If you keep up with health news, you probably know to look out for added sugar in your diet -- a major culprit in the growing rates of obesity, diabetes and associated conditions like fatty liver disease. And if you know about added sugar, you probably also know that -- excuse the bastardized Shakespeare -- sugar by any other name tastes just as sweet. That's because it is -- any sugar or full calorie sweetener affects the body in the same way. Some formulations just have a worse reputation.
That's the case with the ubiquitous industrial sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, which holds a particularly villainous place in the public imagination. We learned as much when we compiled a list of surprising foods that contained high fructose corn syrup here at HuffPost Healthy Living. In fact, high fructose corn syrup has been so maligned that the Corn Refiners Association famously (and unsuccessfully) petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change its common name to "corn sugar." And while high fructose corn syrup can have a disastrous effect on our diets, the research doesn't support the idea that it is inherently worse than any other sugar. When it comes to high fructose corn syrup, the jury is still out.
One Princeton rat study found that HFCS, as it is known, causes more weight gain than sucrose in the same amount. But criticism of the study design left the finding in doubt. And to date, no one has conducted a meta-analysis of all the high fructose corn syrup studies to determine any patterns, according to one of the sweetener's foremost researchers.