High fructose corn syrup is slowly gaining popularity. Yamini Walia finds out whether this sweet additive is actually beneficial for your health
What is it?
High-fructose corn syrup is a corn-based sweetener, which is widely used in processed food and beverages such as biscuits, cookies, energy bars, aerated drinks, energy or fruit drinks, muesli and other cereals. It’s essentially an artificial sweetener, and its consumption can affect your health more than plain sugar.
How harmful is it?
Even though corn syrup is found in most of food items that we consume today, it isn’t safe at all. Saima Sheikh, nutritionist at Anytime Fitness Gym, tells us, “Calories from high fructose corn syrup or any added sugar offer no nutritional value. This is more harmful than plain sugar because the syrup is a type of hidden sugar, which leads to unhealthy weight, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”
However, that doesn’t mean that plain sugar is any good either. Karishma Chawla, a nutritionist, explains, “Sugar in any form is harmful. Similarly, too much high fructose corn syrup (extracted from maize), just like table sugar (extracted from cane), can lead to obesity, cardiovascular problems, insulin resistance, kidney diseases, joint pain and arthritis.
It is always a good idea to cut down on artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, and make healthier choices by remembering the following points, which Saima shares with us.
- Avoid sugary drinks, desserts and snacks.
- Read labels and ingredient lists properly to find out about an item’s sugar content.
- Limit hidden sources of added sugars as far as possible.