High fructose corn syrup. It’s pretty much everywhere –
breakfast cereal, soda, Spaghettios. It’s become the go-to substitute for sugar
and as such, gets a lot of criticism. But, what exactly is HFCS and is it really
worse for our bodies than sugar?
|High fructose corn syrup is a major ingredient in soda|
A video by the American Chemical Society set out to explore that question in-depth and the results will surprise you.The process by which HFCS is developed seems pretty straightforward, however there is chemistry involved so don’t try this at home! Corn, the starting product, is broken down into corn starch and then further broken down to corn syrup. This syrup is finally sweetened by tweaking the proportions of fructose and glucose to yield the end product of high-fructose corn syrup.
Corn à Corn Starch à Corn Syrup + glucose + fructose = High Fructose Corn SyrupIn reality, real sugar is very similar in composition to HFCS because both are made up of fructose and glucose. The video explains, “High fructose corn syrup comes in different concentrations for different products, but it’s remarkably similar to sugar.” And, most importantly, “the scientific consensus is that there’s almost no nutritional difference between the two."
To be clear, I’m not saying that you should now go out and consume soda by the gallons and candy by the pound but only that you should be just as concerned about HFCS as you are about sugar. Basically, consume sweets in moderation and try to fill your diet with lean meats, veggies, fruits, whole grains and dairy. The big takeaway is to put a cap on your overall sweets intake and substitute healthier choices like fruit or yogurt for a bag of Twizzlers or a soda.