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High Fructose Corn Syrup: Is It Really Bad For You?

By Edited Feb 20, 2014 2 1


Chances are, you have seen the commercials about high fructose corn syrup in years past. These adds sought to change your mind about the additive. In the commercial, they make the claim that high fructose corn syrup is "fine in moderation". But what does moderation really mean here? And how can you tell how much of this stuff you consume on a daily basis? This article seeks to explain the impending question on all our minds: Is this stuff really bad for you, or is that a bunch of bologna? 

Where Is It?

High fructose corn syrup is an additive that is found in many foods and drinks that you probably consume on a daily basis. For instance, popsicles, sodas, and flavored drinks all contain in. In addition to these examples, But if you didn't think that was enough, it is also contained in some foods you wouldn't even expect, such as breads, sauces, salad dressings, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and several processed foods. 

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Health Concerns

First and foremost, HFCS is not good because it contains high concentrations of sugars. Everyone knows that consuming a lot of sugary foods can be potentially bad for you and lead to diabetes. However, most of us are not sitting on our couches down several chocolates all day, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. 

Another reason this is potentially harmful is because, in most cases, it is used a supplement to cane sugar in the foods that you eat. However, your body does not digest this in the same way that it would digest sugar, which may cause intestinal problems later on down the line.

Thirdly, HFCS contains other harmful chemicals such as mercury that are dangerous to consume. The messed up thing is that the FDA does not regulate this, so it is impossible to tell how much and what other items you may be consuming at any given time. 

Fourth, you won't hear a lot of dietitians supporting the use of HFCS in foods. For the most part, they are adamant about staying away from foods with this substance. That's really no surprise here but it's definitely worth noting.

Lastly, most of the food products that contain this substance are not exactly good for you anyway. Processed foods and industrial made foods are the source of bad nutrition in our society, and it is no wonder that HFCS in behind many of the unhealthy parts of these foods. 

How Can I Avoid It?

This is where the issue gets a bit "sticky". Get it? Because so much of the food that we eat is highly process, it is impossible to avoid this chemical altogether. Even if you go to a certified "fresh market" store, they are bound to sell products there that contain HFCS. There really is no avoiding it in this day and age unless you are living on a deserted island and the only foods you have access to are fresh from an island that is completely free of industrial farmers. 

I hate to say it, but there really aren't a lot of options for us unless the FDA decides to ban it from foods. I think that globally, we should look into what we are putting in our food products and try to send the message of a healthier lifestyle for all. 


Impact on Society

Obesity is at an all time high in the United States, and it's no shock that this may be due to HFCS. Instead of promoting a culture that runs on fast food, soft drinks, and easy-made food, we should go back to basics. We should learn how to grow and cultivate our own food. We are slipping further and further away from the ideals that we held so dear 20 up to even 100 years ago. People 100 years ago were a lot thinner, fitter, and healthier, besides the obvious factor of the illnesses that seemed to crop up everywhere. We should be thankful that we have modern medicine, but we should also take a look at how we are doing things. Is high fructose corn syrup really, safe? That is a question that we must ask the leaders of our society in order to enact change. 

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So, let's come back to the main question of this article: Is HFCS really safe to consume "in moderation"? The answer is yes. However, their idea of moderation and our idea are vastly different. Because most of our foods have been processed with this additive, it is hard to tell how much of this harmful chemical we may be consuming every single day. It is hard to even imagine how you would go about cutting it out of your diet because it is found everywhere. I guess you could cut out the obvious ringers: soft drinks, sweets, and some processed snacks. But that still doesn't factor in bread and the other foods that we eat on a daily basis which still contain it. The point is, in order to change things in our world, we need to have a serious discussion about how much is too much and how we can pave the way for a more healthy world. This is something that hopefully we will see coming to fruition in the next ten years, especially since obesity is the highest than it's every been. To conclude, I would like you to think a moment about what you are eating, what you are consuming, and think to yourself: is it helping or harming my body? Is it fuel or junk? And then ask yourself the question: is it really worth it? If you can answer these questions with confidence, then you are well on your way to a healthier you. So, high fructose corn syrup isn't going anywhere, but you sure don't have to live with it forever. 



Feb 25, 2014 10:28am
I wish food companies actually cared about their consumers health and not simply the bottom line. Obesity is a major problem here in America and HFCS in foods helps contribute to the problem. However, the issue does not rest solely on the food companies. We as consumers need to take more responsibility and choose the foods we put into our bodies.
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