Why the Switch from High Fructose Corn Syrup Barely Matters

on Apr 9, 2010

We’re in a seemingly positive health trend where high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become demonized. While it’s great to see that this highly processed crap is on its way out, it will make little difference on people’s health. It comes down to a simple point: sugar is sugar. While high fructose corn syrup is especially processed, its key evil is that it’s an added sugar. Although food companies are ridding their products of HFCS, they’re simply substituting in other forms of sugar. And the fact remains that any sort of added sugar is processed and is pretty harmful to our health. Cane sugar, brown rice syrup, organic sugar, it’s all junk.

The particularly insidious, and dangerous, part is that we are misled to believe otherwise. We’re led to think that if a product doesn’t have HFCS (as so many products now tout on their labels) or is made from some form of organic sugar, it must be okay to have. This is not the case. So take extra care to avoid such products. They are far more consequential on health than you might expect.

This doesn’t mean that all sugar is bad (though all processed sugar likely is). The sugar from whole fruit is okay to have because of all else that comes with it. Fruit is packed full of fiber, and that slows down (as in, regulates) the digestive process and thus allows sugar to be absorbed gently.

I hope that we all come to realize these facts, and instead of food companies playing off the HFCS witch hunt, they’d actually work towards something more meaningful for our health. But there’s no chance of this happening until we step up and express the desire for less processed food.