What's So Bad About High Fructose Corn Syrup?

By Joyce Hendley, M.S., May/June 2009

The truth behind the buzz about this controversial sweetener.

"Good article. It's unfortunate that some people refuse to see any other possible interpretations of facts besides what they have already chosen to believe. "

Good article. It's unfortunate that some people refuse to see any other possible interpretations of facts besides what they have already chosen to believe.


04/25/2014 - 10:38am

All you need to do is drink a cola made with cane sugar and one that is not and you can taste the difference. It doesn't matter to me whether HFCS is bad for me, I just don't like it as much as sugar. Do your own taste test - most supermarkets in MN have glass bottles of coke meant for distribution in Mexico that use cane sugar, so I am assuming that will be the case across most of the U.S.


08/11/2013 - 6:41pm

I love all of you people that are smart enough to understand that, this entire article is a sham, provided by a company that creates sugar for a living. It makes me think there is hope out there. <3


04/25/2012 - 3:32pm

I'm not a person that's stares at the food labels and think oh god I don't want that. It has evil things. Naughty. Recently there has been commercials about corn syrup and that is the same as sugar. Logically it makes sense so I found this article and find it very informative.

I just find it funny that people get caught up on this is bad. That is bad. I'm heavier then I used to be because they make food with evil ingredients. And who paid eatwell to write this. First - stop blaming mfgs for your food choices and how your body has changed. You made the choice to buy it. Eat it. Etc. No one forces us to do it. Not everything is a conspiracy. Make the choice that is right for you. If that means learning to cook so be it. (taste better anyway).

Anyway - nice article. Take from it what you will. Limit your sugar is others said and who cares if your 6 yr is bonkers! That's what kids do. Balls of energy with or without sugar! Be happy you have choices of food and not wondering where your next meal might come. I'm going to finish my Mt. Dew. And yah. I'm 5'11" and weight 170. Toned and happy about it. But still eat garbage sometimes. Happy about.


12/11/2011 - 7:20pm

I agree that both forms of sugar are not good for you if consumed in excess and that should be the focal point, but insufficient research has been conducted to make strong conclusions about whether or not HFCS and table sugar have the same effects on human health. I was saddened that you still have not discussed this recent article showing increased obesity in rats fed a diet with hfcs vs sugar, even when caloric intake of each type of sugar did not differ:

More research is needed on this issue. But I agree that the take-home should be to reduce consumption of refined sugars, whatever the source. HFCS is currently the main source of these sugars in the common american diet and is very hard to avoid if you buy anything pre-made in the supermarket. These products are designed to addict us by adding large quantities of fats and sugars (usually from corn and soy, produced in an ecologically destructive manner). We all need to eat less pre-made food products and more actual food.


09/29/2010 - 1:45pm

"[...]from 1970 to 1990 Americans’ intake of HFCS increased by more than 1,000 percent. The researchers also noted that, during that same time, the proportion of Americans who were overweight or obese increased from about half to two-thirds."

While I do believe that HFCS may indeed contribute to weight gain, I doubt it's the only factor. The average American consumes far too much sugar in general (from all sources), along with too much salt and saturated fat. Food additives could definitely be a factor in the increase in Americans' waistlines, but so could the huge portions served up in American restaurants (which increased dramatically between 1970 and 1990, by the way).


09/11/2010 - 1:22am

I believe, that because HFCS is so highly processed, in cannot be good for the human body. We are inundated with so many food products made from corn, it is no wonder people are having immune system reactions to it and all of the other 'food products' added to processed foods. Cheap food is killing us.

While we all need to eat less sugar, we should stick to those sweeteners that are as close to nature as possible.



07/08/2010 - 8:44pm

I have actively tried to avoid HFCS after reading Michael Pollan's books. I agree that cutting back on all sugar is key, but HFCS is questionable from so many angles. Clearly, the HFCS industry lobby is buying ad space in "Eating Well". Your article was further discredited by the scientist who said that kids would be equally crazy/hyper at a party without sugar. LOL!!


04/28/2010 - 5:33pm

While the ratios of glucose to fructose may be similar in sucrose and some types of HFCS, the chemical composition is not the same. Sucrose has its glucose and fructose linked via an alpha-glycoside bond, which releases energy when it is broken. This process alone would make it slightly harder to metabolize (or slower) than the simple sugars already broken down into monomers of HFCS. Also the glucose in potatoes shares this glycosidic linkage in the form of a glucose polymer called glycogen, which also would require more energy to break down than simply a bunch of glucose molecules bunched together.

Your equating of the process of making HFCS and refining sugar is also not really possible, as one changes the starting materials chemically (using enzymatic process), while the other changes them physically, by methods of separation. Sucrose does exist in raw sugar, only mixed with many other compounds, which must be filtered by various processes, so that the pure sucrose may then be recrystallized and form that nice white granular substance we all know and love (too much!)

One final point: I think the controversy concerning the use of the glutaraldehyde (and the assertion that it doesn't come into contact with the sugar) is use to its use as a fixing agent to render a glucose isomerase insoluble so that it doesn't come out of a processing column with the sugar that it is acting upon. See .


04/25/2010 - 12:35pm

Wow! Ok. Who funded these studies...the HFCS Mafia? More research is definitely necessary as well as full disclosure of what stats were being looked at and which ones ignored. This just seems like a bunch of propaganda to me. Lots of glossy overviews and capitol letters, but not a lot in the way of substance. The chemicals and enzymes used to process these foods make them inherently unnatural, no matter what they have been able to bribe the FDA into believing. Combine this with the scathing report on stevia and agave and it's pure gold for the corn syrup industry. How much did they pay you for this Eating Well?


03/03/2010 - 1:29pm

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