By Sara Novak, Planet Green
By now, you’ve more than likely seen one of the ads put out by the Corn Refiners Association. The ads tell the story of a “natural” sweetener made from corn. They go on to insinuate that high fructose corn syrup has been unfairly portrayed and that this truly American ingredient is fine in moderation. Lloyd wrote about this massive $30 million ad campaign last year. The campaign claims that high fructose corn syrup has the “same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey.” Since then, the association has released a number of ads with the same message.
But when push comes to shove, what are the facts about high fructose corn syrup? How is it made? Is it healthy in moderation to the body and the planet? Here are the facts, so that the next time you’re asked, you can confidently dispel any high fructose corn syrup rumors.
1. The Process of Making High Fructose Corn Syrup is Pretty Weird
First of all, there’s nothing natural about high fructose corn syrup and it most certainly does not exist in nature. The process starts off with corn kernels, yes, but then that corn is spun at a high velocity and combined with three other enzymes: alpha-amylase, glucoamylase, and xylose isomerase, so that it forms a thick syrup that’s way sweeter than sugar and super cheap to produce. That’s why it’s poured into a huge majority of mass produced processed foods.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup Does Weird Stuff to Your Body
While the commercials claim that it’s fine in moderation, the truth is that the whole problem with high fructose corn syrup in the first place, is that moderation is seemingly impossible. The syrup interferes with the body’s metabolism so that a person can’t stop eating. It’s truly hard to control cravings because high fructose corn syrup slows down the secretion of leptin in the body. Leptin is a crucial hormone in the body that tells you that you’re full and to stop eating. That’s why it’s so closely associated with obesity in this country. It’s like an addictive drug.