HFCS is eevviill.

On April 1, 2010, in General Nutrition, by Andrea

Okay, so I’ve seen this over and over and over again on Obesity Help.

Let’s put some stuff out there so people can really get some things straight, okay?

This paper that everyone is strange for a number of reasons.  And the conclusions drawn from the study itself seem a bit.. ludacris at best.  If you’ve not read the newest study that is now being referenced, then I suggest you do so.  It’s here, by the way, just in case you’re interested.

But here’s the salient points that people are not figuring out:

  • 10 male rats were kept on a diet for 8 weeks.  One group got unlimited chow alone, one group had unlimited chow and sucrose for 12 hours, unlimited chow and HFCS for 12 hrs, and the last had unlimited chow and HFCS for 24 hrs.  At the end, the group that had chow alone weighed 462g +- 12, 12h sucrose 477g +- 9, 12h HFCS 502 +-11, and 24hr HFCS (the one we expect to be extremely high?) 470g +- 7.  Something doesn’t add up.  Why are the rats that had the HFCS for 12 hours much larger than the ones that had it for 24?  This is wonky.  Moving on.
  • Male and female rats on a diet of unlimited chow and HFCS only for 6 months — does not compare sucrose to HFCS so the results are somewhat inconsistent when trying to correlate to sucrose.  What’s the point?  Chow only – 616g +- 36, 12h HFCS and chow – 718 +- 28, 24h HFCS and chow – 767 +-24.  Yes, these rats got fatter with more HFCS, but there’s no comparison to sucrose here.  So again, what’s the point?  Moving on.
  • Female rats kept for 7 months on a diet of chow and a few combos of HFCS and sucrose; unlimited chow only 328 +- 10, 12h sucrose 12hr chow  333 +- 10, 12h HFCS and 12h chow 323 +- 9, and 24h HFCS and unlimited chow 355 +- 12.  This is apples and oranges — unlimited mixed with limited chow?  If you looked at just the two limited numbers, the sucrose versus HFCS — the sucrose actually weighed more, but both are within the margin of error of one another.  Even taking the unlimited chow versus the unlimited chow + 24hr HFCS and looking at the two margins of errors?  They are 5 grams off.  This is not statistically significant at all.

Now to hear tell from everyone?  HFCS is evil.  Could it be?  MAYBE.  But THIS study does not prove it as equivocally as people are saying it is.  Yes, the rats had higher fat in the abdominal area.  Yes, their triglycerides increased.  But that happens when people eat high amounts of organic cane sugar, too.  Or plain ‘ole table sugar (which, for those of you that are not quite sure — sucrose is plain sugar).

What IS evil is the fact that it is a hidden sugar that is in everything.  It’s an added sugar that we just don’t need in our lives.  Whether it’s worse than regular old sugar  — I’m not going to debate that.  We simply need to be aware that it is another form of sugar that has an effect on our triglycerides and our health.  It’s something we need to limit in our lives — especially as post-WLS folk as it is processed sugar that can have a number of negative impacts (me hitting the ground after too much, for example…)


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