I’m a fan of real sugar. That’s not to say that I eat it all the time–I’ve written here before about how difficult it is to keep sugar consumption in check–but if if I’m going to have a treat, I’d rather it was made from sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
A recent story in Mother Jones got me thinking, though. The writer points out that sugar and HFCS are almost identical in terms of their fructose content–and unlike glucose, which the body uses almost instantly for fuel, fructose is the sweetener that’s “sent to the liver for processing … it causes a buildup of fats there, triggering a host of health problems including diabetes, gout, and heart disease … it can lead to insulin resistance, a hormonal snafu that makes you feel hungry even when you’re full.”
The author doesn’t delve into the research that shows that beyond obesity, HFCS has specifically been tied to some pretty nasty health problems, like fatty liver disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. I’m not suggesting that sugar should have a health halo–but until more research shows that regular old sugar is as problematic as HFCS, it’s still going to be my indulgence of choice.
What do you think? Sugar or HFCS?