Even though we know sugar is not that good for our health, on average, sugar consumption has increased slowly. And with the increasing use of artificial sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in food products, our health is going down south.
High-fructose corn syrup more or less replaced table sugar when it first entered the market. Made out of corn starch, this sugar has been known to have more adverse effects than good ones. It is considered one of the main factors of the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes in the USA among other disorders. So let’s take a look at exactly what this sugar does to your body and why you need to stop consuming it right now.
6 Harmful Effects Of High-Fructose Corn Syrup
1. Gives You No Nutritional Value
First of all, you gain nothing by consuming this type of sugar. Like all artificial sweeteners and added sugars, HFCS has no nutritional value apart from a bunch of calories and a slightly better taste.
When you consume a lot of this, you have no space in your tummy to eat anything healthier. So you naturally reduce the nutrients your body could have had. So instead, go for natural substances and healthy, whole fruits.
2. Causes Metabolic Syndrome
Insulin resistance in the body makes any effort at treating diabetes tough, if not futile. Consuming high fructose corn syrup will make your body immune to insulin treatment and affect the metabolism.1 Hence, your body doesn’t digest carbohydrates adequately. This metabolic syndrome is considered one of the factors that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
3. Increases Inflammation and Uric Acid Production
A lot of studies have gone into the effect of HFCS on health. Any such sugars are linked to increased inflammation in the body. This, in turn, increases the risk of multiple other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, gout, and cancer. Along with this, it is also known to increase uric acid production, which also contribute to gout and arthritis.2
Studies show that such sugars encourage the growth of tumor cells and thus increase the risk of cancer. And by increasing the amount of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), it can make you age quickly, reducing the general life expectancy.
4. Increases Fructose Levels In The Body
Up till recently, our body has been used to a normal, healthy diet with very little added sugar. This glucose that we intake is a good source of energy for your body, especially if you workout frequently. With increasing intake of fructose in different forms, your body is dealing with a lot more work than it deserves.
High fructose corn syrup contains glucose and fructose in equal measure. Your body cannot use this excess fructose cannot be used directly as energy. It needs to be converted to fat or stored carbs by the liver to become usable. So before drinking another soda, ask yourself if it’s actually worth so much trouble.
5. Gets Converted To Fat
When you consume the corn syrup, fructose is sent to the liver to be metabolized. While the liver should ideally convert it into stored carbohydrates, your liver has its limits. With excess syrup consumption (in the form of anything with artificial sweeteners), you overburden the liver, which just converts it all into fat. This excess fat accumulation is a major cause of type-2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.3
However, remember that fruits also contain fructose in small amounts, which are easily digested. Do not confuse the fructose in corn syrup with that in fruits.
6. Increases The Risk Of Obesity
Sugar intake is directly correlated to weight gain and obesity, and HFCS is no less. Glucose consumption tends to trigger certain parts of the brain that controls your appetite. But, according to studies, fructose fails to do that.4
That’s not it! One of the most harmful type of fat that is difficult to lose is visceral fat. Fructose causes this fat to accumulate in your body. Since we’ve gradually increased sugar consumption over the years, the rise in obesity is not so surprising.
|↑1||Basciano, Heather, Lisa Federico, and Khosrow Adeli. “Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia.” Nutrition & metabolism 2, no. 1 (2005): 5.|
|↑2||Heinig, Marcelo, and Richard J. Johnson. “Role of uric acid in hypertension, renal disease, and metabolic syndrome.” Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine 73, no. 12 (2006): 1059.|
|↑3||White, John S. “Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: what it is and what it ain’t.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 88, no. 6 (2008): 1716S-1721S.|
|↑4||Page, Kathleen A., Owen Chan, Jagriti Arora, Renata Belfort-DeAguiar, James Dzuira, Brian Roehmholdt, Gary W. Cline et al. “Effects of fructose vs glucose on regional cerebral blood flow in brain regions involved with appetite and reward pathways.” Jama 309, no. 1 (2013): 63-70.|