How Sweet It Isn’t! Cutting Through the Hype and Deception

sweetner“Corn sugar”? It’s high-fructose corn syrup by any other name, and it’s dangerous. What sweeteners are safe? What’s not? You may be surprised at the latest research.

Last September, manufacturers of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) asked the federal government for permission to sweeten its image with a new name: “corn sugar.” Their TV ads say, “Your body can’t tell the difference between corn sugar and cane sugar.” A popular website, Sweet Scam, purports to clear up the confusion, while condemning “activist groups like the Weston A. Price Foundation, Joseph Mercola, and the Naturopathy Movement, which have perpetuated unfounded myths about sweeteners [and] completely ignore the scientific and nutritional evidence to backup [sic] their outlandish claims.”
The website was created by the Center for Consumer Freedom, a lobby begun with $600,000 from the Philip Morris tobacco company, and is sponsored by restaurant and food companies like Arby’s, Tyson Foods, HMSHost Corp, and Wendy’s. So much for impartiality.
High-fructose corn syrup is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired level of sweetness. But because of its processing, some brands of HFCS may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin.
Moreover, many studies have indicated that it suppresses the sensation of being full, causing people to eat more of it. Rats fed HFCS developed fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes, while those on a fructose-free diet did not. And when they were given a high-fat diet, they gained more weight than those who had been on a fructose-free diet. Other studies suggest that HFCS directly causes obesity. (Of course, the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association side with the Corn Refiners Association in thumbing their nose at the mountain of evidence.) HFCS also causes cardiovascular disease, even in children and adolescents. And the American Society of Nephrology found that HFCS causes high blood pressure as well.
Fructose is commonly thought of as “fruit sugar,” but fruit also contains glucose—and fiber, sometimes a great deal of it, not to mention other nutrients. But studies indicate that fructose, processed and stripped of its co-factors, causes metabolic syndrome in animals. The metabolic processes involved in the breakdown of fructose can lead to a buildup of uric acid—which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Fructose can raise blood triglyceride levels, which can trigger atherosclerosis, increases fat deposits around the viscera, and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight people.
As Dr. David G. Williams writes in his Alternatives newsletter,

Cancer cells thrive on sugars, particularly fructose. It has been demonstrated that cancer cells actually metabolize glucose and fructose differently from other cells. While cancer thrives on both, it uses fructose specifically to proliferate. It’s no wonder that cancer has moved quickly up the list of killers in our society since we started adding high-fructose corn syrup to everything from sodas to bread. With such damning and irrefutable research, I still don’t understand why it hasn’t become standard practice to immediately put cancer patients on fructose-free diets to help disrupt cancer growth.

Agave, which is derived from the agave cactus (which also produces tequila), sounds like an ideal alternative, but some health advocates like Dr. Joseph Mercola have some serious concerns about it, and say its acceptance is the result of deceptive marketing. They say that most of the agave sweeteners you find on supermarket shelves are not natural products and are not organic. What is clear is that it is not low-calorie and does not have a low glycemic index. It is 50% to 90% fructose.
All this has led many people to go back to “good old sugar.” But is that wise?
Sugar is an ingredient in 70% of manufactured food, according to The Economist. But sugar and simple carbs (refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup, etc.) may adversely affect blood lipids, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke through fat accumulation, metabolic syndrome, obesity, premature aging, and type 2 diabetes. Sugar molecules bond with proteins to create AGEs (advanced glycation end-products)—which can wreak havoc on blood vessels, including those of the heart and kidneys. AGEs appear to be responsible for many of the long-term complications of diabetes.
Dr. David Williams again: “There is no ‘maybe’ about the connection between sugar and heart disease. I can’t put it more plainly: sugar kills.” (Alternatives, June 2010)
George Mason University professor of economics Walter E. Williams points to powerful sugar companies whose massive political donations—millions of dollars to both parties—ensure that Congress keeps tariffs high on foreign sugar so the US sugar industry can charge higher prices. According to one study, one politically connected sugar-manufacturing family alone earns about $65 million a year from congressional protectionism. The Archer Daniels Midland company makes similarly huge donations, because higher sugar prices benefit ADM, who produces corn syrup (fructose), which is a sugar substitute. When sugar prices are high, sugar users (soda, candy, and food processors) turn to corn syrup as a cheaper substitute sweetener.
What about artificial sweeteners, then? Surely they’re better for you than sugar!
Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet), which is used in more than 6,000 diet products, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, has remained a battleground. Despite FDA officials describing aspartame as “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved” and its safety as “clear cut,” in March 2006, Environmental Health Perspectives (from the National Institutes of Health) published the first compelling experimental evidence for the carcinogenic effects of aspartame at a dose level within range of human daily intake. A second animal study by the same research team now indicates that the carcinogenic effects of aspartame are magnified when exposure begins during fetal life. One packet of Equal contains 33 mg. of aspartame; one can of Diet Coke (355 ml.) contains 131 mg. of aspartame; and one-half cup of Jello Light contains 40 mg. of aspartame, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. A 44-pound (20-kg.) child would only have to consume 400 mg., about the equivalent of three Diet Cokes per day, to reach the carcinogenic 20 mg./kg. bodyweight dose.
Jonathan V. Wright, MD (who contributed last week’s article on antioxidants), notes that 10% of aspartame is methanol, which is converted to formaldehyde which, in turn, is converted to formic acid—which is used to strip epoxy! The other 90% is composed of phenylalanine and aspartic acid. These amino acids are normally harmless, but in isolation they are neurotoxic. He also revealed in the August 2009 issue of his Nutrition and Healing newsletter that aspartame decreases the availability of tryptophan and reduces the brain’s level of serotonin.

