Thursday, March 19, 2009

High-fructose corn syrup: Good or bad?

I saw a TV commercial recently that touted the health benefits of high-fructose corn syrup. At first, I thought it might be a skit from “Saturday Night Live.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

There are several versions of the commercial, and they all inform us that high-fructose corn syrup is made from corn — a healthy vegetable; it has the same number of calories as sugar and honey; and it’s perfectly fine in moderation.

Sounds reasonable. So why is high-fructose corn syrup high on the list of dietary villains that help make us fat and contribute to the host of chronic diseases that cause us to live sicker and die quicker than virtually every other advanced industrialized nation? As is the case with most health issues, sound-bite commercials mask the complexities of the matter and often are misleading. Let’s take a look.

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