Is Corn Syrup Worse for You than Sugar?

corn field

I don’t know about you guys, but I am pretty diligent about label-reading, and one of the ingredients on my radar is always high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Too much sugar in any form is not great for your body, and because HFCS is so cheap to make (thanks, corn subsidies!), it seems to be in everything. You’ll find it in soda pop, sure, but HFCS is also pretty common in products that you don’t think of as sugary, like breads and even things you might not expect, like pickles and tomato sauces. For me, its ubiquity is the real problem with HFCS. It’s a cheap filler, and I think it’s a major culprit in the obesity epidemic.

In case you needed another reason to look out for high fructose corn syrup in your travels, though, a September study in the journal Metabolism took a look at how our bodies metabolize HFCS vs. how they handle sugar, and they found that participants who drank corn syrup-sweetened soda pop absorbed more fructose than those who drank a sugar-sweetened version of the same soda.

This was a small study, but it definitely indicates that we need more research on how HFCS behaves in our bodies. The reason the researchers looked at fructose absorption is that fructose is particularly hard on our bodies. According to Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a professor of pediatrics and an obesity specialist at the University of California, the trouble withfructose is that the increase in fructose in our diets “suspiciously parallels increases in obesity, diabetes, and a new condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease that now affects up to one-third of Americans.”

So, if we actually do absorb more fructose from high fructose corn syrup than we do from refined table sugar, that is definitely a problem. It’s at least worth studying further.

Of course, the best way to cut the fructose in your diet is to cut back on sweets all together. Whether it’s table corn syrup, table sugar, sweet fruit juice, maple syrup, honey, or any other sweetener, too much is not going to be good for you.

via: Food Safety News

Image Credit: Corn Field photo via Shutterstock

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