Is high fructose corn syrup a superfood

What's wrong with hfcs? - Essen - 2021

FamilyEducation Staff Updated: May 15, 2019 High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a preferred destination of many health conscious consumers who claim it is a leading cause of obesity in the United States. Find out what you should know about HFCS.

In this article you will find:

  • The ubiquitous sweetener

The ubiquitous sweetener

Sick Sweet: The Truth Behind High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a preferred target of many health conscious consumers who claim it is a leading cause of the obesity "epidemic" in the US. In fact, some scientists are concerned about studies showing that animals fed a diet high in HFCS have adverse effects. Meanwhile, groups like the Corn Refiners Association and the American Beverage Association say that HFCS is being unjustly demonized. Should consumers be concerned? Here's what we know about HFCS.

What and where is HFCS?

HFCS is a sweetener and preservative made by breaking corn starch into sugar. Part glucose and part fructose, it has the exact number of calories per gram like the sugar from sugar cane or beets. Like table sugar, it offers nothing to get in the way of nutrition: no minerals, no vitamins, no fats or proteins, and no fiber.

The food and beverage industry in the US had good reasons to use HFCS when it became available in the late 1960s. HFCS is extremely soluble and can be mixed well into many foods. It is sweeter than sugar, easy to store and extends the shelf life of food. In addition, federal subsidies make corn cheap for corn growers, and tariffs on imported sugar make HFCS a cheaper choice. These benefits have made HFCS a staple ingredient in countless packaged and processed foods. In the United States, it is also the most widely used sweetener in carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, and sports drinks.

HFCS is an important ingredient, even in products that aren't necessarily sweet, like salad dressings, soups, crackers, and even children's vitamins. These common foods can all contain HFCS:

  • Pancake syrups
  • Popsicle
  • Fruit-flavored yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Ketchup and BBQ sauces
  • Marinades
  • Spices
  • Salad sauce
  • Pasta sauces in jars and cans
  • Apple sauce
  • Canned soups
  • Preserved fruit (if not in its own juice)
  • Bread, crackers and baked goods
  • Breakfast bars
  • Breakfast cereals - heavily sweetened or not
  • Fruit juice and fruit drinks that are not 100 percent juice
Further: What's wrong with HFCS?