Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup Unhealthy?
"I definitely look for things that are lower in high fructose corn syrup, that are lower in sugars, because I think that's just really unhealthy."
"Well, personally I'm trying to lose weight so I'm trying to avoid HFCS and reading labels and trying not to have that in my diet."
If you read the fine print on labels, you know that high fructose corn syrup is in lots of foods we consume: soda, cereals, breads, cookies and crackers, to name just a few.
The sweetener extends the shelf life of products and is generally cheaper than sugar, which is why manufacturers like it. But some people consider it a dietary devil.
One concern is that it may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.
But the evidence for this is preliminary.
A more common claim is that it's a major contributor to obesity because its chemical makeup boosts our production of fat and causes us to pack on pounds.
So what exactly is in the sweetener? A combination of fructose and glucose‚ä¶ the same ingredients in plain old table sugar, except in different proportions.
That similarity makes it unlikely that high-fructose corn syrup promotes weight gain any more than regular sugar, according to many nutrition experts.
What's more, a host of studies have by and large failed to prove the obesity claim.
Still, that doesn't mean it's okay to consume all those high-fructose sodas and cookies with abandon. Too much sugar, in whatever form, translates into too many empty calories. So by all means read the fine print on labels. Just be on the lookout for other forms of sugar as well.
This entry last modified on: January 31, 2013 5:33 PM
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About the Video
Is high-fructose corn syrup really hazardous to your health? Our Healthy Skeptic separates the truth from the rumors.