Additive Awareness: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Most of you have probably heard the debate on High Fructose Corn Syrup (often abbreviated as HFCS). Most of the claims have been negative, however, there are the disputes that HFCS is not actually bad for you. I even saw a commercial once promoting the stuff. All I could think of was “Man are they trying hard to redeem that bad rap!”.

Now we’ve also all heard the saying “everything in moderation”. However, I just don’t believe that HFCS (or the other artificial or unnecessary additives in our food!) is a) any way good for you and b) needed. There are so many other more natural, less processed sweeteners out there that we could be using!

HFCS is absorbed into the body much quicker than regular sugar, causing our body’s blood sugar levels to majorly spike. And because our body does not properly digest HFCS due to the high fructose level (compared to regular cane sugar), HFCS goes straight to the liver, triggering the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol. In addition, HFCS does not activate Leptin, the chemical that tells our brain when we are full. Thus, increased appetite is often common.

A study from Princeton found that rats who consumed HFCS (compared to those who consumed regular table sugar) gained significantly more weight, especially in the abdomen. The HFCS rats also had increased levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood that is known to increase the risk of heart disease. Read more about the study here:

HFCS has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, increases in appetite, weight gain, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, and tooth decay. It is a highly processed substance that has been found to include contaminants such as mercury, due to the way it is processed. Eww!

HFCS is found in many processed and packaged foods, including pizzas, granola bars, sauces, cereals, fruit drinks, desserts, yogurts, breads, and canned fruits.

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Rule of thumb: If you can stay away from HFCS, do it. Even better, limit your intake of sugars in general. Your body (and mind!) will thank you! :)




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