Guest Author - Jenny Vasquez
Advocates of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) claim it is a natural product and safe for human consumption. Advocates do concede HFCS is a common replacement for sugar in most processed food products. HFCS is cheaper than sugar, which translates to less costly food prices. It is important to mention that if HFCS is removed from all processed food products and replaced with sugar, the cost of the food products would rise significantly.
The FDA has concluded the process used by the corn industry to derive HFCS is such that the FDA would not object to manufacturer's claims that HFCS is a "natural" product. Advocates claim HFCS is not contain synthetic or artificial substances.
Advocates such as Sweetsurprise.com and Corn.org claim HFCS has the same composition as honey or sugar. They also claim HFCS is metabolised by the body similarly to honey and sugar. In addition, the calories contained in HFCS is also comparable to honey and sugar.
Articles published by Mayo Clinic indicate their research has not determined that HFCS is anymore unhealthy than eating sugar. Mayo Clinic confirms reducing consumption of sugar or HFCS is essential for a healthy diet. The Mayo Clinic research did not indicate any associated health threats related to the consumption of HFCS.
HFCS is the scapegoat for obesity. The controversy surrounding HFCS is based on claims HFCS increases a person's appetite causing the person to consume more calories. Advocates point to research that indicates this claim to be false. It is important to mention, there are just as many studies indicating HFCS does increase appetite. Research continues that is funded by both sides of the argument. In addition, there is ongoing research at many institutions that are not funded by either side. We will have to wait until this research is completed and published to find out the answer to this heated question.
Realistically, obesity is not caused by one source such as HFCS. The poor diets of fast food, sodas and junk food are collectively to blame. Ultimately, the blame is placed on consumers who choose poor food choices.