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Old 09-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #38
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kaplods's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,337

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Height: 5'6"


If you don't have a strong science background, the wiki page on fructose provides a decently balanced, not overly technical view of fructose, explaining the pros and cons (and there are pros as well as cons) of fructose.

If you want more technical information, the source list is a good start.

The most important take away is that the jury is still out as to whether there is a clear difference in health consequences between fructose and other sugars.

The experts in the field of food chemistry haven't come to a consensus, so it's premature for lay people to draw any firm conclusions. There just isn't enough science to back up the ridiculous claims being made about HFCS.

Especially ridiculous is the claim that even so much as a trace of hfcs in a product is somehow magically "worse" than a cupful of "real" (table) sugar (which is 50% fructose as opposed to 55% in hfcs).

Most interesting for weight loss is the meta analysis referred to on the wiki page (in other words a study of MANY studies) which found no difference in weights between subjects fed or not fed hfcs when fed on a fixed-calorie diet. The take-away for humans is that if you are counting calories, subbing sugar for hfcs is unlikely to cause a difference in weight loss.

If you notice a hunger increase with hfcs (even if it's imaginary) you may benefit from eliminating it; but for now, there is not enough scientifically valid evidence to make any firm claims one way or the other.

There's a lot of persuasive evidence against super-high carb (especially high sugar) diets, but as to the dangers of specific sugars, there's just not enough to be persuasive. For every study that compares one sugar against another, there are thousands that study sugars generically. And even those specific sugar studies haven't yielded the dramatic differences claimed by lay people (it is extremely unusual for the researchers and other experts in the relevant fields to make these claims).

I tend to be more persuaded by the majority of experts in the relevant fields than by untrained individuals, especially those with a financial stake in making extraordinary claims, or people who have been influenced by such people.

In my local area in particular, most of the anti-hfcs sentiment (and other non-mainstream views regarding food science) can be traced to a small group of health food store owners and oddly enough, chiropractors.
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