The FridgeNew Study: Diabetes Linked to High Fructose Corn Syrup
Put down the processed foods. Type 2 diabetes is more common in countries that consume lots of this added sugar—and guess which country tops the list?
When it comes to junk foods, are all sugars equal? Not according to new research, which found a link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and diabetes.
The study, published in Global Public Health, found that type 2 diabetes mellitus is 20 percent higher in countries that eat lots of this manufactured sugar in processed foods, like soda, ketchup, yogurt and bread. What's more: the U.S. tops the list, consuming 55 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per person each year—out of a whopping 151 pounds of added sugar overall.
While the study doesn’t prove that high-fructose corn syrup causes diabetes, research has shown that this super sweet syrup is processed differently by the body from regular table sugar, leading to a possible increase in insulin resistance—one of the risk factors of diabetes. That doesn't mean it's necessarily worse than regular sugar (more research is needed), but that's not necessarily a detail worth getting caught up on...is it?
For your best health, the American Heart Association recommends that you get no more than 150 calories a day from all added sugars (that's about the same amount found in a can of soda), and these tips can help you cut your intake:
- Slowly stop adding sugar to foods like coffee, tea or cereal. Instead, boost flavor with an artificial sweetener—or even better, spices like ginger or cinnamon.
- Eat more fruit. Naturally high in sugar, fruit will satisfy your craving for sweetness, while providing valuable vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
- Pick whole foods. The fewer processed, packaged foods you consume—and the fewer ingredients listed on their labels—the better off you'll be. Period. High-fructose corn syrup can hide out in some surprising places, so always check the ingredient list, even on that loaf of bread or that frozen pizza.