Actually it is the same thing. The Corn Refiners Association petitioned for this name change thinking that it would avoid confusion about high fructose corn syrup. Their argument is that HFCS is the same as table sugar.
There are definite proponents to this statement though. HFCS was introduced in the late 1970s and a cheaper form of sweetener than plain sugar. It is true that obesity rates have risen by more than 100% since then. (1) The rise in diabetes since 1980 equaled the increase in HFCS consumption according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (2)
There have been various studies conducted comparing HFCS and table sugar. One was a 10 week study that showed after the 10 weeks the HFCS participants had new fat cells surrounding their organs. The table sugar participants showed no new fat cells around their organs. (3)
We already know that HFCS is not good for us and can lead to weight gain and even obesity. We have also seen plenty of studies that show regular sugar can do the same thing. Now does one happen faster than the other. These studies appear to show that, but in the end they are both just as guilty in contributing to weight gain and obesity.
What would be interesting is researching the effects of a long term study with HFCS and table sugar. What happens after 5 years, 10 years and even 20 years. Do you end up with the same result?
Obviously you are probably not going to get many participants sign up for that study because it could easily lead to premature death. I am sure the money paid to the participants won’t be anywhere close to the amount for someone to think this is a good idea.
Instead how about we just minimize HFCS and table sugar all together. Minimize your processed foods and look at the labels for the words HFCS, corn syrup, corn sugar and even sugar if it is the main ingredient used for that food.
There are of course many other unhealthy ingredients that can contribute to your weight gain. These are not the only ones.
If you need something sweet lean towards natural foods like real fruit or natural honey as a condiment.
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- NIDDK, “Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity”
- Bray, G, Nielsen, SJ, Popkin B., “Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004; Vol. 79, No. 4, 537-543
- Hofmann S, Tschop M., “Dietary sugars: a fat difference,” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 2009; 119(5):1089-1092