High-Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Corn Syrup: The Facts

High fructose corn syrup remains as one of the most controversial health topics. The facts continue to pour out, and you have the ability to understand why corn syrup, and the variations of the substance, extremely hinders the health of people across the world.

Corn Syrup Information

You must first know where corn syrup comes from in order to understand the information behind high fructose corn syrup. HFCS does not come from a magical mixture of things, but rather directly from pure corn syrup that gets altered to become even sweeter.

After corn grows, farmers harvest the crop and extract the kernels from the stalks of the plant. Corn starch gets extracted from the individual kernels through a long process of separating the small parts in each piece. The germ gets used in the corn oil making process while the rest of the kernel becomes further broken down into fiber, protein and starch.

The starch, which includes portions of corn protein, breaks down yet again, leaving gluten and corn starch as two separate materials. The powder gets filtered several times until pure starch remains. When the powder remains wet, acid gets added and the mixture heats in order to turn the starch into liquid sugar.

Pure corn syrup does not provide as sweet of a taste as does high fructose corn syrup because one more process must occur in order to convert dextrose into fructose.

HFCS versus Corn Syrup

Since high fructose corn syrup comes from corn syrup, the two share several similarities and differences. This small list will provide you with some general information regarding the similarities of the sweeteners.

  • Both HFCS and corn syrup come from corn
  • Both of the sweeteners contain dextrose
  • The two sugary liquids have the ability to cause adverse health issues including but not limited to obesity, declined heart health, high blood pressure, diabetes and tooth decay
  • HFCS contains more fructose than corn syrup, which contains no fructose at all
  • HFCS does not have the ability to exist without the product of corn syrup
  • Corn syrup provides a less sweet taste than HFCS
  • HFCS provides a stronger ability to negatively influence the production of insulin and leptin in your body, two necessary tools that help regulate appetite and a healthy diet

In short form, another way for you to define high fructose corn syrup is a sweetener with really bad super powers.

Other Facts

Companies implemented the use of high fructose corn syrup primarily because people demanded sweeter foods like soft drinks and candies for lower prices. In order to make large batches of foods with sweeter tastes, major food manufacturers started using the altered versions of corn syrup to better meet requirements with lower amounts of much sweeter additives. This alone saves companies millions of dollars annually, while people continue to grow obese because of the inexpensive food choices made available through the process.

Several varieties of HFCS remain on the market place and in foods because of manufacturer’s ability to increase levels of fructose to dextrose ratios in corn syrup to near exact percentages. For example, candy and soft drinks use HFCSs with at least 55% fructose content. The FDA regulates the entire process.

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  • Elisabeth Lilly

    Thank you so much for the article on the difference of HFCS and Corn Syrup. Everyone talks a lot about HFCS, but not the other. Your article told me exactly what I needed to know. Very informative!

  • John

    Very accurate information. Corn Syrup is okay in moderation, like table sugar, while high fructose corn syrup should be completely avoided if at all possible.

  • Wayne running away from HFCS

    I was checking McDonalds food ingredients and was shocked to find the number of items with HFCS. The buns, english muffins, ketchup and many move items have it. I like McDonalds but I dislike the HFCS in my diet even more. I’ll have to look for a new fast food place, maybe burger King might be better.

  • Sharon Berry

    Learned about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) a few years ago. Started to avoid any product that uses it. Went back to eating things with regular sugar, basically. Lost 50 pounds and have kept it off.

  • Y2KJillian

    Corn syrup = 100% dextrose = glucose, the body’s own sugar fuel.
    HFCS = 45% dextrose (45% glucose) AND 55% fructose, the body’s toxin.
    “Sugar” (table sugar / sucrose) = 50% dextrose / glucose AND 50% fructose.

    You decide.