Filed Under: Food Scares

Pulling Back the Curtain on Dr. Oz’s High Fructose Corn Syrup Hysteria

Dr. Mehmet Oz is television's most self-promoting "You Doc" and a leading food hysteric. Needless to say, he's completely bought into the hyperventilating paranoia over corn sugar:

This is one of the most important health tips we gave you in 2010. We'd repeat it to you every day if you lived next door! 

Following the news about whether high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is bad for you or not is a lot like watching professional table tennis: You could get whiplash trying to keep up. However, many of the favorable studies are from HFCS manufacturers or associations, and we don't think their data is great. Besides, there's growing evidence that avoiding this el cheapo sugar replacement could help you avoid heart disease, stroke and diabetes, not to mention wrinkles and impotence …

Avoiding HFCS is about as easy as avoiding "Desperate Housewives" reruns. The stuff is everywhere, from salad dressings and honey mustard sauce to yogurt and muffins. So keep it simple: Check the label: If HFCS is in the first five ingredients, drop it like a hot rock.  

Dr. Oz would blame bad harvests on corn sugar if he thought it would produce TV ratings. He's been attacking high fructose corn syrup for years now and constantly fudges the facts.

For the record, the science is very much settled on high fructose corn syrup. If the Great Oz doesn't believe us, he should ask the American Dietetic Association, which determined in 2008 that corn sugar is "nutritionally equivalent to sucrose [table sugar]". The American Medical Association found the same year that corn sugar "does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners."

Corn sugar and table sugar are almost compositionally identical. The main difference is that corn sugar comes fortified with a massive dosage of fearmongering, courtesy of professional fear-peddlers like Dr. Oz. Our advice? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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