High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Do you know what HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup or glucose-fructose syrup) is?

This suspiciously named food often connected with different diseases is none other than a mixture of glucose and fructose in a slightly uneven ratio (55:45 for fructose) when compared to regular sugar, saccharose (sucrose). Just a reminder, saccharose is a disaccharide comprised of two monosaccharide molecules – one of glucose and one of fructose (50:50). Saccharose is almost instantly broken down into glucose and fructose by sucrase (digestive enzyme) and they are absorbed from small intestine. Glucose and fructose that are bound in saccharose (but also in their free form) are also found in fruits.

Usage of HCFS in Croatia and Europe is not as wide as in the US, where they prefer it over the overpriced (imported) sugar.

Considering the composition which is similar to saccharose (other than skipping the breaking-down-to-monosaccharides phase), HCFS metabolizes almost identically and has no negative effect on health, under the condition there is no calorie sufficit and that it does not compromise the intake of food which is richer in nutrients.

Cluttering media space with these and similar misconceptions diverts attention from things that really make a difference, such as maintaining a healthy body mass (balanced calorie intake), regular exercise, diet mostly comprised of fruits and vegetables along with adequate fiber intake, etc.