You’ve heard of high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, before.
But do you really know what it is, and how it can affect your health?
HFCS, a regular ingredient found in sodas, desserts, and certain breakfast cereals, has long been criticized for its role in America’s obesity epidemic. It’s been linked to health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even particular types of cancers.
Why don’t brands use regular table sugar, rather than this processed-corn-starch-sweetener?
HFCS is cheaper, which is why it’s been used since the 1970s, despite the fact diets high in HFCS lead to fast weight gain. The ingredient doesn’t make you feel full either, making it more likely to overeat and consume more of the processed sweetener.
It’s still similar to table sugar in terms of fructose to glucose ratio, with both sweeteners containing four calories per gram. The syrup isn’t any better or worse that regular sugar, as both contribute to the aforementioned health complications.
If you really want to stay healthy, the choice between sugar and HFCS is simple – pick neither. But if you must, try to limit your intake to no more than 40 grams per day.
Remember that ‘added sugar’ isn’t what you’re adding to your morning cup of coffee either. These sweeteners are hiding in all your favourite goodies, soft drinks, sauces, and even salad dressings and condiments. The average American consumes about 60 pounds of added sugar – that’s not a typo – a year, so there’s ample room to hold back on the sweets.
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