The common food and beverage sweetener fructose often gets a bad rap when it comes to causing weight gain, but a new study suggests that it may not be any worse for putting on pounds than other sugars.
The new study suggests that it's the sheer number of daily calories that drives weight gain, not their source.
Fructose is found naturally in fruits, while high-fructose corn syrup, which contains about half fructose and half glucose, is ubiquitous in sodas, sweets and other processed foods and beverages.
However, "fructose does not seem to cause weight gain when it is substituted for other carbohydrates [which includes sugars] in diets providing similar calories," the study authors concluded.
The findings are published in the Feb. 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
In the new study, Canadian researchers led by Dr. John Sievenpiper of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, reviewed 31 studies where participants ate a similar number of calories but one group ate pure fructose and the other ate no fructose.
They also analyzed data from another 10 other studies where one group made no changes to their diet and the other group added excess calories from fructose to their daily intake.