Diet Coke contains aspartame. Yet in 1985, as a member of the National Soft Drink Association, Coca-Cola opposed the FDA approval of aspartame for beverages. The company’s own objections—running to several pages in the Congressional Record—included the assertion that aspartame is uniquely and inherently unstable and breaks down in the can. It decomposes into formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, formic acid, diketopiperazine, and other toxins. In a study on seven monkeys, five had grand mal seizures and one died, a casualty rate of 86%.
Aspartame is another glaring example of crony capitalism at work. The sweetener was discovered in 1965 by the G.D. Searle chemical company. In 1980 an FDA Board of Inquiry comprised of three independent scientists confirmed that aspartame “might induce brain tumors” and banned it. On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan’s new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a five-person Scientific Commission to review the Board of Inquiry’s decision.
It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-to-2 decision, but Hull installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and G.D. Searle. Searle was purchased by Monsanto in 1985.
Neotame is a version of aspartame made by NutraSweet which is between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar and 30 to 60 times sweeter than aspartame. It was approved by the FDA in 2002. According to Dr. Mercola, “Judging by the chemicals used in its manufacturing, it appears even more toxic than aspartame, although the proponents of neotame claim that increased toxicity is not a concern, because less of it is needed to achieve the desired effect.” It is chemically very similar to aspartame but with the addition of 3-dimethylbutyl, which is listed on the EPA’s most hazardous chemical list. While it is not currently in wide use, it is attractive to food manufacturers for two reasons: it would greatly lower the cost of production compared to using sugar or high fructose corn syrup due to the lower quantities needed to achieve the same sweetening; and it is approved for use in a wider array of food products, including baked goods, because it is more stable at higher temperatures.
Saccharin (marketed as Sweet’N Lo), which is much sweeter than sucrose but has a bitter or metallic aftertaste in high concentrations, became mired in controversy in 1977, when a study indicated that the substance might contribute to bladder cancer in rats. But in 2000, the chemical was officially removed from the federal government’s list of suspected carcinogens once scientists learned that rodents have high pH, high calcium, and high protein levels in their urine, and this combines with saccharine to cause tumors. As this does not happen in humans, there is no elevated bladder cancer risk, so it appears to be one of the safer artificial sweeteners.
However, it still contributes to obesity and even the development of type 2 diabetes, despite its lack of calories.
The reason, as Science News points out, is that there are taste cells in the stomach, intestine and, evidence suggests, the pancreas, colon and esophagus. When the taste sensors in the gut encounter something sweet, they send a “prepare for fuel” message that results in cranked-up insulin levels in the blood. This, in turn, causes sugar cravings, and the cycle keeps repeating.
This means that even no-calorie sweeteners like saccharine can trigger the release of insulin and cause weight gain—all because of their sweet taste.
Sucralose (Splenda) alters the microflora in the intestine and “exerts numerous adverse effects,” according to Duke University study, including an increase in body weight (not quite what a “diet aid” is supposed to do!), and an elevation of liver enzymes, which negatively affects the bioavailability of nutrients. And as our colleagues at ANH-Europe note, sucralose is an organochloride compound. Most of the derivatives of this type of compound are insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides—not something you’d put in children’s lunch boxes. In an article entitled “The Lethal Science of Splenda, a Poisonous Chlorocarbon,” Dr. James Bowen warns that “any chlorocarbons not directly excreted from the body intact can cause immense damage to the processes of human metabolism and, eventually, our internal organs. The liver is a detoxification organ which deals with ingested poisons. Chlorocarbons damage the hepatocytes, the liver’s metabolic cells, and destroy them.”
Is nothing safe?
Bearing in mind what we noted above, that all sweet tastes raise insulin, which causes overeating and sets the stage for type 2 diabetes, there are some alternatives you might consider.

