Nutrition Myth 8: HFCS is REALLY Bad for You

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High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a blend of glucose and fructose which is a common sweetener of food products. it’s been used by food companies for years and at one time was found as an ingredient in most pre-packaged, sweet foods. However, in recent times the idea has started to be spread that HFCS is massively unhealthy - coming from the fact it’s ‘high fructose’ content could lead to increased insulin resistance and, by extension, obesity. In the last few years we have been told that HFCS is much worse for us than regular table sugar, sucrose.

The first issue with this is that it has since been found out that fructose has no greater effect on insulin resistance than other types of sugar, and therefore its links to insulin resistance and obesity are tenuous at best. Sugar, no matter the type of sugar, is not the cause of obesity (or insulin resistance) and only becomes of concern when we are in a calorie surplus.

The second, and more relevant, issue with this demonisation is that HFCS isn’t as high in fructose as we are led to believe by the name. High Fructose Corn Syrup has a fructose content of anywhere from 42-55%; sucrose (table sugar) has a fructose content of 50%. The difference between the two is too small to be significant.

From a health perspective, there really is no significant difference between different types of sugar. HFCS is not a dangerous substance to ingest, and is not more likely to cause obesity or other diseases than any other type of sugar. And sugar? It’s not something that we should be designing our diets around; but in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet, poses no threat to our overall health.