In the October ’10 issue of Health Andrew Weil, M.D., goes off on high-fructose corn syrup, blaming it on a multitude of nutritional woes, including obesity.
It’s no secret that people in the United States are eating more of the stuff than ever before—and that the population as a whole is fatter than ever before. According to Weil, U.S. consumption went up by more than 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990. One result is that many kids have now been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a disease that used to be seen only in adults.
Speaking of obesity, Weil discusses a study in which animals ate a high-fructose diet for six months. They ate more and gained more weight than those that weren’t given high-fructose diets. Many point to that study as evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is an obesity trigger.
It may also contribute to the proliferation of cancer because it’s high in compounds that can cause tissue damage and feed cancer cells. Weil states that cancer cells appear to metabolize fructose to increase their growth.
While other experts say that high-fructose corn syrup is biochemically almost the same as table sugar, evidence points to eating less of it as a way to stay leaner and healthier. The safe bet is to read labels and avoid high-fructose corn syrup as much as possible.