Total Body Wellness: What’s the Low Down on High Fructose Corn Syrup? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ashley Berlin   
Thursday, 24 June 2010 12:10

Total Body Wellness: What’s the Low Down on High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Since most food labels contain this ingredient, read on for some info about what HFCS really is and how it affects your healthy body functions. 

First of all, thank you for the overwhelming response to the Rev Up Your Metabolism article and my offer of sharing our BEAT juicing secrets with you. There are lots of you reading these health related articles who are making some awesome changes, congratulations!


Now, imagine you’re walking through the grocery store and you grab a box of something you’re used to just throwing in the cart. This time you flip the box around and take a look at the label. Hopefully the first ingredient has some semblance of the item you’re about to eat. After that, you read half a dozen words that you might have heard during Chem 141 in college, then some High Fructose Corn Syrup, and it wraps up with Neon Dye #11.


Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) good or bad? You just saw a pack of bread with No High Fructose Corn Syrup bannered across the label. But then again, there was that commercial on the other night that said HFCS didn’t have artificial ingredients and that it was fine in moderation. Since the average American eats 42 lbs of HFCS a year, it’s important to know what you and your family are filling up on.


HFCS is a chemically altered corn starch that is mostly fructose and also glucose. It was developed in the 70’s and has risen to manufacturing stardom because it’s cheap and it has a longer shelf life than Peeps (who knew that was possible?). You cannot find HFCS in nature, therefore, it’s not natural.


Fructose is converted to fat in the body more easily than any other sugar and HFCS, like the name implies, is primarily made up of fructose. When HFCS is eaten it doesn’t cause the pancreas to produce insulin, which is what sends the message to the brain that you’re full. So, you keep eating and storing the fat - thank you very much, HFCS.


A study at Princeton University in February of this year showed evidence of the substantial weight gain caused by HFCS. In two sets of lab rats, both eating the same diets, one group drank water sweetened with HFCS and the other water sweetened with table sugar. Every single HFCS rat became obese - all of them. They gained much more weight than the table sugar group; 48% more to be exact.


The classic effects of obesity these HFCS rats also experienced included increased circulating triglycerides and significant visceral fat, which is fat primarily around the stomach. Why’s that so dangerous? Because that fat is wrapped around your organs, meaning it competes with organs for blood supply. Fat is also used to wall off toxins, so your organs are now surrounded by them.


The final nails in the HFCS coffin include the predominate use of genetically modified corn used to produce the syrup, which has created a laundry list of health issues to the blood, liver and kidneys. Finally, in 2009 two U.S. studies showed that over half of commercial HFCS samples tested positive for mercury. Mercury is poison to your brain and nervous system.


Next time you’re at the grocery store, take the time to label read. If you see high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients, put it back on the shelf. The great news is that now many of our food makers are starting to get on the clean food bandwagon and drop the HFCS. Happy Shopping!

Ashley Berlin -

Ashley Berlin is the health and fitness columnist for Cincy Chic and the owner of BEAT Personal Training in West Chester. Want more information about something you read here? Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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