Over the past few decades, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a popular ingredient in a variety of foods and beverages. Since 1970, there has been a 1000% increase in the consumption of HFCS. Many believe that this increase has contributed to the rising obesity rates. This has lead to a multitude of negative feelings and controversy surrounding HFCS and the association of HFCS with obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
Recently, many commercials have been put out by the Corn Refiners Association in HFCS’s defense. These commercials claim that HFCS doesn’t have any artificial ingredients and is safe in moderation. So what does this really mean? HFCS doesn’t technically contain any artificial ingredients, but it is processed with glutaraldehyde, a widely controversial substance still under investigation for potentially harmful effects in the body. HFCS, like other added sugars, appears to be okay in moderation, but since it is found in numerous products the amount can quickly add up. As a result, it is important to read the ingredients of the food you are eating and look for HFCS.
Completely excluding HFCS is likely more of a hassle than a benefit. Instead, limit the foods that contain HFCS and avoid the foods that list HFCS as one of the first few ingredients. Keep in mind that one of the best way to decrease your HFCS and added sugar intake is to consume a diet high in plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and to keep sweets and desserts to a minimum.