High Fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Sugar? Not Really, Says New Study

By Mo Mozuch on August 16, 2012 4:11 PM EDT

photo: Reuters
photo: Reuters

Fat people who don't want to be fat always look for a "magic bullet" for weight loss. First it was no-fat, then no-carb and now, no-sugar. In particular, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been vilified by some weight loss gurus as being worse for the body than regular table sugar. However, a recent study published in Nutrition Journal found that there is virtually no difference between high fructose corn syrup and table sugar as it relates to weight loss. 

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"Common misunderstandings about HFCS have distorted public perceptions, pressuring food manufacturers to replace HFCS with sucrose and municipal and state legislators to mandate removal of HFCS from school nutrition programs," wrote the researchers in the study. "Our data suggest that such actions are pointless and potentially misleading to consumers, since HFCS and sucrose are nutritionally interchangeable."

The researchers suggested in the study that it is not the type of sugar that people consume, but how much. Weight loss based on reduced caloric intake needs to account for the amount of sugar a person consumes in all its forms, either as basic table sugar or HFCS. The study also pointed out that use of HFCS has gone down since 1999, but obesity rates have risen. Additionally, other nations with obesity issues use far less HFCS than does the U.S., further indicating that HFCS is not a larger contributor to obesity and weight gain than table sugar.  Physicians such as Dr. Jacob Teitlebaum, author of "Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!", are in agreement with the studies findings that HFCS and sugar are equaly bad for the body.   

"I think high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are both equally poisonous because of the massive volumes that are added to our diet each year," Dr. Teitelbaum told Everydayhealth.com. "Basically, the argument is between two sides holding jugs of poison arguing over which one kills you one second quicker. It boils down to which poison do you want to take, and the answer should be neither."

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