Low-calorie alternatives:

Stevia is a South American herb that is estimated to be some 150 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. Since the mid-1980s, the FDA has labeled stevia as an “unsafe food additive” and has gone to extensive lengths to keep it off the US market—including initiating a search-and-seizure campaign and full-fledged “import alert”—despite the fact it has been used by millions of people around the world, in some locales for hundreds of years, with no ill effects.
So adamant has the FDA remained on the subject that even though stevia can now be legally marketed as a dietary supplement under legislation enacted in 1994, any mention of its possible use as a sweetener or tea was strictly prohibited—that is, until 2007, when Coca-Cola announced plans to obtain approval for their stevia-derived sweetener, Rebiana, for use as a food additive. FDA approved it in 2008. Coca-Cola announced intentions to release stevia-sweetened beverages shortly thereafter.
Sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol seem to be safe, though some people find that xylitol has a laxative effect. Xylitol was originally isolated from birch sap. Erythritol occurs naturally in fruits and fermented foods. And Xylitol, used as mouth rinse, prevents cavities very effectively. It is especially good for children, particularly those who have not had their teeth treated with a tooth sealant that contains BPA.
Inulin, which is isolated from Jerusalem artichoke, is available as a powder or as Jerusalem artichoke syrup. Inulin is a long-chain polysaccharide that is mostly too long a sugar to absorb into the blood stream, though too much inulin intake can cause digestive distress in some people.

Higher-calorie alternatives:

Honey (raw, organic) is always the natural sweetener of choice. Look for wild honey because it is lower in free fructose and higher in trace mineral content, especially the richer dark varieties.
Maple syrup is the only sustainably-harvested, large-scale, forest sweetener in the world. Maple is one of the richest source of minerals found in any sweetener. Look for organic maple syrup and maple crystals as an ingredient.
Unsulfured, organic sugarcane molasses is fairly rich in vitamins and minerals and has been purported (like fresh sugar cane) to have “anti-stiffness factors” that break down detrimental calcification.
Coconut palm sugar is now available as a sweetener. It is usually heat-processed, so try to find raw coconut palm sugar
Lo Han Guo is a non-glycemic sweetener made from a type of wild cucumber. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat cough and laryngitis.


  1. Thank you so much for providing such a thorough analysis of sweeteners and the problems that the bottom line mentality of product manufacturers helps create for our health. Capitalism is a wonderful system when the profit motives are balanced against the fundamental health needs of consumers.
    What you have effectively described is a corrupted government structure with an unreliable protector in the name of FDA and our Congress, and the impact of food manufacturers and their lobbyists who distort the balance between business/ profits and health requirements. It’s a let the buyer beware situation, and that is not good enough.
    It seems that the general population is condemned to suffer the government’s inability to regulate the food products and farming industries and insure that our food supply is more than safe from just disease. The impact on the rising cost of health care is now and will continue to be one of the consequences of what you have so aptly described in your excellent portrayal of the products intended to sweeten our food while unfortunately contributing to the detriment of our health. It appears to be an impossible tide to overcome

  2. Thankyou! I have been tlling people just don’t eat sweets for years.Honey has been my advice.

  3. Thanks for a very interesting article. As a diabetic I am always interested in whatever sweeteners are out there.
    I use Stevia and have no ill effects but Splenda is another story……upsets my whole system. Not to mention the company who makes Splenda killed 12,000 dogs, cats, rabbits and mice to develope this abomination. Wow, all so the American public has another unsugar sweetener and they can make more money….charming!

  4. Wow, probably the best article on sweeteners I ever read! And the same wonderful folks at Monsanto and the FDA right in there…and I thought the FDA was supposed to protect us?

