High Fructose Corn Syrup: Is it Killing You?

by Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS on May 26, 2009 · 3 comments

By Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS


There has been much debate lately about High Fructose Corn Syrup. The scientists say that it may be unhealthy for you and make you fat. Where as a manufacturer for HFCS says that is not true. Well, here are the facts as we know them right now.


Archer Daniels Midland, a company that makes HFCS, which is the main ingredient used in sodas, ketchup, barbecue sauce, cereals, snack foods and other processed foods says that HFCS does not make you fat.


Health officials and many scientists have conducted studies that show that HFCS may lead to fat accumulation, obesity and other health problems.


What they have been finding is that HFCS readily turns to fat in the body more so than conventional sugar. It is also associated with higher triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol).


What I think is even more important to take note of is that HFCS appears to affect your appetite so that you eat more food. It is important to note that this finding isn’t just for HFCS. It also applies to artificial sweeteners. Researchers have noticed this occurrence with diet sodas that contain artificial sweeteners.


The reason is because insulin levels do not seem to increase when consuming HFCS and artificial sweeteners. This then means that leptin another hormone which is controlled by insulin does not get released either. Leptin tells your brain when you are full and to stop eating. Without this message you tend to keep eating until you have eaten too many calories.


So what this means is that HFCS may not directly make you fat because of the ingredients, but because you do not get the message that you are full you tend to overeat which results in weight gain and a higher risk for obesity.


Your take home message is to avoid all foods that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. Go through your cabinets and look at the labels of all your foods and get rid of any foods that contain HFCS. Then the next time you are shopping make sure to choose foods that do NOT contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.


High Fructose Corn Syrup doesn’t make you fat by itself, but it most definitely assists with weight gain by increasing your calories consumed. Since we tend to eat many processed foods that contain HFCS our chances of overeating is greatly increased.


Here is a tip to reduce the consumption of HFCS successfully. Replace one food item a week with a non-HFCS product. Better yet replace that food item with a fruit or vegetable. This one little change can have you losing weight before you know it and living a healthier life as well.


About the Author: Jayson Hunter RD, CSCS is a registered dietician, weight management expert and personal trainer.  His nutritional programs have helped hundreds of clients successfully lose weight and create permanent lifestyle changes.  To discover the 5 absolute truths Every Serial Dieter Who Seeks Rapid-Weight loss MUST come to grips with visit The Carb Rotation Diet. 


[Editor’s Comments:  The research discussed by Jayson is yet another reason we should all limit the amount of processed foods we eat. 


Whenever we go grocery shopping, I am a serial label reader…and it drives my wife nuts!  It’s very difficult to purchase a processed-food item that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup as one of the ingredients.  I’m always telling her “We can’t buy this, HFCS is the 1st item listed.” 


That’s why I think it’s best to get the majority of your calories from organic whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, eggs and lean cuts of meat.  It’s also why we don’t drink pop (or soda to my East Coast friends) and also recently decided to stop buying ketchup from the store.  My wife found a recipe for homemade ketchup and she’s going to start making that instead. 


If you have any other great ideas for eliminating HFCS from your diet, please leave us a Comment and let us know.]

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1 Mel May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I have found that if I don’t buy the processed foods and take a little more time to make it from scratch my kids enjoy it more and they also like the taste better. It’s more about taking the time to make it for me.

2 Martha Rather July 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm

What I experience with HFCS is that it makes me hungry. I can have just finished a nice healthy big meal – feeling totally satisfied. Then be served a dessert (at a restaurant or friend’s house) that was sweetened with HFCS – I don’t have to read any label to tell – I instantly start to feel hungry and want more – more – more.

Sorry for the drama, but it really does affect me that way.

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