Latest findings report that consuming high fructose corn syrup will cause spontaneous combustion;
- Insulin-resistant black plague disorder
- Reptilian-like behavior and cravings for human flesh.
Lesser severe side effects:
- Sudden death
- Might find yourself in a relationship with a chick that wears space shoe Filas.
Ok, now that Dr. Oz has blessed us with internet facts… let’s dive into what science tells us…
Let’s start by understanding what the f*ck high fructose syrup even is.
“HFCS” as you’ll see I refer to throughout this article is an alternative to sucrose and was first introduced in the 1960s.
Sucrose is also known as “table sugar”. Prior to HFCS, this would have been the primary source of carbohydrate in the majority of mass-produced foods.
For you deeper nerds out there, sucrose is just a combination of two monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose linked together by a chemical bond.
This bond is easily broken down by the sucrase enzyme in the body, making it a fast, and readily available form of energy for the body (via glucose, and fructose).
So in essence, they are similar, but HFCS is much easier to produce as compared to sucrose.
Derived from corn, we have readily abundant supplies, and climate factors are much less of an issue.
In simple terms, it costs pennies and is easy to produce, so big food companies have had to incorporate in order to compete.
How similar are they on a chemical level? Very much, actually…
Production of HFCS starts with taking corn starch and breaking it down into individual glucose molecules, resulting in “corn syrup”, which is 100% glucose.
From there, enzymes are added to the corn syrup to convert some of the glucose into fructose.
So despite the name “high fructose,” HFCS has around the same fructose/ glucose ratio as sucrose or honey.
So why do so many “health experts” claim that HFCS is “bad for you?”
Much of the concern is through the association that high amounts of fructose intake can be toxic.
Some claims even stretch this to the point that fructose is as toxic to the body as alcohol…..
However, these claims are based on the acute effects of HUGE, UNREALISTIC fructose intake in animals.
Most human-based correlative studies show no evidence that fructose is bad when consumed in realistic amounts (<100g/day).
Now, high fructose intake (when calories and protein intake are equated) will not have negative effects on body composition.
That’s not to infer that high fructose diets are entirely harmless…
We do have evidence showing that when calories are controlled, upwards of 25% of daily caloric intake being made up of fructose based sugars can double the chances of heart disease.
Now, as we know, “correlation doesn’t equal causation.”
Are the negative physiological implications related more so to the lack of fiber and micronutrients in this sort of diet?
Are these individuals also typically in a caloric surplus?
Or direct implications of the effects of high fructose?
In my opinion, probably both.
Processed foods and drinks high in fructose tend to be more calorically dense, highly palatable, and lack micronutrients and fiber.
Also, generally speaking, individuals who consume high amounts of fructose (usually coming from sugary drinks which have a high fructose to glucose ratio), often also smoke, are sedentary, and sure as hell do not stay active.
So other inferences could be made here before automatically labeling HFCS as devil sauce.
All too often in the fitness industry, people demonize individual food components, as they are easy to market towards individuals fears.
Carbs, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, sodium, etc are always subjugated to broad generalizations based on research taken out of context.
While we know that diets high in fructose are associated with adverse health outcomes, HFCS’s aren’t even high in fructose.
Furthermore, HFCS’s behave in the body, similarly to other sweeteners.
So rest easy, and stop banning your kids from having a small bowl of fucking fruity pebbles because of this nonsense.
Kids need fruity pebbles…