What’s So Bad About High Fructose Corn Syrup

What’s So Bad About High Fructose Corn Syrup

Our sweet and eloquent Heidi Pyper is back this week to discuss the sticky situation of High Fructose Corn Syrup. We couldn’t resist hitting this topic as we’re all making preparations for a sugary Halloween. Take it away, Heidi…..

If a rose by any other name smells as sweet, calling High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) “corn sugar” just stinks. High Fructose Corn Syrup (which also goes by glucose-fructose) is an inexpensive sweetener found in everything from soda to spaghetti sauce and it has been making headlines. Recent studies have linked HFCS to obesity, diabetes and cancer. As it turns out, all that negative press has had an impact, and the consumer isn’t buying as much of the stuff. According to the Associated Press, consumption of corn syrup has fallen to a 20 year low. Coincidentally, the Corn Refiners Association wants to change the name to “corn sugar.” The corn people say these studies are inconclusive. I say that sounds a lot like what Lucky Strike was saying in 1957.

So what’s so bad about high fructose corn syrup?

I spoke with Natalie Brown, Dietitian based in Whiterock, B.C., who tells me that HFCS is turned into fat in our body far more rapidly than any other sugar. Consuming HFCS means more belly fat which can lead to Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. These adult onset diseases are now showing up in children.”

When I asked where we could expect to find HFCS, I was not surprised to hear her say soda, fast food and processed foods. You may also find it in foods like bread and cereals. As always the advice is: read those labels carefully. Brown suggests eliminating the baddies like soda and fast foods and limiting consumption wherever else possible. I know the verdict is still officially out, but I think I’ll wait until someone concludes without a shadow of a doubt that HFCS is harmless before I put it on the not to worry list.

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