If you notice a certain food has a sweet taste to it, then it’s likely to contain high fructose corn syrup. This magical sweetener is ingested by millions of people a day, and that’s just in the United States alone! Since it is so prevalent, you may be wondering how it can affect your gluten free diet.
Is high fructose corn syrup gluten free? Yes! Although suited for a gluten free diet, corn syrup is still a very unhealthy additive in most products its included in. Great for avoiding the consumption of gluten, but the high sugar content can harm your teeth and blood sugar levels.
If you’re on a gluten free diet, then you may be looking to avoid gluten content. In the United States of America, anywhere between 0.5 and 1 percent of people suffer celiac disease. A debilitating stomach condition in which the presence of gluten in the intestine erodes the stomach lining.
Still, you may also suffer a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or want to cut out gluten as a means to lose weight. As such, a gluten free diet remains popular even among those without an intolerance to wheat products or related gluten grains.
What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
In food gluten is present as a protein, and is commonly cut out of fad diets and allergen based dietary needs. Despite the popularity of removing gluten, gluten impurity remains a major threat to a gluten free diet. Corn syrup is no different.
In a gluten free diet gluten can derail major progress and cause stomach ache. High fructose corn syrup is more typically used as an additive, although it can be bought separately. The sweet and sugary taste of the syrup, as well as the sticky texture, makes it ideal for different food products.
Daily gluten free products use corn syrup regularly. A favorite of these products being Coca-Cola, which remains gluten free and suitable for a gluten free diet. Coke uses corn syrup as a flavour agent, and most bars in the world with coke on tap will use a syrupy agent to produce the iconic drink.
Cornstarch is used to make high fructose corn syrup, which is a liquid sweetener. It’s manufactured by dissolving maize into glucose molecules (a type of sugar). Half of the glucose molecules are subsequently converted to fructose (a different form of sugar that is sweeter).
Is Corn Gluten Free?
Corn gluten does not exist, although this may be a surprise to you. As an ingredient gluten is found most commonly in grains. Wheat, rye, and barley being the most common culprits that drive people to gluten free diet.
Corn, although technically a grain as maize, does not have the same gluten presence of wheat. This make corn, and also corn based products such as high fructose corn syrup, suitable for celiacs and health conscious people everywhere.
Why is Corn Syrup so Common?
Corn syrup is mostly a concern for Americans seeking to pursue a gluten free diet. You may be shocked to learn that the US uses more high fructose corn syrup than any other nation on Earth. The reason for this? Simple, it’s money of course!
Corn syrup is incredibly cheap to produce and manufacture, so much so that it’s actually cheaper to make than granulated sugar. So while Europeans are spooning sugar into their coffee, Americans enjoy sugar cubes and fructose in their drinks and meals from the supermarket.
American farmers recieve agricultural subsidies from the Federal Government, so the cornfields that form the iconic Nebraska landscape for example are harvested with government money. As a result, corn is highly produced in the States, perfect for making corn syrup and bourbon.
Is Corn Syrup Good for You?
Although you don’t need to stress about looking for corn syrup in your gluten free diet, you should still check any product for wheat or any other gluten names that might be present. It’s not totally uncommon to have a sauce gluten containing, as a means of texturing and binding.
Regardless of your gluten free diet, high fructose corn syrup does have negative health side effects. Diabetes, inflammation, excessive triglycerides, and a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are all linked to high fructose corn syrup.
So if you’re on a gluten free diet to be healthier, perhaps trying to avoid corn syrup is also in your best interest. That way you can keep losing weight, without also risking your dental hygiene, cardiovascular health, or in an extreme case the risk of amputation from unchecked diabetes!