Filed Under: Food Scares

Even Food Cops Know: High Fructose Corn Syrup = Table Sugar

Every once in while, we find ourselves agreeing with some of the same dietary scolds and public health activists whose harebrained ideas we often denounce. Such is the case with today’s USA Today article about the clash between sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup, a corn-based sweetener.

We’ve explained before how high fructose corn syrup, which is either 55 or 42 percent fructose, shares a nearly identical composition with table sugar, which is 50 percent fructose. (The remainder in both is glucose.) Even two notorious “food cop” activists agree with us, reports USA Today. Michael Jacobson, the usually unreasonable head scold at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says:

The bottom line is there isn't a shred of evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is nutritionally any different from sugar.

And Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina scientist, confirms that table sugar and high fructose corn syrup have the same number of calories.

This is an especially sweet turnaround from Popkin. You might remember that Popkin himself was an original pioneer of the theory that high fructose corn syrup bore unique responsibility for rising obesity rates. To his credit, he corrected himself after conducting further research, and acknowledged that his speculation was wrong.

No doubt, some will continue to cling to the belief that these two sugars are nutritionally different. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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