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Is high-fructose corn syrup really worse than sugar?

By Michelle Edelbaum, January 15, 2010 - 1:27pm

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Michelle asks: Do you avoid high fructose corn syrup more than sugar?


Yes. There are studies that have shown that people that consume higher levels of hfcs have more fat accumulated around their heart and liver area. Studies, plural. And hfcs is a man-made, chemically modified product, produced from largely genetically modified corn. That's enough Information for me.


03/15/2012 - 12:16pm

High fructose corn syrup has certain adverse effect on Health and must be avoided.



01/02/2012 - 3:01am

I applaud your going out to try to find out what the difference is between HFCS and sugar, but I come away still uncertain. In the end, I think I will treat sugar and HFCS the same way as I do carbohydrates and fats, and that is, they are all necessary for the proper functioning of the human body, but an excess of any of them will cause obesity and potential problems. Therefore, I'll just monitor what I eat and use moderation, balancing them all, but avoiding none. Hey, isn't that what the food pyramid tells us to do? Well, imagine that!


11/16/2010 - 1:18pm



10/15/2010 - 10:26am

In response to: "Second, could SOMEONE provide actual documentation for the harmful effects of HFCS? I mean scientific, cause and effect documentation,"

Please see this article from research done at Princeton University:

They are doing research that shows HFCS causes obesity while table sugar doesn't when given to lab rats in similar dosages. They believe it is due to the differences in sugar and HFCS.

Table Sugar is 50/50 fructose & glucose. They are bound together in a 1-to-1 relationship and require a metabolic step to seperate the fructose from glucose.

HFCS is 55% fructose, 42% glucose. The fructose is unbound and no metabolic step is needed. The body just converts it to fat.

They are unsure why the HFCS rats get obese while the sugar rats do not. Maybe that extra metabolic step uses more energy, suppreses appetite, or causes the body to react to the sugar differently?


09/27/2010 - 1:18pm

I think it's important to clarify that HFCS is not "man made" but rather "man processed." It's created from corn starch and then is processed (with the help of enzymes and bacteria) into fructose (with some glucose leftover).

Second, could SOMEONE provide actual documentation for the harmful effects of HFCS? I mean scientific, cause and effect documentation. CORRELATION is not the same as causation! Maybe HFCS is the cause of our obesity epidemic, but the same time that HFCS came on the scene was the same time that Americans started eating more meals away from home and our physical activity (not exercise per se, but moving, walking, physical labor) decreased significantly. It's more likely a correlation not a cause.

Third, enough with "the harmful effects of fructose." Fructose is the sugar found in fruit. I'm guessing all of you who claim to eschew fructose also incorporate lots of fruit in your diet. Yes, it is metabolized a little differently (more of it goes through the GI tract unabsorbed), but it still turns into glucose which your body uses for energy.

Finally, my issue with HFCS is that the corn industry has a strangle hold on the food production in this country. Government subsidies have allowed/encouraged huge growth in the corn industry and they've needed to find new ways to use the extra [corn]. (Cows aren't supposed to eat corn, they're supposed to eat grass.)

Regan Wilson, RD, CD


09/14/2010 - 1:11pm

I do avoid HFCS, and I agree that table sugar isn't much better. I've been encouraged to use organic cane sugar instead. From what I understand table sugar is only white because of the chemicals used to process it.


09/01/2010 - 3:47pm

In my diet, I feel it's better to simply avoid most processed foods altogether, thereby reducing my sugar and sodium consumption dramatically. Of course, this means that I don't often eat things like bread and cookies, lacking the time to prepare them myself. However, when I do bake, I can then control the amount of sugar and salt I use.


08/28/2010 - 3:42pm

When I developed stomach pain/abdominal pain and IBS not even the specialists could find why! I had all sorts of very uncomfortable tests and no "cause" was identified.

My allergist said to look at food allerigies. So I began did. I found through process of elimination, removing all HFCS cured the IBS.

Trouble is at that time 70% of all foods in the grocery store contained HFCS, and contrary to the propaganda of the Corn Producers who tell us HFCS is OK in can 70% be moderation? That is saturation!

My doctor told me that the body does not recognize HFCS as a food. It's been chemically altered and affects the ghrelen in out stomach. That causes the ghrelen to send a signal to our brains that we are hungry. So it follows that of course we are getting fatter! Since the sugar embargo in the 1960's they had to find something to replace sugar. And that replacement HFCS is the worst thing since processed white bread!


08/23/2010 - 4:31pm

Yes, it is still a man-made product.


08/22/2010 - 5:27pm

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