5 Facts About Table Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup

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Molecular structure

The molecular structure of table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup do differ. This difference, however, is eliminated in the small intestine when the glucose-fructose bond in sucrose is broken. Therefore, once the two sweeteners reach the blood stream any difference has been eliminated.

Cholesterol levels

Sugar - both in the form of table sugar and high fructose corn syrup - directly affects your triglyceride level. You should limit your consumption of soft drinks, candy, baked goods, syrup, table sugar, jelly and honey.  A high intake of fruit juice can also raise triglyceride levels since juice contains a high content of natural sugars.

All natural?

Do you think of honey or agave nectar as being more “natural” than other types of sweeteners? You might be surprised to learn that most sweeteners go through very similar forms of processing.  High fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, table sugar (sucrose), and agave nectar all undergo extraction, filtration, enzyme treatment, and concentration.

Metabolic effects

Despite the similarities in digestion and absorption between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, media reports might make you wary about the latter. This stems from the possibility of a small amount (3 to 5 percent) of fructose being converted to fatty acids in the liver. However, research concludes that there are no differences in metabolic effects between sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

When choosing a sweetener...

Sugar contributes to your overall calorie intake and, in excess, will add to your weight struggles. However, there is nothing in the molecular structure of these sweeteners that has been connected to being overweight or obese. This means you are free to select the sweetener of your choice – table sugar, honey, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup - so long as you consume it wisely.