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High Fructose Corn Syrup versus Corn Sugar

Have you noticed that the Corn Marketer’s Association is working to revamp the image of corn syrup by changing the name of the product?  What does this change mean for consumers?  To answer these questions, we approached WakeMed Cary Hospital dietitian Ilsy Chappell.  Here is her answer:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) (aka Corn Sugar) and table sugar (aka Sucrose) are very similar molecularly.  Both are comprised of approximately equal parts of glucose and fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup does have a slight larger proportion of fructose than glucose but this difference is negligible.  

There have not been any significant studies that suggest regular refined sugar is any better or worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I think the reason the name is being changed to Corn Sugar is simply because lately artificial sweeteners and High Fructose Corn Syrup have received bad press and the new trend is to eat all natural foods.

The bottom line is both sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (Corn Sugar) should be consumed in moderation.  Both are considered empty calories or high calorie foods with little nutritional value versus a piece of whole fruit that contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals along with sugar.

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2 thoughts on “High Fructose Corn Syrup versus Corn Sugar

  1. Hi Heather,
    ” High Fructose Corn Syrup does have a slight larger proportion of fructose than glucose but this difference is negligible”

    Perhaps the difference is more than negligible.
    HFCS-55, used to sweeten all national brands of soda is
    55%fructose:45%glucose. This might appear to be close to sucrose
    50:50 until you do the math
    55%:45% = 55/45 =1.22.
    What does this mean in everyday terms?
    In every American Coke there is, compared to glucose, 22% more fructose.
    Perhaps that creates a cumulative metabolic hazard.
    Cynthia Papierniak, M.S.

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