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4 Reasons to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

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4 Reasons to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

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.

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

120 comments

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4:38PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

I am convinced.

5:02PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Petition to global corporate food manufacturer, Rich's Foods to remove HFCS/GMOs from their foods! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/667/776/825/please-stop-using-high-fructose-corn-syrup-corn-sugar-gmos-in-your-products/

6:26PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

YOU DON'T THINK ANY OF THESE 3 AGENCIES KNOW OF THIS,FDA ,EPA ,USDA? JUST SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT (o_O)

4:24PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

ban hfcs

12:55AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

I can tell a positive difference in my body and energy levels since I started reading labels carefully of all foods I buy, and avoiding high fructose corn syrup. The "scientific" rebuttal that HFCS is no more harmful than other sugars is based on a belief system that science can prove what is or isn't healthy. If it's not based on nature, then it's less likely to be healthy for us. Honey, for example is a natural sweetener...

6:26AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Not a fan. Noted with thanks.

2:40PM PST on Dec 27, 2010

3 years that i know about it. If I could altogether not it any food containing corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, I would. I would have to eat only organic or natural food. I eat both natural and junk, or processed, prepackaged food...

5:40PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Wow, so why is it even allowed for consumption, especially in countries with high obesity rates??

4:38PM PST on Dec 16, 2010

My body does not like corn syrup. I can drink a soda with sugar just fine, but one with corn syrup makes me incredibly thirsty and I end up chugging water until I'm ill. And then I'm still thirsty. That can't be right.

2:28PM PST on Dec 16, 2010

Yuck! I definitely try to stay away; now I will even more so after reading this!

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