High fructose corn syrup is a man made sweetener found in many foods, from ketchup to cereals to breads to beverages. According to eatingwell.com, foods with high fructose corn syrup in them are between 50 and 55% fructose, so the body metabolizes this sweetener the same way it processes table sugar (sucrose) which is 50% sucrose.
So why do we think high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is so bad? Apparently, after HFCS was introduced in our food supply 30 years ago, obesity began to skyrocket, and people put high fructose corn syrup to blame. But the thing is, sugar is sugar, whether it’s high fructose corn syrup or table sugar- the body metabolizes the sweetener the same way, man made or otherwise.
Barry Popkin, PhD, who is a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suggests that high fructose corn syrup isn’t the only culprit to America’s increasing obesity. Rather, he says that sweeteners in general, especially in beverages, are all responsible for making people fat in general. He even poo poos “natural” sweeteners. “They all have the same caloric effect as sugar,” he claims. “I don’t care whether something contains concentrated fruit juice, brown sugar, honey, or HFCS. The only better sweetener option is ‘none of the above'”.
A regular can of soda contains about 9 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener, which is no different biochemically than taking a glass of iced tea and adding the equivalent amount of table sugar to it, or even honey, claims eatingwell.com. Sugar is sugar, as our bodies metabolize it the same.
Just as the high fructose corn syrup commercials defending the sweetener claim, “It’s just fine in moderation,” just like any other sugar or sweetener on the market. If high fructose corn syrup bothers you so much, perhaps you should look at the sugar in all your foods and beverages, rather than singling HFCS out. They all metabolize the same way, and they all can hinder your health and weight if you consume too much. Whether it be honey, table sugar, or HFCS, they ALL should be consumed in moderation for optimum health.