A sweet dilemma

You see commercials on the topic and, if you read ingredients, may even notice high-fructose corn syrup on the ingredients list of items in your pantry.

So what’s the deal? Should you choose high-fructose corn syrup or sugar? Natural is always best, but moderation is really the lesson here.

First, what is high-fructose corn syrup?

Known as HFCS, high-fructose corn syrup was introduced by Richard O. Marshall and Earl R. Kooi in 1957. At the time it couldn’t be made for mass production. That changed in the 60s when Dr. Y. Takasaki at Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Japan, whom many credit as HFCS’ creator. Soon after HFCS was used in many processed foods and soft drinks.

HFCS is made by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to create corn syrup. Enzymes are added before it’s purified.

The result is in lots of processed food, particularly soda.

Critics of HFCS argue it’s highly processed and more harmful than regular sugar. The Corn Refiners Association, on the other hand, argues it’s comparable to sugar. It should be noted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified HFCS as generally safe in 1976. In addition, studies from the American Medical Association suggest that it’s unlikely HFCS contributes more to obesity than sugar.

Let’s face it; the key to everything we eat is moderation. Truthfully, excessive sugar, in any form, increases risks for diabetes and heart disease.  This doesn’t mean you should put down every cookie and never allow you’re little ones to indulge in the delicious reality that is brownies. It’s definitely OK to have a treat here and there. That’s the point; it’s an occasional treat rather than a dietary staple. Taking that point of view will keep you from eating too much sugar – a sweet solution to your sugary dilemma.




Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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