Monday, October 3, 2011

Corn Syrup? Are you high?!

Since my Halloween Candy rant I wanted to do an informational post about corn syrup vs. high fructose corn syrup. I promise to make this as quick and painless as possible...

Corn syrup is made from corn and is basically glucose suspended in water. It's mostly used in cooking (think Karo syrup, I'm sure you've seen it at the store a million times) and especially in candy making.  You use it when you don't want the sugar to crystalize and harden the finished product like a natural sugar would do. Basically, corn syrup is what keeps Starburst and Sour Patch kids chewy and full of yummy gooey delightfulness.

Fructose is sweeter then glucose. Manufacturers use corn syrup in making their product for the same reasons we do, only most of the time they are also using it to save money. So in a nut shell they add some enzymes to it and turn it into high fructose corn syrup making it sweeter and in turn using less than if they were to use cane sugar or corn syrup (less ingredient = less $$). 

Because it's so cheap, high fructose corn syrup is most commonly found in junk food, sodas, and discount brands that people rely on to feed their families. The majority of great "deals" and coupon buys that are out there are for foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup. See goo, please do. On average Americans consume 40 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year....that's like a 3rd grader. 

CORN SYRUP is glucose, your body can naturally break this down through your pancreas and liver and then excreted. 
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP is fructose, when consumed the majority of it is taken up by the liver."This is turn leads to increased fat deposition in the abdominal cavity and increased blood levels of triglycerides -- both of which are risk factors for heart disease and diabetes."

See the difference? Now I'm not saying go out there and eat all the corn syrup you can get your hands on, mostly because the products that use it are candy corporations that also load their products with artificial flavors and dyes (sadly, those starbursts and sour patch kids mentioned above). Also at the end of the day sugar is sugar and is not good to be consumed in excess no matter how natural it may be :(

Sorry to be such a bummer on a Monday.

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