Sunday, May 30, 2010

High fructose corn syrup not so sweet for your diet

When it comes to losing and gaining weight, doctors have long thought that all calories were equal. But a recent study may cause scientists to question that. Could a popular food additive be making you gain more weight than the calories alone?

It's hard to find food in a box or bottle or bag that does not have this one ingredient.

"High-fructose corn syrup is found in such a wide variety of foods and beverages, like fruit juices, sodas, cereal, bread, yogurt, catsup, and mayonnaise and Americans consume 60 pounds of it every year on average," said Dr. Kim Edward LeBlanc, the head of the Department of Family Medicine and expert in nutrition, exercise and sports medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Consumer Edna Klein said she does read labels. "Yes, we do, but I haven't really noticed that one," she said about high-fructose corn syrup. Another consumer named Tiffany shopping in Metairie, said she reads the ingredient label "sometimes" and has heard of high-fructose corn syrup. "Yes, but I'm still not exactly positive what it is," she said.

Doctors say high-fructose corn syrup takes corn syrup from corn and processes it or changes it. The new, manufactured molecules appear to be metabolized by the liver differently and absorbed by the body more easily than naturally occurring sugars.

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