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Corn devil's advocate

(article, Caroline Cummins)

The online magazine Slate recently published a provocative piece about high-fructose corn syrup. As author Daniel Engber writes:

bq. Like other villainous ingredients — trans fat and artificial food dye come to mind — high-fructose corn syrup is accused of being at once unhealthy, unnatural, and unappetizing. (These might be described as the Hippocratic, Platonic, and Epicurean tines of the foodie movement.)

Engber cites a recent study indicating that fructose is worse for you than glucose — and then reminds readers that HFCS and cane sugar have about the same proportions of fructose and glucose (about half and half).

He also points out that obesity rates might still be soaring even without corn subsidies making HFCS cheap and plentiful:

bq. As Tom Philpott points out in Grist, you don't need high-fructose corn syrup to rack up American-style obesity rates: Australia manages similar numbers with a food industry based largely on cane sugar. 

And he concludes:

bq. The unwholesome reputation of HFCS has no doubt been exacerbated by the general view that it's less "natural" than other forms of sugar.

In other words, too much sugar in any form ain't good.