Why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you? A Princeton University research team has finally answered this question by showing high fructose corn syrup dangers that have a serious impact on your health and weight.
So what is high fructose corn syrup?
High fructose corn syrup is syrup whose glucose has been partially changed into fructose. It was first made in the 1960’s by heating corn starch with either a malt or acid enzyme. This causes the glucose molecule chains to break apart into single glucose molecules to create corn syrup. Another enzyme is added that changes some of the glucose into fructose to create high fructose corn syrup.
But not all corn syrup is high-fructose, and only high-fructose is an issue. Keep this in mind when answering the question; Why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you?
In terms of calories, one cup of high fructose corn syrup has 871 calories, about 10% more than table sugar (sucrose) with 774 calories.
A Princeton University research team led by Professor Bart Hoebel set out to answer the question; Why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you? Professor Hoebel said “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true… When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese – every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
Results of two experiments studying the link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity were published online Feb. 26, 2010.
Study One: High Fructose Corn Syrup Dangers
The first study involved two groups of rats given sweetened water in addition to their normal diet of rat chow. One group was given water sweetened with high fructose corn syrup at half the concentration of standard soda. The second group was given water sweetened with sucrose of the same concentration of standard soda. Both groups had the same calorie intake yet those who had the high fructose syrup gained more weight than the others.
Study two: High Fructose Corn Syrup Dangers
The second study took six months. It found that long term consumption of high fructose corn syrup caused abnormal increases in body fat, mainly around the abdomen. It also increased blood triglyceride levels. The study monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels. Compared to a control group of rats eating only rat chow, those that had HCFS (high fructose corn syrup) showed signs of ‘metabolic syndrome’ that causes abnormal weight gain, increased triglyceride levels and increased abdominal fat. Male rats gained much more weight than females. The rats given the HCFS gained 48% more weight than the others. The rats weren’t just getting fat, they were becoming obese.
The team believes that the weight gain may have been caused because the fructose in HFCS is free, unbound and ready to be used instantly, whereas the fructose and glucose in sucrose are bound together and need breaking apart before they can be used by the body. Also, HFCS contains 5% more fructose than sucrose. It’s also possible that the extra fructose is used to create fat while the glucose is used for energy.
Why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you?
High fructose corn syrup was introduced into the American diet over 40 years ago. Since then, obesity has gone through the roof. CDC figures show around 15% of people were obese in the 70’s. Now, around 35% of American adults are obese.
The results of the Princeton study reveals a possible answer into why this would be the case. A report of this study can be found at A Sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
High-fructose corn syrup is found in many foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise.
So now you know the answer to the question; why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you? To get the low down on other food additives check out our food additives to avoid series.