Thursday, September 23, 2010

sugar, hi fructose corn syrup

the corn growers of america want you to not be afraid of hi fructose corn syrup, so they're changing the name: corn sugar!!! that should allay any fears of consuming too many wasted calories now that its name has changed, right?


there are unwarranted fears about the correlational link of hi fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the burgeoning girths of americans, and people all around the world. (see: but the science of sugar suggests there are no substantial differences bw table sugar and HFCS. many health foodies still hold onto their faith-based prejudice against HFCS but the evidence is pretty clear on at least one thing: those who consume hi sugar foods/drinks tend toward obesity more than those who get their sugars in the foods from which they come naturally - fruits, veggies, and complex carbs.

in another blog on the NY Times website today, the issue of HFCS vs sugar is well analyzed so that even the non-scientist can understand it. both sides of the argument are presented but the one thing that stands out clearly is the commentary of the main researcher whose 2004 study showed the correlation of obesity to the ever-increasing amount of HFCS in our diet. he contends that it's the sugar, not the type of sugar, that matters. and that alone should cause you to pause as you shop, for HFCS, and now the soon-to-be-renamed "corn sugar" that's in the processed foods you buy are not making you any healthier. in fact, sugar, being sugar, is, if consumed to too large a degree in your diet, you put yourself at risk not just for cavities but for diabetes, heart disease, overweight/obesity, and nothing positive unless consumed right before a hard workout. in other words, cut the sugar, eat the fruit:


  1. Hi Dr. Irv,
    I agree with you, we are addicted to all sugars; however, when you compare sugar to HFCS, which grade of HFCS are you referring to?
    According to ADM's website them make three:
    Cornsweet 42
    Cornsweet 55 used in soda
    Cornsweet 90 intensely sweet used for low-cal
    foods and beverages.
    The numbers reflect the %fructose in the sweeteners.
    42%--->90% that's quite a range.
    Calculating the fructose:glucose ratio for each
    Corn 42 = 42/58 = 0.72
    Corn 55 = 55/45 = 1.22 (22% more fructose than
    glucose in every American Coke)
    Corn 90 = 90/10 = 9
    And now the CRA wants to lump these all together under the gentle rubric, "corn sugar"
    Personally, I hope the HFCS name remains and
    the FDA would require food manufacturers to
    also list the grade of HFCS, e.g. HFCS-90.
    Trying to get the HFCS-out,
    Cynthia Papierniak, M.S.

  2. cynthia gave some very biochemical explanations about HFCS that i am totally out of league with. i thank her for the lesson although i'm not sure there is a real difference once the body gets hold of them. a quick review of the info on Wikipedia's site does not answer the question or concern sufficiently to come down on one side or the other. but the one truism on all sites re obesity, diabetes, and other health risks related to diet are: we eat too much processed foods, sit way too long, don't exercise nearly enough, and are raising our kids to be sicker, fattier, and weaker than any previous generation. we can argue about what to call sugars made by man or grown naturally. but at the end of the day, it's all about lifestyles - and we each make that choice for ourselves (and our kids).

    so, cynthia, let's not quibble about percents. rather, let's try to do as you suggest - get out HFCS - and all other unnecessary sugars from our diets.

    thank you for your comments.


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