High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn and can be found in numerous foods and beverages on grocery store shelves in the United States. High fructose corn syrup is composed of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose, with the remaining sugars being primarily glucose and higher sugars. In terms of composition, high fructose corn syrup is nearly identical to table sugar (sucrose), which is composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Glucose is one of the simplest forms of sugar that serves as a building block for most carbohydrates. Fructose is a simple sugar commonly found in fruits and honey.
Science tells us that there is little difference between HFCS and any other caloric sweetener. It adds calories in the same way that sugar, honey, fruit juice concentrate or agave nectar adds calories. In fact, they all contribute to the same number of calories per gram.
There is consensus in the scientific community, among people who know sweeteners and know the nutrition, that HFCS and sucrose are metabolically equivalent and that all sweeteners should be consumed in moderation. (Source: Best Food Facts)
HFCS is not as processed as people think, nor is “normal sugar” – or sucrose – as pristine as people think. Both of these are derived from botanical sources. Sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets; HFCS comes from corn. The FDA issued a letter a couple years ago, stating that HFCS is a natural product. They looked at the manufacturing process that’s used, and recognized that the process and steps really didn’t differ much from the processing that takes place with normal sugar. This allows HFCS to be classified under the FDA’s definition for natural. (Source: Best Food Facts)