Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad?

Research indicates that high fructose corn syrup may encourage overeating, which can be linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to WebMD. These conditions also put people at risk for developing heart disease. Two-thirds of American adults are obese or overweight as of 2014, WebMD states.

Being a simple sugar, fructose isn't able to suppress the areas of the brain that control appetite. A study conducted at the University of Southern California found fructose left people feeling hungry, even after eating, WebMD reports. Fructose releases less insulin than glucose, another type of sugar, thereby motivating people to continue eating. Alternatively, glucose curtails hunger, as the activity in the hypothalamus is slowed.

Because its production sometimes involves the use of mercury-grade caustic sodas, mercury has been found in samples of high-fructose corn syrup. Sweeter than sugar, high-fructose corn syrup can cause the body to crave increasing amounts of sweets and lead to a poor diet. High-fructose corn syrup is an ingredient in many processed foods, including cereal, bread, ketchup, salad dressing, jam and ice cream.