Does "corn sugar" sound healthier than high fructose corn syrup?

Can controversial high fructose corn syrup change its name to "corn sugar"? Not so fast, says the FDA.
According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, the Corn Refiners Association is seeking a name change for the processed sweetener, but FDA officials are concerned such a change may mislead consumers.

Some evidence shows that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may be linked to obesity, diabetes, and increased risk of heart problems. For the past 30 years the U.S. obesity rate has risen, along with the increase in consumption of HFCS. The man-made sweetener is used in everything from sweet foods like soda and cookies to savory products like tomato sauce and salad dressing.

The Corn Refiners Association first asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if it could shorten the name of HFCS to corn syrup, according to the AP report. The group then made a formal request in September 2010 to change the name to ìcorn sugar. That request is currently under review by the FDA.
A top official at the FDA said last year that renaming HFCS ìcorn sugarî would be misleading to consumers.

True or False: Shocking Facts About High Fructose Corn Syrup

ìIt would be affirmatively misleading to change the name of the ingredient after all this time, especially in light of the controversy surrounding it, said Michael Taylor, who oversees nutritional labels for the Food and Drug Administration. If we allow it, we will rightly be mocked both on the substance of the outcome and the process through which it was achieved.

Even though the FDA's decision on the name change is a about a year away, the corn industry has already started using the term in a series of advertisements in an attempt to rebrand the ingredient. The Corn Refiners Association says that sugar is sugar, and that high fructose corn syrup is safe as long as used in moderation.

How Much Sugar is in Your Fruit Juice?

What We Know About HFCS: Scientists are split about whether high fructose corn syrup is any more harmful than regular sugar. A new study to be published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism finds that adults who get 25 percent of their daily calories from sugar-regardless of whether the sugar source is fructose (which naturally occurs in foods such as fruit) or HFCS (which is half fructose and half glucose)-have elevated risk factors for heart disease. In an earlier study of 4,528 adults, people who consumed more than 74 grams of added fructose a day (about the amount in 2.5 sweetened soft drinks) were 87 percent more likely to have severely elevated blood pressure than those getting less, according to researchers at the University of Denver. Fructose may reduce cell's nitrous oxide production so blood vessels have to work harder to relax and dilate, or it may stimulate the nervous system, both of which could increase blood pressure.

Foods That Pretend to be Healthy

Tips to Avoid HFCS: Soft drinks and bakery products often contain HFCS and are the biggest sources of added fructose, so try swapping soda for seltzer mixed with berries or frozen lemon wedges, and muffins for oatmeal topped with banana slices. Fruit has less fructose than processed food, and is also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help counteract its harmful effects.

Tell us: Do you avoid products with high fructose corn syrup?

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