I read so much about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) that I wonder if some folks
believe, from media stories, that it's a certain poison! There are a lot of stories about how bad it is for you and then there are the rebuttals that "sugar is sugar and your body can't tell the difference." I recently started talking about this in my Human Growth & Development class in my lecture that includes diabetes and glucose.
Plain table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. We get most of this type of sugar from sugar cane but it can come from other sources such as sugar beets & honey. HFCS comes from corn syrup and it is all glucose when it is initally produced. An enzyme is added that converts the corn syrup to about 92% fructose. Glucose is added back to the mix to get to a 55% fructose, 45% glucose "sugar." So, HFCS has more fructose
than table sugar.
So, what's the problem with 55% versus 50% fructose? After all, they do call it High Fructose Corn Syrup so it's not like they are hiding anything. Well, there is not
any evidence that something is terribly wrong with HFCS. There is some evidence that it is a bit harder on the body and that it contributes to obesity but no causal
studies have shown this though some good correlational research seems to reach those conclusions.
While your body recognizes, and uses, HFCS as sugar, the extra 5% of fructose could
make a difference. The difference it makes for folks who, for example, make soda, is it is cheaper and sweeter than cane sugar.
More research has to be done but now you have a general idea of what the difference
is and you can make your own decision about whether or not you want it in your diet.
Those with auto-immuine diseases tend to do better when the combo of HFCS and aspertame are elimated from the diet. It leads to less joint pain and a more active life style. I know that this is a very small group of people.