Why You Should Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

It is found in almost every grocery item in the United States:  high fructose corn syrup.  Many people find this sweetener can do more harm than good, mainly because it is a highly concentrated form of sugar, making it really sweeter. 

However, HFCS manufacturers tried to fight back by launching a series of ad campaigns, saying thet there is nothing wrong with the syrup.  Why?  As the advertisements say, "it is made from corn, doesn’t have artificial ingredients, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and like sugar, is fine with moderation."

The commercials may have raised some points, but many health experts claim that the ads are an insult to the consumers.  However, what exactly is wrong about high fructose corn syrup?

It IS made from corn

Corn (or maize) may be a natural item, but contrary to popular belief, it is not a vegetable but a type of grain.  When ingested in the human body, grains are metabolized very rapidly into sugars and cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. 

Doing so, your pancreas is forced to produce more amounts of insulin, which in several cases has caused the organ to be strained.  Also, corn has been linked as a major contributor to the United States’ massive increase in obesity and type II diabetes in the last 25 to 30 years.

HFCS is more prevalent in groceries

It is hard to consume high fructose corn syrup in moderation because you can find it in virtually every grocery item from fruit juices to candy to even bread.  More food manufacturers use HFCS in their products because it is a cheaper alternative to cane and/ or beet sugar. 

Although high fructose corn syrup has profited both the corn farmers and the food manufacturers, the food products containing HFCS that have been consumed for the past 30 years contributed to a significant increase in obesity and type II diabetes in the United States, not to mention a lot of other health concerns.

HFCS is unhealthy in all levels

High fructose corn has been shown in several studies to have high cholesterol levels, thus causing the walls of our arteries to get clogged with plaque.  Clogged arteries slowly decrease our blood flow, thus making the heart work much harder and may even wear it out. 

HFCS is also absent of any real nutritional value and is more than twice as sweet compared to cane sugar or beet sugar.  The sugar in our blood has to be consumed by the muscles through physical activities especially exercise or any other strenuous movements, or else it is converted into fat and stored in the body. 

Aside from obesity and type II diabetes, high fructose corn syrup has also been linked to the increase in heart disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay, anemia, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and other illnesses.  HFCS can also make the body more acidic, which may even cause several other health issues from allergies, acid reflux, and high cholesterol level.

HFCS may even be poisonous

A January 2009 article in Environment Health journal has released two new U.S. studies, which conclude that traces of mercury have been found in about half of tested samples of commercial-grade high fructose corn syrup.  In addition, the report says that mercury "was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where high fructose corn syrup is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient."

Mercury is a very toxic substance, which causes debilitating effects in the nervous system.  With the high amount of HFCS being consumed by children, the researchers find that it could be a significant additional source of mercury.

But how come foods containing HFCS such as salad dressing, dairy products, and condiments have traces of mercury in their products?  It is because mercury is used to produce caustic acid, which is needed to make HFCS.  Meanwhile, another chemical ingredient needed in HFCS is hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive substance that has been used in toilet cleaners and leather processing.

Is it okay to consume high fructose corn syrup because it is "natural"? Bear in mind that not all natural substances are beneficial to the body.  Lead, mercury, and arsenic are natural although definitely not only healthy, but even deadly.  HFCS does not occur in natural, and it has been chemically altered.