Dietitian Debunks The Myth That High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Worse Than White Sugar

We all know that high-fructose corn syrup is bad for you.

But how bad is it?

No one is going to tell you that it's a health food, but a dietitian recently explained why it isn't as bad as people make it out to be, and is no worse than plain old white sugar.

The conversation started around Reese's peanut butter cups.

Dietitian Leah Forristall, RD, who you can find on TikTok @the.hiking.dietitian broke down the ingredients that are supposedly in one of these cups.

The information was shared by someone online, and like many things online, Leah explains that it's false.

So let's look at the *actual* ingredients.

After debunking the supposed ingredients, Leah delves into the heart of the issue: what exactly is in Reese's cups, and what does it all mean?

She explains that Reese's doesn't actually list high-fructose corn syrup (let's just call it HFCS for short) in its ingredients list.

They're high in fat.

That isn't surprising. Additionally, Leah explains that TBHQ is a synthetic anti-oxident that prevents stuff from oxidizing. It's totally safe to consume.

Then she gets into the sugar part.

Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose, bonded together. When consumed, they separate so the body can absorb them. The important part to remember is that white sugar is 50 percent fructose.

What does 'high-fructose' even mean?

There are two types of high-fructose corn syrup, 42 percent fructose or 55 percent fructose. Keep in mind that regular table sugar has 50 percent fructose.

As Leah tells us, the "high-fructose" in HFCS refers to the fact that it has higher fructose than regular corn syrup, which is 100 percent glucose. It doesn't necessarily have more fructose than regular sugar.

HFCS is not 100 percent fructose.

Leah explains that this is a common misconception, that high-fructose corn syrup is pure fructose. Studies that sound the alarm on fructose have a few problems: they're generally conducted on mice, they're given massive amounts of fructose compared to an average diet, and they're generally given 100 percent fructose.

So is high-fructose corn syrup healthy?

Like any sugar, it should be eaten in moderation. It's definitely not health food. But Leah's detailed explanation, which you can view below, shows us some of the nuances behind the sugars we consume.

What do you think?

Unsplash | Mathilde Langevin

Many of us would opt for something with real sugar over something containing high-fructose corn syrup, but it seems like one isn't necessarily healthier than the other.

What's your biggest takeaway from this video? How do you fight those sugar cravings? Let us know in the comments below!

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