Yes, High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is as Bad as We All Thought

Here’s another good reason to avoid packaged foods: getting high-fructose corn syrup out of your life. This high-calorie sweetener, subsidized by federal dollars, is in just about everything you can buy in a bottle, bag or box. But like partially hydrogenated oil before it, scientists are now producing evidence that this processed ingredient is actually much worse for you than good, old-fashioned fats and sugar.

From the Princeton University study findings:

Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.

Also, the rats that ingested the high-fructose corn syrup gained more weight than rats that ate the equivalent amount of calories, but with access to table sugar instead. So if you really want to lose weight and stay healthy, you really need to eliminate this ingredient from your life.

Here are some tips for avoiding high-fructose corn syrup:

  • You can assume that any sweetened beverage sold in the U.S. contains it. The best bet is to eliminate these entirely.
  • Also avoid all fast food, since almost all of it contains HFCS.
  • Foods labeled 100% organic cannot contain HFCS.
  • As much as possible, buy whole ingredients and cook your food — especially snacks and sweets — yourself.

The Accidental Hedonist is creating a list of all foods that contain HFCS here.

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6 thoughts on “Yes, High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is as Bad as We All Thought

  1. Heather Valli 12 April 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Yep. I read the same study (well, articles about it, anyway) and tried cutting all HFCS out of my diet. A week later I’d lost half a dress size. And that’s sure not because butter’s disappeared from my life.

  2. Denise 12 April 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I gave up HFCS a few years ago then really became rabid about it a few months ago after watching a youtube video with some professor type lecturing on it. I knew the stuff was bad and as a Type 2 diabetic I’ve avoided it for years but I’m amazed at some of the products it’s still in. The stuff is bad, bad, news. I can’t tell if the list you pointed to is still being update but I hope it is. I’ll look at it often to see what’s been added.

    Thanks for such a great entry!

  3. Shannon 12 April 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing, Heather!

  4. Justin Wilson 13 April 2010 at 2:26 pm

    It only took a few hours for nutrition experts to question the findings of the Princeton study which “compared” high fructose corn syrup to table sugar.

    In fact, noted New York University Nutrition Professor Marion Nestle wrote: “I don’t think the study produces convincing evidence of a difference between the effects of HFCS and sucrose on the body weight of rats. I’m afraid I have to agree with the Corn Refiners on this one. So does HFCS make rats fat? Sure if you feed them too many calories altogether. Sucrose will do that too.”

    If you are skeptical of the science behind the Princeton Study, you are in good company. Even one of the researchers behind the 2004 editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggesting a difference between the two sweeteners now recognizes that cane sugar, beet sugar, and corn sugar are the same.

  5. Shannon 13 April 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Justin: I would expect any study to come into question and scrutiny. I certainly hope follow-up studies are done to try to reproduce the results, and I will follow this closely. However, that doesn’t devalue the recommendation that people eat whole foods and avoid highly processed or fast foods. Regardless, your diet will be healthier and so will you.

  6. Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup | 20 October 2010 at 1:38 pm

    […] Yes, High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is as Bad as We All Thought ( Share and Enjoy: […]

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