Harmful Effects of HFCS: The Not-So-Sweet Truth


HFCS or high fructose corn syrup is now a natural sweetener, or so corn manufacturers claim. There is a raging debate currently going on in the media about the benefits, or as some would put it, the absence of harmful effects of HFCS high fructose corn syrup in our regular diet.

No matter what supporters of the supposed “natural sweetener” claim, the indisputable fact is that the average American’s consumption has risen to 60 lbs/person (from zero) on a yearly basis since HFCS was introduced to the market in the mid-70s.

Since then, incidences of diabetes have increased to 7 times and cases of obesity have more than tripled. While high fructose corn syrup may not be the only one to blame, still, statistics are quite alarming.

Sowing Confusion and Deceit

Harry Truman once said that if you can’t convince people, confuse them; and this is what proponents of corn syrup have been doing all this time. In a serious attempt to debunk the supposed myth that their product is harmful, the HFCS manufacturers have embarked on a massive multi-media ad campaign.

The entire effort is intended to convince the public to believe what supposed “nutrition and medical experts” are saying – that HFCS is no more harmful than cane sugar.

As a natural product, it is supposed to produce health benefits when included in our diet and used in moderation. However, even when HFCS is used in moderation, it can potentially cause a lot of health issues like obesity, heart disease, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, and even cancer, among others.

By marketing their product under a new label – “natural” corn sugar – manufacturers hope that the bad reputation HFCS got in the past will all be forgotten. A good analogy for this would be to tag the tobacco content in cigarettes as “natural herbal medication.”

Alarming Facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup

A highly-processed type of sweetener made from corn, HFCS was widely accepted when first introduced to the American market in 1975 because aside from being a lot cheaper, it is 20 times sweeter than table sugar.

It was initially expected that this would lead to lesser consumption of sweeteners in commercial products; however, the reverse happened, resulting to various serious health concerns.

Following are some facts about HFCS that you should know:

  • The body breaks HFCS down into various damaging waste materials such as uric acid. The increase in uric acid levels will drive blood pressure up, putting the person at risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
  • While the human body uses and converts glucose found in other sugars into blood glucose, the fructose from HFCS remains an unregulated fuel source that the liver converts into cholesterol and fat.
  • Excessive use of HFCS can lead to hardening and scarring of the liver that can, in turn, cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.
  • HFCS consumption increases insulin levels that can cause one to overeat and store fat, and ultimately lead to insulin resistance, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

Whether to believe what the expensive ad campaigns say that HFCS and cane sugar are the same or not, is entirely up to you.  However, the fact that all highly-processed consumer products are generally harmful should be enough reason for you to think twice about using a product that contain HFCS or now called “natural” corn sugar.


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Amy Goodrich
Amy is a life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach. She is the founder of the healthy lifestyle website www.Body-in-Balance.org and creator of the online program, www.ThinForever.me. After successfully changing her family’s health and happiness, she’s on a mission to help other people achieve the life and body they want. You can find here on Facebook or Google+ or get her free clean, whole food recipe eBook here: http://www.body-in-balance.org/amys-home-kitchen-recipe-book/