Filed Under: Big Fat Lies Food Scares

Rebutting the Myth of “Evil” High Fructose Corn Syrup

There is an old observation that if a lie is repeated enough, no matter how outrageous, it comes to be regarded as a truth. Such is the case with the unfounded claims that high fructose corn syrup is an unnatural sugar that poses novel health risks. Another “expert” jumped on this bogus bandwagon at a Charleston, West Virginia health awareness event on Wednesday. Lisa Lineberg, an exercise physiologist and nutritionist, told an audience at Generation Charleston that high fructose corn syrup is “evil.”

Lineberg claimed that high fructose corn syrup raises the blood sugar level to the point where the body cannot efficiently process it. She argued that this leads to ailments like diabetes.
But as we’ve frequently explained, there is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup poses unique risks to human health. Once again, here are the facts:
High fructose corn syrup is not substantially different from other sugars. The version of high fructose corn syrup used in sodas and other sweetened drinks consists of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. This is very similar to ordinary table sugar, which is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. And the form of high fructose corn syrup in foods like breads, jams and yogurt – 42 percent fructose and 58 percent glucose – is actually lower in fructose than table sugar. One study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition even showed that high fructose corn syrup affects the body no differently than a wholesome glass of milk.
So Lineberg’s charge that high fructose corn syrup is linked to diabetes is thus – surprise, surprise – nonsense. Sugar is sugar. Our bodies process all sugars in the same manner. Whether you’re eating a simpler sugar, like fructose, or a more complex carbohydrate like starch, your body treats them all the same. Consuming sugar in moderation is good for the body. But just like with any food, eating too much can make you fat.

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