Should High Fructose Corn Syrup Be Banned, and Why Is It In Baby Formula?
Corn Syrup vs High Fructose Corn Syrup and Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Has Such a Bad Reputation
Why does high fructose corn syrup get such a bad rap, and how much worse is high fructose corn syrup than regular corn syrup? Is regular corn syrup still bad? Should high fructose corn syrup be banned?
You may have also wondered why they add high fructose corn syrup to so many food products, or why there is corn syrup in baby formula and other baby food.
First let’s find out how corn syrup is made.
Both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are made from glucose that has been extracted from corn starch. High fructose corn syrup, however, which starts as regular corn syrup, has had enzymes added to convert a portion of its glucose to fructose to make it sweeter.
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Between glucose and fructose, which is worse for our health, and why?
As you could probably guess, fructose is proven to be more of a detriment to our health than glucose. Fructose has to be absorbed by the liver, as opposed to glucose, which is processed directly by the body. The strain this puts on the liver leads to fatty liver and potential liver disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.
And probably the more common reason high fructose corn syrup gets such a bad rap is because it is fundamentally responsible for the obesity epidemic in North America.
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Foods That Most Commonly Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup
Here is a rather condensed list of common food products that contain high fructose corn syrup.
- Jams, spreads and syrups
- Breakfast cereals
- Bread and buns
- Many frozen foods
- Canned fruit in syrup
- Frozen and fruit flavored yogurt
- Ketchup, BBQ sauce and other sweet and saucy condiments
- Salad dressing
- Canned soup
- Pasta sauce
- Gum and candy
- Ice Cream
- Soft drinks and energy drinks
- Synthetic fruit beverages (including the ones with “cocktail” in the title)
- Many other processed foods
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Why Do They Add High Fructose Corn Syrup to So Many Food Products?
There are 2 main reasons that high fructose corn syrup is added to so many food products these days.
Corn syrup extends the shelf life of food products.
Also, it is a matter of cost efficiency for the producers of food and drink products. Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are less expensive than normal sugar.
So we can see that the food product manufacturer really wins the day, at the expense of the health of everyday people.
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Why Is There Corn Syrup In Baby Formula?
See above for why there is corn syrup in baby formula, besides the fact that corn syrup is used to sweeten baby formula. I think there are other reasons there is corn syrup in baby formula and other baby food products, as well. But I will leave you to ponder that, if you feel so inclined.
I will say that if there was a sudden shortage of baby formula or baby food, that would not be a bad thing, and certainly no reason for anyone to fly into a panic like somebody chopped down the baby food tree and burned it.
What did people do before there was baby formula??
Dr. Mercola’s Preferred Healthy Homemade Infant Formula (scroll to the bottom when you get there)
If you are unable to breastfeed for some rare reason, that is a different story. But there is really no way to adequately simulate natural breast milk. It contains nutrients that can only come from the breast milk of a mother. And if anyone tells you that your baby is allergic to breast milk, you should think very seriously about not believing them. The link below clearly explains this, and what the known consequences are to a child fed store-bought baby formula as an infant, if you are interested.
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Which Is Healthier – High Fructose Corn Syrup, or Aspartame?
Is high fructose corn syrup healthier than aspartame?
The food industry and the FDA both know that Aspartame is a toxic substance, even though they claim it to be perfectly safe. But is aspartame a better alternative as a sweetener than high fructose corn syrup?
It is arguable which is less horrible between Aspartame and high fructose corn syrup, and there are situational factors to consider. I personally wouldn’t feed a baby Aspartame, either…
So let’s just explore why consuming Aspartame is nearly as bad as drinking transmission fluid. Or at least there are a ton of websites that claim these things.
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It would seem, according to many sources on the internet, that as well as disrupting your metabolism and causing you to gain more weight than you would from sugar, it can damage the pancreas and cause diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and lupus. But wait – there’s more. I’d better make a list.
- body pain
- respiratory problems
- erectile dysfunction
- multiple sclerosis
- abdominal bloating
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men
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Please keep in mind that some of these conditions are rarely found to be a definite result of consuming Aspartame, and many of them I would think you would have to consume more of than you would have time to in a day to cause really serious problems, at least in the short term. But with such a long list, why would anyone chance it?
Beware of websites that claim Aspartame to be “200 times sweeter than sugar”. Their other claims are probably ludicrous, too.
There are also many websites in defense of Aspartame who cite fake studies. So before this turns into a diatribe unrelated to the topic you likely came here to explore, I’ll leave you with this link and an excerpt from it. It is the most integral website I was able to find:
In a July 2019 paper in the Archives of Public Health, researchers at the University of Sussex provided a detailed analysis of the EFSA’s 2013 safety assessment of aspartame and found that the panel discounted as unreliable every one of 73 studies that indicated harm, and used far more lax criteria to accept as reliable 84% of studies that found no evidence of harm. “Given the shortcomings of EFSA’s risk assessment of aspartame, and the shortcomings of all previous official toxicological risk assessments of aspartame, it would be premature to conclude that it is acceptably safe,” the study concluded.
Okay, back to high fructose corn syrup, and why it clearly should be avoided like a bearded Iranian wet nurse.
