What a surprise it was to find out someone from Washington, D.C. read my local Citizen article last month. Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Growers Association, wants me to tell readers that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is “nutritionally equivalent to sucrose,” or table sugar. She provided links from scientific sources to support the claim.
While her information is correct regarding the comparison of glucose and fructose contents of both sugars, science is not needed to understand how HFCS is made. In order to separate corn starch from the kernel, a caustic soda often contaminated with mercury is used. Half of all HFCS products tested are found to contain mercury. The starch is then mixed with genetically modified enzymes that were products of bacterial and fungal processes.
My concern is that the manufactured fructose in HFCS is not the same fructose that is in sucrose (table sugar from sugar cane or beet). Refined fructose not only converts to fat much faster, it also accelerates fatty liver disease.
While all sugars should be consumed in moderation, it has become nearly impossible to do so in our modern food supply. Also, be aware there is no mercury level considered safe.