We are seeing more and more warnings about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.
So much so that snacks and drinks companies are advertising “no high fructose corn syrup!” directly on the label to help consumers feel safe.
But what is it about this ingredient that has us avoiding it?
Fructose vs High Fructose Corn Syrup
Fructose on its own is naturally found it many fruits and vegetables. It is considered “natures sugar” and is designed for our bodies to process and use as fuel. Fruit has a low glycemic index which means that it does not cause surges and dips in blood glucose levels and causes very little elevation in blood insulin levels.
Fructose is not bad for you, we need it to ward off fatigue and our bodies require the vitamins and minerals from the foods that contain it.
What is different about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)?
Corn syrup by itself is not bad just like fructose is not bad. HCFS is regular corn syrup that has been enzymatically changed to convert some of the glucose into fructose. This process increases sweetness by about 150% and is relatively inexpensive to produce.
Companies have been using HCFS as an cheap way to sweeten their processed food and drinks. What is this substance doing to our bodies?
First and foremost, it is a sneaky way we are unintentionally ingesting excessive amounts of sugar.
Secondly, it is contributing to one of the most common diseases in America called fatty liver.
During the chemical process used to make HCFS, the glucose and fructose become separated which allows the fructose to go directly to your liver.
Fatty liver disease leads to dangerous diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer.
Additionally, foods and beverages containing HCFS have been found to also contain harmful chemicals directly linked to the manufacturing process.
Eliminating as much fructose as possible during your low fodmap diet is important for your gut health but eliminating HFCS from your diet completely is crucial for overall health.