High Fructose Corn Syrup has become intwined with daily life in many Western countries, but its ubiquity and low price has spelled an unmitigated disaster for public health as tens of millions suffer from diseases directly borne out of obesity.

After having been introduced in the 1970s, High Fructose Corn Syrup has been a major player in expanding the average person’s waistline, putting sugar on a back seat.

Cheap, easy to make, addictive, more stable than sugar and with a longer shelf life, High Fructose Corn Syrup is the perfect consumer good for unethical food and beverage producers looking to widen their profit margins.

But why is this sugary substance so bad for you? And why should it be avoided at all costs?

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup is Bad For You

High-fructose corn syrup - Wikipedia

This sweet ingredient is present in most sodas and candies, making it quite hard to avoid for those who have a sweet tooth.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is derived from Corn Starch that is broken down into individual molecules, forming a syrup that is pure glucose. Then, enzymes are added to the syrup to convert the glucose into fructose.

According to WebMD: “high-fructose corn syrup went from 1% of sweeteners in the U.S. in the 1970s to 42% by 2004. From 1977 to 1978, the average American consumed about 37 grams of fructose per day. In 2008, this jumped to 54.7 grams, about 10.2% of total daily calories. The number was even higher in teenagers, at 72.8 grams per day. 

Americans get fructose mostly in sweetened drinks (30%), grains (22%), and fruit or fruit juice (19%).

Although in terms of structure, High Fructose Corn Syrup closely resembles sugar in the amount of fructose it contains.


How about washing down your 1500 calorie triple cheeseburger with a 500 calorie XL soda?

One of the biggest issues with High Fructose Corn Syrup — apart from being calorie dense on its own — is the fact that it can cause dysregulation of your hunger hormones.

This can trick your body into feeling hungry when you’re actually satiated or have consumed excessive calories.

People with healthy hunger hormone levels — in other words, no leptin resistance — naturally don’t have an urge to eat once their body’s nutritional needs are met.

However, consumers that guzzle gallons of soda may feel less satisfied in their food choices, despite consuming at a surplus.

This ties into the next point: obesity.

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Obesity and Other Health Issues

5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You - EcoWatch

The continuous upward trend of obesity rages on unabated.

Dysregulation of hunger hormones, among other things, contributes towards this health crisis.

The two-punch combo of containing a ton of easy-to-consume calories, alongside making you feel less full, drives consumers to overeat.

Obesity and insulin resistance go hand-in-hand, but High Fructose Corn Syrup also spikes blood sugar, leading to the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

Regular consumption of foods and beverages which contain this ingredient can also lead to insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome down the line.

High Fructose Corn Syrup has been shown to elevate triglyceride levels that can lead to heart issues and pancreatitis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (scarring of the liver) can also be caused by excessive consumption of fructose.

Overproduction of uric acid due to High Fructose Corn Syrup consumption, provoking painful health issues such as gout.

In addition to being destructive to your health, High Fructose Corn Syrup is addictive, activating similar parts of your brain to narcotics.


There is no upside to consuming this ubiquitous ingredient with virtually no nutritional benefits.

It is fattening, ruinous to your health, and addictive.

The best thing you can do regarding this ingredient is to avoid it where possible.

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