We recently reviewed the best sweetener for keto. There are many people who want to know more about High fructose corn syrup and the dangers this may pose to health. With this in mind, we’ve gathered the evidence about High fructose corn syrup dangers, updated the information and linked to the science.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch. It was developed in the 1970s as a cost-efficient alternative to sugar.
It is heavily used in processed foods, soft drinks and breakfast cereals.
Also, it’s widely included in a vast range of other foods and sauces.
In North America, The Food And Drug Administration has stated that HFCS is a safe ingredient for both foods and beverages.
However, in recent years there has been increased concern about the safety of HFCS.
This is especially worrying as it is so widely used that its almost impossible to avoid.
There is growing concern that the addition of HFCS into so many foods is contributing to the skyrocketing levels of obesity
Obesity is a concern due to all the many health issues relating to being over weight. (1)
This study described the ever growing use of HFCS is foods and drinks:
“The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged > or = 2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity”
Further studies have demonstrated a link between many health issues including gout, kidney stones, and heart disease (2)
So what makes fructose more dangerous than sugar?
High Fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose.
This forces the body to process to process HFCS in a different way to normal sugar.
When carbohydrates are consumed, they are converted into glucose and travel to the liver. From there, the glucose is ready to be absorbed by the bloodstream. It is then available to all the cells in the body.
The glucose becomes available to meet all the body’s immediate energy needs
However, Fructose in contrast is metabolized differently (4). It needs to be converted into glucose or fat within the liver before it can be used as fuel.
Due to this difference in metabolism , HFCS can lead to increased fat in the liver and muscles. It will also contribute to the formation of dangerous visceral fat. (3)
The increase of fat within the liver can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.