Devil’s Advocate: 3 Health Benefits of High Fructose Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Image credit goes to: http://www.firsttimerscookbook.com

High-fructose corn syrup, also known as HFCS, is a sweetener processed from corn. HFCS has received quite a bit of attention for its negative health impacts; many researchers say it causes obesity, diabetes and so on. Let’s play devil’s advocate and try to show that high fructose corn syrup actually does have some health benefits…

Health Benefit 1: No Worse Than ‘Regular’ Sugar

Contrary to common belief, high fructose corn syrup may not have as much of a negative impact on weight gain than white sugar. At least there is not yet any scientific evidence to prove that theory. In fact, there are increasing cases of obesity and weight gain with decline in the use of HFCS. What does that say about its use? The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a study that stated “Based on the currently available evidence, the expert panel concluded that HFCS does not appear to contribute to overweight and obesity any differently than do other energy sources.”

Health Benefits 2: Flavoring for Healthy Foods

As with all other sugars, in moderation, high fructose corn syrup can be used in various foods and beverages to add texture, quality as well as boost their flavor, especially on healthy foods. For example, adding small amounts of HFCS to fruit that may be otherwise too tart to eat could make a more palatable way to increase your fiber intake, particularly for children.

Health Benefit 3: Same Metabolism as Sugar

While there have been unsubstantiated claim that high fructose corn sugar hinders the body’s ability to know when it is full, research has been shown that HFCS metabolizes no differently than normal sugar. “It is unclear why HFCS would affect satiety or absorption and metabolism of fructose any differently than would sucrose.”

Obviously, there are not many true health benefits to high fructose corn syrup. However, it doesn’t appear to be much worse than any other kind of sugar, aside from some nutrients found in honey.

  • dallasthemaster

    HFCS is absolutely NOT natural, it is NOT metabolized the same way as sugar (it is less bonded together than sugar which makes it be digested in a way that lots more gets stored as fat = weight gain = obesity), Prevents the body from knowing when it is full, I’ve experienced that first hand, the body doesn’t register it as sweetener which means you don’t get that “too much sugar” feeling, again first handed, it does NOT taste the same as sugar, AGAIN EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND!! Wherever you got this info, its wrong! probably from the corn refiners association. ):< Sorry for the raging but I hate and DESPISE HFCS.

    • Albert Pike

      HFCS is just a mixture of glucose and fructose monosaccharides that has been enzymatically formed from the sucrose in corn starch. sucrose (table sugar) is a unit of glucose bonded to a unit of fructose. glucose is the simple sugar that plants make for food. fructose is the simple sugar found in fruits and in honey. when your body metabolizes sucrose( table sugar), it breaks it into the glucose and fructose molecules, the constituents of HFCS. HFCS isn’t a ‘horrible abomination’, it is just a mixture of two simple sugars. that being said, if you eat too many sugars in your diet, any sugars (which are also called carbohydrates), you will gain weight.