What’s the Big Deal about High Fructose Corn Syrup?

High Fructose Corn Syrup is the current easy target for Real Food eaters everywhere. But why?

Are you wondering whether to believe the corn producers who say your body processes it just like any other sugar and who now aim to rename it “corn sugar”?

Or, do you believe those voices in the Real Food world who say to steer clear?

I’ll let YOU be the judge, but I want to share what the BIG DEAL is for me.

When we started our journey towards Real Food, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was one of the first things I cut out of our family’s diet. Once you start to read labels of non-whole foods that you buy at the store, you will realize it is in everything. I mean everything. I picked up a jar of minced garlic at the store a few months ago and, lo and behold, HFCS was on the list of ingredients. What???  HFCS is used as a sweetener and to extend the shelf life of products.

I no longer buy anything with this ingredient and here are the reasons why…..

1. Most corn in the U.S. is genetically modified.

And since HFCS is made from corn, it’s not something I want in my body. If you aren’t familiar with genetically modified foods you most definitely should spend some time on the Institute for Responsible Technology’s website. They have a whole section on GMO education. PLEASE get informed on this topic – it’s important to our health, our environment and the safety of our food supply!

2. HFCS can cause weight gain and it messes with your liver.

Studies are showing that HFCS can contribute to and/or cause fatty liver disease as well as metabolic syndrome. The liver takes 100% of the responsibility for metabolizing HFCS (as compared to 20% with glucose).  It creates “waste products” that are pretty toxic to your body, leading to a host of other problems (see Source #3). Basically, when you consume food that includes HFCS, because of the way our bodies process it, the result is less leptin and insulin circulating in our blood streams. Those 2 things trigger your body to feel full and satisfied. Without that trigger, you overeat. HFCS actually causes you to eat more and results in fat buildup, both around your liver and the rest of your body. That is one reason HFCS is a contributor to obesity. – Source#1Source #2, Source #3

To make matters worse, it also can raise your risk for diabetes.Source

3. It likely contains mercury.

This sounds crazy, but the chemical process used to make HFCS  (several chemicals are used to make it) can leave behind some mercury in the HFCS, which is then ingested.Source

Sometime I just cannot understand how people who make these “foods” can sleep at night. Anyone with me?

4. It’s not a Real Food.

You can’t just go pick some High Fructose Corn Syrup from your garden. And you sure can’t make it at home by squeezing it out of your homegrown ears of corn! As I mentioned above it goes through quite a process to be created. Chemicals are used to turn corn into cornstarch and then into high fructose corn syrup. No thanks. I’ll stick to natural sweeteners at my house!

*Start reading labels and if you are newer to Real Food, begin by cutting this toxic ingredient out of your diet. To replace with real stuff, buy them at AMAZON, Tropical Traditions or through the Green Polka Dot Box.



Disclosures: cmp.ly/5/ and cmp.ly/6/

Photo Credit: Ear of Corn, Obesity

This is shared at: Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fresh Foods Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Party Wave Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Keep it Real Thursdays, Eat, Make, Grow Thursday, Creative Juice, Full Plate Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Fight Back Friday, Friday Favorites, Small Footprint Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, The Pistachio Project, Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday



  1. Leave a Reply

    online loans for people with bad credit
    December 6, 2013

    Hi there! This article could not be written any better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll send this post to
    him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  2. Leave a Reply

    February 9, 2013

    very true and interesting! i typically avoid anything with HFCS with fanatical resolution. anything hydrogenated will actually bind to your cells too and cause them to change their biological composition. um, cancer much? ack!
    thanks for sharing with us at the wednesday fresh foods link up. i look forward to seeing what other seasonal & real/whole food posts you have for us next week!! xo, kristy

    • Leave a Reply

      February 9, 2013

      @kristygardner Thanks! I know, such junk that they put into things they call “food”. There is so much more I could have shared, but i wanted a concise list of BIG reasons why we shouldn’t be eating it! Thanks for hosting Fresh Foods and I’ll see you next week!

  3. Leave a Reply

    February 8, 2013

    Great article – thanks!

  4. Leave a Reply

    February 7, 2013

    Nice article. I like how it gets to the point. I pinned it. 
    I wonder if the companies have started calling it corn sugar yet. I wrote a post a while ago on how they were going to change the name. I need to look up if they have yet.

    • Leave a Reply

      February 7, 2013

      @suzyc14 Thanks! I am not sure if they have started calling it corn sugar yet or not. I remember BRIEFLY seeing something to the effect a while back that the FDA or USDA was not letting them switch the name, but I’m not sure what resulted yet. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Leave a Reply

      February 8, 2013

      @suzyc14 I believe the FDA put the kibosh on the name change. I read that they weren’t aloud to change the name.

    • Leave a Reply

      February 8, 2013

      @suzyc14 The FDA wouldn’t let the Corn Refiners Assn change the name.

      • Leave a Reply

        February 9, 2013

        @Hipstermama  @suzyc14 Thanks – I thought I remember hearing something like that. Good for the FDA (we sure don’t say that much, do we?!)

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