9/30/10

Nutrition in the News: High Fructose Corn Syrup Gets a New Name?

Last week you probably heard the rumble about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The Corn Refiner's Association proposed changing the name High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar and The New York Times published an article exonerating the sweet syrup. Here's the nutshell version.
  • Americans are afraid of HFCS, placing it in the same category as trans fats.
  • In response, manufacturers have feverishly replaced/and are replacing the syrup with sugar.
  • The Corn Refiner's Association proposed the name change "Corn Sugar" to rebuild the product image.
  • Health professionals are trying to quiet the crowd with the fact that HFCS isn't quite the plague it's been treated like, saying HFCS is "nutritionally equivalent" and "metabolized identically" to all other sugars. Once in the blood, the body can't decipher any difference.
  • Naysayers disagree and report that HFCS is highly processed using enzymes, which is not like table sugar.
  • The hype about HFCS came from a 2004 study proposing that HFCS and obesity rates were related. Interestingly, the lead researcher says that wasn't the study's conclusion at all and that his study has been twisted to support the demise of HFCS.
  • Sugar (from all sources) accounts for ~16% of Americans diets. Only half of that sugar is from corn sweeteners.
  • Trivia: did you know that Agave Syrup contains more fructose than HFCS?
  • The bottom line: eat less sugar from ALL sources.
Read the entire NY Times article.
Read more from the Corn Refiner's Association.
Is HFCS being given a bad wrap or do we just not have enough science to reveal the truth?

3 comments :

  1. Personally, I strive to eat the least amount of processed foods possible. You can find HFCS in bread and yogurt, which are two places I wouldn't imagine them. The funny thing is, I wouldn't mind if it said sugar on the ingredients list in these items. So maybe my view of HFCS is skewed. Sugar is natural and okay to consume in moderation.

    I do agree that sugar is the culprit in today's food aisles. Most people have been taught to look at the calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, but might bypass the sugar content. Flavored yogurt usually has around 30 grams of sugar per serving, which is an insane amount. The NuVal system actually helped me figure that out.

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  2. whiskheraway - thanks for your comment.
    I agree with you. We as Americans are becoming so accustomed to the sweetness that is in almost all foods. It's crazy to see sweeteners in tomato sauce, rice and bread.
    I once heard Michael Pollan say "eat real food, just less of it." I loved it so much I've come to make it my own mantra.
    I'm so glad you enjoy the NuVal system. I love it and love figuring out why the score is high or low. Often times it's because of the sugar.

    For taking the time to comment, I'd love to send you a coupon for a free coffee or smoothie at Market Street. Email me your address and I'll gladly get it in the mail to you.
    abrown@unitedtexas.com

    Have a happy, healthy day.

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  3. the problem with HFCS is that it's not HFCS
    it is HFCSs.
    There are different grades of HFCS:
    ADM claims to make three
    Cornsweet 42,
    Cornsweet 55, used for soda
    Cornsweet 90, used for low-cal products.
    The numbers reflect the %fructose.
    42%-90%. That's quite a range.
    Sucrose is always 50:50.
    Cynthia Paierniak, M.S.

    ReplyDelete