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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?


Wow, I am continually appalled at the lack of knowledge that goes in to Yahoo articles. A sugar is a sugar is a sugar? Have you every heard of glycemic index? Are you aware of the comparison of structure of molecular bonds between synthetic and natural foods? Are at all aware of the differences in how our bodies uptake different sugars? Have you heard of agave, xylitol, etc. (basically, they're miracle sugars)? Reading your article of course makes my questions rhetorical. No, no you don't. And there's no point beginning to explain because apparently this world doesn't care about truth. It's much easier to be lazy and subsequently lazily rationalize what's easy.


07/18/2010 - 4:17pm

I try to avoid all of them--what I dislike about HFCS is its ubiquity, and also that its presence usually signals highly processed "foods" which are processed for intense flavor hits ( mostly excess salt and sugar and fat), and long shelf life, whatever happened to 'fresh' instead of "tastes fresh"? And what about "refined" as a super desirable quality? do we lose the heart and soul of most good grains, fruits and vegetables in our self-defeating hopes for 'elegant dining'?


07/18/2010 - 3:18pm

If you had to choose between cocaine and the cocoa leaf, you have my answer! I would like to see an article on how MSG is hidden under "Natural Flavour". The BC Teacher's Federation posted and article on the relationship between MSG and Diabetes. The US national public library has documentation for
13 case studies where lab rats were injected with MSG to induce Diabetes/obesity. Oh yeah besides containing HFCS why would Coke need natural flavour, same with French's mustard. I am losing weight and blood pressure while consciously avoiding MSG, not sugar. My government and the Heart and Stroke Society of Canada will not address this issue. Will you?


07/18/2010 - 8:49am

I am fighting my cancer already for five years, myself with alternative remedies only, and quite successfully. I did not use even 1 gram of sugar in five years (and I do not miss it anymore), because cancer cells feed on it. I would not even touch chemical sweeteners because of their adverse health effects. However, I do occasionally use bit of honey, (and maple syrup mixed with baking soda - to kill cancer). Let's not forget, that not all sugars are really equal. There is a big difference in between fructose, sucrose, etc. The most simple sugar is in fruits, witch is easiest to be broken down by your body. All higher sugars, with bigger and more complicated molecules, have to be broken down by your body with more effort, and will give you more calories, fat, and other side effects. Read the labels on all manufactured and processed foods what kind of garbage is in it. Educate yourself, even if it takes thousands of hours, it will pay off in long run.


07/18/2010 - 3:12am

How can you write a respectable, well rounded, intelligent article about HFCS without mentioning "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" (also on youtube as the Hazard's of Sugar). It is from University of California Television (UCTV), University of California, San Francisco, UCFS's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine by Robert H. Lustig, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology.

He shows the chemical reactions that take place in human body and describes the damage that is done by HFCS.

My question would be "Are the corn producers paying Eating Well to help promote their products?" There is so much information out there for Michelle to research and cite and all that is presented is that it is safe.

I avoid all processed sugar. I beleive that 9 teaspoons of processed sugar in one drink is well beyond the limit that is healthy for the human body.


07/18/2010 - 2:15am

Considering that high fructose corn syrup is chemically altered from corn starch and the body does not recognize it as a sugar when consumed, I try to avoid it at all cost! Apparently the body does not recognize it as a sugar and therefore the liver does not send out insulin to regulate the bodies blood sugar. Can this be good for us? I highly doubt it. Here is a quote from Women to Women "Specifically, that “unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production.” They postulate that dietary fructose may be contributing to American obesity issues because “insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight.” In other words, this study proposes that because fructose doesn’t trip our sense of satiety as sugar would, we are, perhaps, eating more sugars to compensate, and upping overall caloric intake in the process. Further, they extrapolate that because HFCS is usually higher in fructose than table sugar, HFCS can be correlated with parallel increases in obesity."
I think the least changes to our food the better.


07/17/2010 - 10:29pm

This article is highly suspect, there are numerous studies out there about the health hazards of HFCS, hopefully not too many people believe what is being said in this article.Also, that corn product in HFCS is more than likely genetically modified corn, even going to local farmers you can't assume it's good for you,If those local farmers are using seed from Monsanto for one then that corn is definitely not good for you.Now with that being said, don't listen to me or Michelle, investigate for yourself.


07/17/2010 - 8:09pm

I will NOT eat high fructose corn syrup.


07/14/2010 - 5:29pm

Thank you Michelle! This is just chemical common sense, but unfortunately we as a nation seem to have flunked out of chemistry class (or never attended at all more likely...)

People, the reason we're fat is that we eat too much sugar. Doesn't matter if it's cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sugar, grape sugar, or any other plant sugar you can find on the market. It's the fact that HFCS is cheap that we find so much of it in our prepared foods. If cane sugar were cheaper than HFCS, that's what we'd find in our food instead, and we'd be no thinner or less diabetic. And by the way, cane sugar is just as "man-made" as corn syrup. In fact it's even MORE processed since all the water has to be taken out of it to get those pretty little white crystals. Corn syrup ships as a liquid.

Substituting stevia, xylitol, or the trendy sugar substitute of the month really doesn't address the problem, which is that you find it necessary to sweeten your food to excess in order to "like" it.

Here's a novel thought: try eating food without sweetener. That means eating less food from cans and boxes and bottles and jars, not because it's "man-made," but because food manufacturers add sugar so people (and their kids...) will like the product more and buy it again.

Cook your own food, and you can control the sugar content. Hey, when you make cookies or candy, use real sugar, since that's the whole point. But do you really need sugar in your salad dressing? Your salsa? Your cream of tomato soup? If you need to sprinkle table sugar on strawberries, you came home with some pretty underripe strawberries. Wait until they are in season. Bonus: they'll also be cheaper then.

You will find that you'll truly enjoy the natural inherent sweetness of vegetables, fruits, and milk if they aren't overwhelmed by a huge dollop of tongue-stunning added sugar with every bite. Cream of broccoli soup will taste sweet to you. Fresh peaches will taste like candy.

And a second added bonus is that by dumping the cans and boxes and bottles and jars you'll avoid a lot of extra sodium in your diet as well as a bunch of lab-designed colorings, flavors and stabilizers.


07/14/2010 - 4:36pm

I avoid HFCS more since I read a article in the world famous lifestyle change site.
I wish I had it to post here but there were around 76 negatives toward HFCS. One in particular was it dulls the sensation of being full and one is tempted to eat more.
I personally have read many studies on it and am convinsed there is nothing good about it except for the industries pocketbooks.
I have to feel bad for those that have below average incomes because most of the food they can afford have HFCS and can definatly be linked to bad health. I'm surprised that there is even a controversy on this subject.
As for me, I make the healthier choice of my fellow sparkers and avoid HFCS.
Thank You, Chef Jim Harrison


07/10/2010 - 1:03am

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