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High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

November 27, 2012

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The health debate about high fructose corn syrup continues with a new study.

New research correlates the consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with Type 2 Diabetes.

Researchers looked at the amounts of HFCS consumed in 42 different countries.

In countries where the food supply included more HFCS, Type 2 diabetes was 20% more prevalent than in countries where HFCS was not included in the food supply.

The United States had the highest levels of consumption, with an average of 55 pounds of HFCS per person per year. By comparison, HFCS consumption was less than 0.5 kilograms per person each year in Sweden, Austria, and Denmark.

But, as the Corn Refiner’s association was quick to point out, the study does not say that HFCS actually causes Type 2 Diabetes.

The debate of the health merits of various types of sugar is not new. Earlier this year, a researcher at UCSF said that sugar is toxic and should be regulated similarly as alcohol or tobacco. Another study conducted at UC Davis found that HFCS consumption increased levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

IIN conference speaker Marion Nestle, food policy expert and professor at New York University, is a whole foods advocate but also questioned that merits of the study. As she told The New York Times, “Diabetes is a function of development. The more cars, more TVs, more cellphones, more sugar, more meat, more fat, more calories, more obesity, the more diabetes you have.”

No matter what, too much of any type of sugar isn’t good for you. Sugar sneaks into many packaged products under many names. It’s important to read labels carefully, even for foods that you might not suspect have sugar in them. Some of those include yogurt, soup, bread, sauces, and meats.

Then, look to replace the more extreme sugars with the least refined sweeteners you can find. Some good sugar substitutes include honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup or stevia.