. Which means that it will go straight to our bloodstream really fast. Fructose can affect the liver, spike your insulin levels, increase your appetite, lead to heart disease, and so on.
It Contains Mercury
Manufacturers often use chlor-alkali products to make high fructose corn syrup. These products are high on mercury, which means that the final product will have the same problem. If you chemically analyze HFCS, you will see plenty of chemicals apart from fructose and glucose. Which begs the question: why are they not on the label?
It Is Not Recommended by Experts
Just to give you an example of how nutrition specialists are actually against the consumption of high fructose corn syrup, we will take a look at a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Professor Barry M. Popkin states that our body digests, absorbs, and metabolizes fructose in a different way than it does glucose. This might take away our energy and lead to weight gain.
It Is a Sign of Poor Quality Products
The truth is that even if you take out the other health concerns associated with the consumption of high fructose corn syrup, you will still have the fact that the products containing it are generally bad for you anyway. Why is that, you ask? Well, because they are mostly processed products which are nutritionally-depleted. They have a lot of artificial ingredients, are made up of empty calories, and have a general poor quality that you should avoid.
Summing It All Up
To conclude today’s guide, we hope we managed to prove why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you. Not only is its biochemistry different, which makes you wonder why it is advertised as being so similar to granulated sugar, but its composition should definitely raise an alarm. The high fructose levels that go straight to our bloodstream, and the mercury and other chemicals that we can find in it, should be enough to make us want to stay away from it. If you needed more reasons to convince yourself of this, then at least consider that the type of food that usually contains HFCS is unhealthy for you anyway, and does not make for a proper nutrition.