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Looking at High Fructose Corn Syrup

Syrup pouring over pancakes topped with raspberries

“High fructose corn syrup” has come to have bad connotations for many Americans. Many wary consumers associate it with artificial food products, suspicious corporate manufacturing, and an increase of obesity in the United States. Let’s learn what high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is all about.

First, let’s talk about what high fructose corn syrup actually is. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), high fructose corn syrup is “derived from corn starch,” which is “a chain of glucose (a simple sugar) molecules joined together.” Sounds simple enough so far. “When corn starch is broken down into individual glucose molecules, the end product is corn syrup, which is essentially 100% glucose.

To make HFCS, enzymes are added to corn syrup in order to convert some of the glucose to another simple sugar called fructose, also called ‘fruit sugar’ because it occurs naturally in fruits and berries.” In other words, the corn starch is modified a bit to become a syrup that has some fructose in it, along with the original glucose. The “high fructose” in “high fructose corn syrup” comes from the fact that standard corn syrup only has glucose, but HFCS has more fructose than glucose because of the added enzymes and the subsequent reaction they trigger.

Now, for the real question: “Is high fructose corn syrup bad for me?”

I think it’d be best to address this question on two different levels. First, let’s talk about HFCS comparatively. The generic question posed three sentences ago could be also be posed like this: “Is high fructose corn syrup worse for my body than other sweeteners?” The answer: Probably not, but we don’t know for sure. There is insufficient scientific evidence to suggest that high fructose corn syrup is worse for our bodies than sucrose or any other sweeteners.

Now we can ask the question, “Is high fructose corn syrup good for me per se?” Of course not. HFCS is an added sugar, and added sugars are not good for our bodies, especially in the high quantities found in soft drinks and sweet processed foods.

Ultimately, you should avoid foods that contain high amounts of added sugars, including HFCS. But whether or not consuming products with HFCS will harm your body in any significant way compared to other sweeteners has yet to be proven or disproven. What is most important is that you design a diet for yourself that includes nutritious whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and other natural foods, but also limits your intake of processed, artificially sweetened foods.

And, as always, if you feel you need supplementation for your diet, Liquid Health™ is here for you.

Liquid Health™ products contain natural sweeteners. Our Daily Multiple and Women’s Multi supplements are sweetened with honey, and a majority of our products, including our Clear Skin B5, Glucosamine, and Raspberry Ketone supplements (to name a few), contain some form of Stevia, a plant that has been used as a natural sweetener and medicine by South American native peoples for hundreds of years.

If you are looking for more information, or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Sources/Information:
http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm324856.htm
http://sweetsurprise.com/what-is-hfcs
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers_b_861913.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-682-STEVIA.aspx?activeIngredientId=682&activeIngredientName=STEVIA