The Type Of Sugar Matters: Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Bad For Our Bodies

By Catherine Gray

Recently there has been a lot of public discussion about the types of sugar in our diets. The sugar debate has even made it to television with commercials trying to convince us that high fructose corn syrup isn’t bad for us with compared to regular sugar.

When it comes right down to it, the type of sugar we put into our bodies does matter. This has nothing to do with how these different forms of sugars compare to each other, and everything to do with how they interact with our bodies when we digest them. Let’s start with the high fructose corn syrup to regular sugar comparison.

In the commercials you are told that high fructose corn syrup is the same nutritionally as regular sugar. This might be true, but how real sugar and high fructose corn syrup are digested into our bodies is different. Real sugar or glucose is the basic sugar metabolized in our bodies with the help of insulin. High fructose corn syrup is a combination of both fructose and glucose. While fructose is naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, it does not enable the production of insulin. In addition when we typically digest fructose it is from fruit and accompanied by other nutrients in addition to fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar directly into our blood stream. Since high fructose corn syrup is usually not accompanied with high concentrations of fiber, it is absorbed more quickly into our blood stream where it is metabolized by our cells into acetyl-CoA, an unstable source of carbon, and then turned into cholesterol and triglycerides.

In addition, high fructose corn syrup increases the amount of food we consume. This occurs due to the lack of insulin produced by high fructose corn syrup since it is too quickly absorbed into our blood stream. Insulin production also promotes the production of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for tell our brain that we’re full. Therefore without the production insulin when you digest the glucose in high fructose corn syrup, your body has to eat more to compensate for the lack of leptin production.

The fact of the matter is that the type of sugar matters. Just because something is chemically similar to another substance found in nature, doesn’t mean that it will be digested and metabolized the same way by our bodies. So even though high fructose corn syrup consists of glucose and fructose, our bodies can’t digest it the same way as it would the glucose found in other carbohydrates, or the fructose found in fruits. When it comes to sugar, it’s always best to keep it simple, and unprocessed.

Catherine E.P. Gray is the President & Founder of Inside-Out Beauty, LLC a full service image consulting company based in New York City that enables clients to achieve their personal and/or professional image goals by addressing all the interrelated aspects of one’s image.

For more information on Inside-Out Beauty and how they can help you achieve your goals, please visit

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