Everyone has heard that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is terrible for you. It is linked to high rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, liver failure, and tooth decay in consumers. It is also much cheaper to manufacture than regular table sugar, which is why it is so heavily used in the food industry.
HFCS has been around since its advent in the 1970’s but has only in the past 20 years come under heavy scrutiny. The Corn Refiner Association (CRA) has been crafty in finding deceitful ways to convince consumers that it is no less healthy for you than the sugar you find in fruit by pouring money into deceptive advertising, biased studies, and now – changing its label.
The “fructose” or “fructose syrup” that may be listed in the ingredients on your nutritional label is actually high-fructose corn syrup! Food companies are able to bypass the traditional label by increasing the amount of fructose in HFCS. HFCS is structurally similar to sucrose (table sugar) in that it is composed of bound glucose and fructose molecules. The difference is that it instead of a 50:50 ratio of glucose to fructose, the fructose component has been greatly increased, which the body has difficulty metabolizing.
This shift leads to the metabolic disorders and resultant diseases that we see today. By further increasing the fructose concentration – sometimes upwards of 90% fructose – manufacturers are able to slyly rename HFCS to fructose and make statements such as “Contains no high-fructose corn syrup” or “No HFCS.” But don’t be misled! High fructose concentrations, regardless of the label, are harmful to your health.