What Is the Difference Between Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Regular corn syrup consists of 100 percent glucose, whereas high-fructose corn syrup has converted some of the glucose into fructose through an enzymatic reaction. High-fructose corn syrup is much sweeter than regular corn syrup, but it poses a higher risk of diabetes and obesity.

Corn syrup became popular in the 1970s and has persisted ever since as a cheaper, sweeter product with higher stability and functionality. Sucrose, common table sugar, can be replaced by glucose found naturally in corn syrup, and the products can be made cheaper and last longer. Beginning in the 1990s, high-fructose corn syrup emerged and prospered due to its much higher level of sweetness than regular corn syrup. The difference is that, while regular corn syrup is 100 percent glucose, some of the glucose in high-fructose corn syrup is turned into fructose. Dextrose sugar that is naturally found in corn syrup is converted into fructose sugar, which is much sweeter than regular corn syrup and could be used to sweeten products such as cereal and soda.

The added fructose in high-fructose corn syrup causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels and can lead to many heart disorders, as well as obesity and diabetes. Both forms of corn syrup have large amounts of sugar in them, and neither one should be eaten regularly, but regular corn syrup is still the healthier option.