The useful health tips on whether High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is bad for your health begin by examining what HFCS is. It is produced by:
o milling corn to produce corn starch
o from corn starch, corn syrup is produced; corn syrup is almost entirely glucose
o Enzymes are then added in to turn the glucose into fructose
o HFCS is produced when the fructose is blended with glucose to achieve the desired ratio
HFCS is widely used in:
o Baked foods
o Breakfast and energy bars
o Canned and frozen fruits
o Frozen beverage concentrates etc.
Useful Health Tips like you to note:
o HFCS and sucrose have almost similar amounts of fructose; HFCS is either 42% or 55% fructose; sucrose is 50% fructose.
o Both HFCS and sucrose have the same calorie content.
o In sucrose, the fructose and glucose are chemically bound; in HFCS, they are not chemically bound. Once digested, HFCS and sucrose metabolize similarly.
Useful Health Tips provide both arguments expounded by opponents and proponents of HFCS:
The argument against HFCS:
o It links to diabetes
o Increases LDL (the bad lipoprotein) leading to increased risks of cardiovascular heart diseases
o Alters magnesium balance leading to osteoporosis
o has no enzymes or vitamins
o Interacts with birth control pills and raises insulin levels in women on pills
o Increases risk of adult onset diabetes mellitus
o Accelerates aging
o Inhibits copper metabolism, causing bone fragility, anemia, and ischemic heart disease.
o Adds to overeating
The argument for HFCS:
o Studies on HFCS and sucrose show no differences in the effects of the sweeteners on insulin, leptin or ghrelin even when they are taken at doses much higher than average.
o HFCS has similar composition to sucrose hence similar metabolic effects. Sucrose has not been shown to raise triglyceride levels when taken in the amounts found in a typical diet.
o There has been no direct link found between HFCS and obesity. The opponents of HFCS are probably basing their opposition to HCFS because of the rising incidence of obesity the last 25 years in the US coincided with the introduction of HFCs around that time. However, many other factors have changed in the US over the last 25 years – people are leading a more sedentary lifestyle, eating out more often and have increased serving sizes. HFCS is not commonly used in other parts of the world and yet the incidences of rising obesity in these countries are the same as in the US.
o The imbalance between energy intake and expenditure is the underlying cause to the rising incidence of obesity and should not be blamed on HFCS.
The useful health tips here offer you some insight into this controversial issue for you to make an informed decision. While more studies are needed, there is no scientific basis to suggest HFCS is bad for your health.
P.S. Useful Health Tips maintain that it does not mean you should consume unlimited amounts of HFCS or any types of sugars. As with everything else, the key is in moderation.