What’s the deal with high-fructose corn syrup?

December 2, 2013 | By | Comments (7)
sport drinks over ice

Photo: Randy Mayor

A lot of fuss about not quite the right thing. The real problem is the caloric density and, frequently, nutritional paucity of the highly processed foods to which HFCS is added during food processing.

HFCS is made by breaking down corn into its chemical components and altering the ratio of glucose to fructose. (Fructose is naturally much sweeter.) Biochemically, sugar and HFCS are virtually identical, and HFCS has the same number of calories per gram as table sugar. It’s cheaper to produce than sugar, which is why so many food manufacturers use it in everything from breads to beverages.

Focus on calories consumed and the nutritional value of what you eat. Eat more whole foods, and you’ll avoid HFCS altogether.


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  4. Fran

    Wow! I am really disappointed in Cooking light for actually publishing this! Yes all processed/refined sugars are bad for you, but HFCS is super processed with GMO Corn and affects the body in a truly negative way. Please don’t let the corn loby fool you!

    December 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  5. Judy

    I don’t think you have the whole picture here. One of my nephews is allergic to corn. He has the same reaction whether eating the actual grain or consuming something containing HFCS. So to m e, your information is lacking if not questionable.

    December 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm
  6. Liesel

    What about GMO corn making the HFCS?

    December 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm
  7. Lilian Ross

    It disappoints me to see other dietitians downplay HFCS. Although this may be true, you leave out a lot of information. I suppose ANDs sponsors are partly to blame for that though.

    December 3, 2013 at 12:40 am

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