You may have seen the commercials put out by the Corn Refiners Association, desperately seeking to clean up the sullied reputation of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). A health conscious lady comes off as shrill and ignorant as she questions a mother giving a sweet purple drink to her kids. These commercials make a few assertions that I think we would do well to investigate.
"HFCS is made of corn." Technically, yes. But HFCS is highly processed in chemical plants and far removed from actual corn. Three different enzymes (two of which are genetically modified) are used to convert corn starch into glucose and then into fructose.
"HFCS doesn’t have artificial ingredients." Please! After all that processing, HFCS is an artificial ingredient!
"Like sugar, HFCS is fine in moderation." Unlike glucose, fructose doesn’t create the trigger of feeling “satiated” by sweetness, making it difficult to moderate. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, therefore putting an undue burden on this already overloaded organ. And considering that HFCS is found in a huge amount of processed foods (have you ever looked at the ingredients in a conventional grocery store?), it’s pretty hard to consume HFCS only in moderation if you drink soda and eat a Standard American Diet.
Add to that the fact that a large percentage of corn these days is genetically modified, which comes with potential health risks of its own, and you’ll see that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a food additive you’ll definitely want to avoid. No matter how cheerful that lady in the commercial seems to be.
Source: Organic Consumers
Image: total Aldo