Sweet or Sweeter: Sugar v HFCS

A more trivial post than usual follows.

So I’ve started seeing stupid commercials trying to defend the over use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the United States by trying to imply it’s no different than sugar and has no deleterious effect when “used in moderation”. Neither does sugar when used in moderation. The problem arises (and is conveniently ignored in the commercials) that HFCS is nearly impossible to be taken “in moderation” as it is in practically every processed food item in the United States. Perhaps most annoying is it is used in items that people think are healthy: fruit juices, yogurt, to name but a couple of items.

The problem with HFCS is not that it is used to replace sugar (because it’s cheaper) or its potential relations to obesity (studies conflict on whether this is true or not). The problem lies in some of the independent scientific studies indicating HFCS may be related to increase in insulan resistance (which can lead to Type II diabetes), elevated carbonyl compunds that can cause diabetic complications (I.e. eye damage, nerve damage, etc.), and some traces of mercury (admittedly seen in a limited study).

Really it comes down to just trying to avoid processed foods with added sweeteners regardless of whether they are made with sugar or HFCS. I just become annoyed at industries trying to imply their product is no different from another when in fact they are. Sugar is not HFCS and HFCS is not sugar regardless if they are used to do the same thing.

It never helps a product to ignore concerns over its use. Worse still, putting out advertising encouraging others to ignore the concerns is even less helpful. Afterall we know how trustworthy coorporations are. Right?


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