The next section is about how to limit your intake of high fructose corn syrup, and it is cleverly and thoughtfully entitled…
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How to Limit Your Intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup
It is rapidly becoming harder and harder to avoid food and drink products that do not contain high fructose corn syrup. But I’ll do my best to provide you with some safe guidelines.
The best way would be to just stop eating. That’s not really feasible, I suppose…
So, at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I will just say that we need to avoid processed foods and anything else with added sugars in favor of healthy foods like fresh produce, whole-grain foods and healthy meats, etc.
When possible, shop at farmer’s markets!
And definitely always read the labels on everything, especially anything that is gooey or soft and colorful, or frozen. Or comes from a confectionary. Or a grocery store.
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Should High Fructose Corn Syrup Be Banned?
If you have read this far, you should have a pretty good understanding of why steering clear of high fructose corn syrup is a great idea. But what do you think? Should high fructose corn syrup be banned in the West, as it is in other countries?
I don’t think anything should be banned. I think people should educate themselves and make informed decisions, like adults. But at the very least, in addition to knowing what is good or bad to put in your body, as well as what to feed and not feed your children, food products should be brazenly labeled when they contain corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup and other unwholesome ingredients.
And not that it’s any of my business, but I think parents should also educate their kids about nutrition and the detrimental effects these things have on their health and well being, in my somewhat humble opinion. Then we have no reason to need to be babysat by shady government bureaucracies or trust our children to the education system for facts, because neither can be trusted anyway, as ought to be becoming rapidly apparent to all of us.
That’s my 3 1/2 cents, anyway.
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10 thoughts on “Should High Fructose Corn Syrup Be Banned?”
My pleasure, Ruth. It is actually pretty easy to discern what “foods” have high fructose corn syrup in them. If you suspect it, you are probably right!
I definitely think that food labels with all the ingredients should be mandatory. At least that way people can make their own informed choice. I also think we should have more information readily available as to the dangers of ingredients like high fructose in our foods and beverages. Perhaps even warning labels on foods saying that this product contains high fructose etc. I do however think that it wouldn’t happen overnight as the food production companies would absolutely hate that. Thanks for the wonderful information about high fructose.
Thanks, my friend. Yes, it is getting harder and harder to eat properly, isn’t it?
Thank you for bringing attention to the dangers and side effects of high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup, particularly high fructose corn syrup, is known to be unhealthy. I’m not sure why it’s added to baby formula.
In light of the negative consequences and long-term health hazards, I believe there is a compelling case for prohibiting the use of high fructose corn syrup in food.
Another issue is that most of the food we eat contains corn syrup, with only a few exceptions produced specifically for diabetics – and even then, there’s still a lot that needs to be altered. I’ll post this with my Facebook network as a reminder and to keep everyone up to date.
I would bet that stopping the drinking of Coke had a lot to do with his recovery. Diet Coke is just as bad.
Soy and high fructose corn syrup in baby formula are both terrible for children.
Yes, well said about growing our own food. We will have no choice soon!
Thank you Anusaya, for your eloquent feedback, and a good testimony is always nice to hear.
Blessings to you and your family.
Thanks for your thoughts, Stephanie. Very true.
And I appreciate you sharing the article, as well.
I have been struggling with type 1 diabetes for the last 20 years and I could not agree more. I think fructose corn syrup should be moderated. Specially with the alarming and growing cases of people being diagnosed with diabetes. Most of the food we eat contain corn syrup and there are just few that don’t and that is because they’re made for the diabetic demographic – and even then there’s still so much that needs to be changed. Will share this piece with my Facebook community just to keep everyone updated and reminder to take care of their well-being.
It always impresses me while reading your posts. They are really helpful and teaches me and everyone.
High fructose corn syrup and sugar is a big topic. I remember one of the American Chemical Society meetings were completely dedicated to Andrews the sugar issue of the country. I forget which year it was. They scientists were to discuss and bring this issue to the government.
I want to share this experience. My husband was an avid user of coke and Diet Coke. Those were his favorite drinks. He never listen to me. One day my daughter came home and dumped all the coke we had in our house and told him to stop it completely. He had no other choice.
After one year of just not drinking coke he got rid of his arm pain completely. We have no proof of that the Diet Coke was responsible for the pain.
Baby formula is expensive and can never be better that mother’s milk. It is little difficult if you are working outside the home but one can easily plan.
We all have to make sure to read labels and brands we buy our food from. My preference is grow your food if you can as much as possible and eat whole grain, fresh vegetables and all that. This should be part of your life process.
Thank you for such an informative and important blog post.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I think high fructose corn syrup is in baby formula to sweeten it cheaply and to preserve it’s shelf life, like why it is put in everything else it is in. I suspect there may be a more sinister reason, as well. But I’ll keep that to myself, for now.
Thank you for highlighting the health risks and adverse effects of high fructose corn syrup. I knew corn syrup, and specially high fructose corn syrup, is not good for one. So why it is added to baby formula, is beyond me.
Looking at the harmful effects and long-term health risks, I think there is a very strong case for banning high fructose corn syrup to be added to food.