A new study came out about food fears and why people avoid certain foods, like high fructose corn syrup. According to the study, of a 1000 mothers surveyed, those who avoid high fructose corn syrup get their information from internet. Now we all know, if it’s on the internet it must be true right? Realistically, if you already have a per-existing opinion or fear of an ingredient, you are sure to find information to back-up what you already feel on the internet. To combat the fear, let’s separate fact from myths. So, let’s tackle high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup is simply a sweetener made from corn. It is very similar to sugar and honey and our bodies don’t really know the difference. It tastes very similar, actually better. (I will take a regular Pepsi over a Throwback Pepsi any day!) Our bodies absorb and metabolize it the same as sugar. (Same amount of calories!) And, it’s all natural! (No synthetic ingredients. No color additives.)
But what about all those commercials and web pages that say HFCS isn’t healthy? Early on HFCS was thought to be impacting America’s obesity rate. This was merely a hypothesis, but of course it caught attention and made headlines. Since then, this myth has been dispelled. While consumption of HFCS has decreased over the years, obesity continues to climb. Since sugar and HFCS are so similar, you can’t really say one is “healthier” than the other.
Is HFCS sweeter than sugar? No. It is designed to be very similar to sugar so our taste buds wouldn’t know the difference. If anything, it is actually less sweet than sugar. The name itself, high fructose corn syrup is actually misleading. It’s not actually higher in fructose than sugar and the glucose added to the composition balances everything out. We should consider it just corn syrup. The FDA say HFCS is a safe ingredient and recognizes it as a natural ingredient.
I keep preaching how HFCS and sugar are basically the same thing, so why bother producing HFCS? Well, it’s cost effective, it’s versatile and it tastes better. In fact, you might not recognize some of your favorite foods if HFCS was taken out of the recipe. I’ve decided to include a link to a study on HFCS just so you can see for yourself how safe this ingredient is.