Limit All Sugared Drinks, Not Just HCFS

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains approximately 59 percent fructose and 41 percent glucose, while fruits juices contain a ratio of 50 percent glucose to 50 percent fructose. There really is no difference. HFCS is no better and no worse than any sugared beverage or fruit juice, it is just cheaper. When manufacturers process corn for oil, the residue is a sugary liquid that used to be thrown away. In the 1950s, soft drink makers discovered that HFCS could be added to sweet drinks at a fraction of the cost of cane sugar. Then scientists noticed that Americans have gotten progressively fatter from the 1950s to the present. This is the same period that HFCS was added to the American diet.

In the following years, many respected scientists tried to link HFCS to the obesity epidemic. However, we now have multiple studies showing that any kind of sugar in liquid form can make you fat (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2008). When you eat sugar in solid form, such as in a cookie, you eat less of other foods because the solid food fills you up. However, in liquid form, sugar supplies calories without making you feel full. When you drink any liquid containing sugar, you do not reduce your intake of food to compensate. Sugar in liquid form is not recognized by your brain as extra calories and therefore does not suppress appetite.

Today almost all researchers agree that HFCS is no worse than any other liquid sugar. All forms of sugar-water can make you fat. That includes fruit juices, sugar added to your coffee or tea, and any other sugared drinks.


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