High Fructose Corn Syrup- What’s the big deal?

High Fructose Corn syrup this. High Fructose Corn Syrup that. You can’t turn on the television without seeing a commercial, showing some food company bragging that their product does not contain high fructose corn syrup. But why all the fuss?

What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), is a chemically concocted derivative of corn starch, that was created in a laboratory, as a cheap alternative to sucrose or natural sugar. Companies that never used sweeteners, were now able to utilize an inexpensive, chemically stable, sugar alternative, to improve the taste of their products, which led to the High Fructose Corn Syrup explosion that saturated the food market.

Why should I avoid this ingredient?

HFCS has been linked to a litany of negative health effects on different parts of the body, including the brain, heart, liver, abdominal region, pancreas and the kidneys.  Additionally, HFCS has also been linked to variety of health problems including obesity, fatty liver disease, hypertension, and diabetes, just to name a few.

How can you avoid this ingredient in the food or beverage products you purchase?

As a rule of thumb, when you are buying food or beverage products, always begin by reading the labels.  Look for simple natural ingredients that you can pronounce, and that you recognize. This may seem tedious but as the old saying goes” Prevention is better than cure” and it is worth the extra effort to safeguard your health, as opposed to having to take expensive drugs, or undergoing costly medical procedures in the future.

Always Remember- Foods are like friends. Choose them wisely!

Sources of information for article are below:

1www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_bmi/about_childrens_bmi.html

2 2014Cynthia L. Ogden, Margaret D. Carroll, Cheryl D. Fryar,and Katherine M. Flegal,Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States. 2011–NCHS Data Brief No. 219  November 2015

3  Sobel Linda L., Dalby Elizabeth” Sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup—What Should Nurses Teach Patients and Families.” WVN 2014;11:126–132

4    Bell, Laura “Sweet Confusion: Does High Fructose Corn Syrup Deserve Such a Bad Rap?” Science News. May 16, 2013

 

 

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