For years most dietitians, myself included, have been saying that High Fructose Corn Syrup is pretty much identical to table sugar, mainly because both contain roughly equal amounts of glucose and fructose. A new study out of California questions that assumption. After sending a large variety of soft drinks made with HFCS to a lab for analysis, these scientist found many big brand sodas contain 65 percent fructose, not the 50 or 55 percent most of us believed they had.
The problem: high levels of fructose can promote insulin resistance and may be more damaging to health than other sweeteners. So far, it's just one study and one limited sampling of soft drinks from one area of the country. But you can be sure this is something that needs examining. If the high levels of fructose in soft drinks prove consistent throughout the US, there may be something to the speculation that soft drinks and obesity are closely links.
What is HFCS? It's an inexpensive sugar syrup made by converting the sugar (glucose) in cornstarch to fructose.