  5. Why when it has been proven that high fructose corn syrup feeds cancer cells do we still have it in use? It is a danger to everyone. High fructose corn syrup can be called by any other name but it is still what it is and all sugars are not alike. Take mannose, for example, it can be used to fight certain diseases. All sugars do not do this. High fructose corn syrup is a polyol which is an alcohol and behaves like an alcohol when blended with water, and also when ingested by the body. Why are we feeding it to babies? Why are we feeding it to our children?

    1. They want you to feed your self and children this Bull hockey stuff. They say there is no difference if not then why not grow natural cane sugar? also natural beets? Nope not me I’m not falling for none of that crap. If the cows eat it then you eat there meat. Then your eating it thats new alfalfa that there eating I’m a vegatarian and have been most of my life even when I was young. Its either you eat what I tell you. So do you feel free in America now. I don’t and haven’t for a while.

    2. Barbara,
      Please watch Glenn Beck so you can catch up on what is going on. Our gov’t wants to depopulate the world by 80 to 90% and have been working on it for 100 years. The elite think the middle class people are too stupid to be alive. They have been lying to the public about everything. Please get informed and then inform your friends and neighbors. Americans need to stick together! Check out

  6. You forgot to mention xylitol. Please include the research on this best-of-all alternative – better than stevia. It’s the only sweetner that doesn’t feed cancer. It is NOT to be given to animals – strictly human consumption.

  7. Stevia!!! I was so thrilled when I at last found it on the supermarket shelf. Wonderfully sweet. I can’t eat sugar now. It just doesn’t tast good!~

  8. What about Brown Rice Syrup and Barley Malt Syrup ?- these were not mentioned in your excellent article – Eleanor Cohen

  9. Thank you so much for this article. I find it most informative. I will be passing it on to others.

  10. Excellent article. Thank-you for explaining all of the different/.alternative sweetners. I found this ararticleto be very enlighening.

  11. If sucrose (50% dextrose / 50% fructose) is not provably more harmful than straight dextrose/glucose, then why are corn syrup, corn starch, corn maltodextrin (all 100% glucose) and corn sugar (55% fructose/45% glucose) so harmful?
    The cane and beet sugar industries sell sucrose. Both are heavily subsidized and protected from import competition. How much of this article is merely a scare-tactic to keep food processors from switching to a less-expensive alternative?
    The “low-fat” boom which massively increased American per-capita sugar intake benefitted the sugar industry to the detriment of public health and they don’t want to share the wealth with anyone.
    The cane sugar industry polluted the everglades with impunity because they could buy off the politicians and now they weep because ADM can outbid them.
    Depending on whether one’s genetics are more sensitive to a sugar spike or to a glucose-induced insulin spike, one might be harmed more by glucose or by fructose and there is no reason to demonize either over sucrose unless the intent is to demean a competitor.
    People do not consume pure sugars except in soft drinks and candies. Other macronutrients such as protein, fats and fiber are far more important in determining peak blood sugar and peak insulin. How can one argue about the glycating effects of fructose over glucose while ignoring the effects of other dietary components?
    In short, ANH should discourage consumption of all sweets, especially in pure forms such as soft drinks and avoid appearing as a shill for the dirty (both politically and environmentally) sugar industry.

    1. ANH a shill? Sorry. Read the article again. No one is pushing sugar of any kind here. The message is quite clear. “Sugar kills”… and it really doesn’t matter “which” sugar. The same rules apply to sugar as to all other food stuffs; Eat food the way God gives it to you. As soon as man starts “improving” things… Watch out! The consequence is always the same: ill health, reduced life span. Take a moment to think of all the “extracted” products in your diet. ALL sweeteners are extracted products… and each is by its very nature unavoidably eaten in excess (the same as fats and oils in the SAD). The source of the sweetener doesn’t matter. All extractions are concentrates. In the amounts they are found in their natural state, they are not concentrated. Left to consume these substances from the state in which they are found in nature would guarantee that they would never be over-consumed. No rocket science needed here. Just apply some common sense.

  12. Tyson’s is THE worst…other than Monsanto…..and they torture the animals they slaughter. I wouldn’t eat anything with the name Tyson on it IF I was literally starving to death.
    The *Depopulation Agenda* is well on its way….and with all the autoimmune disease on our planet….. which is man-made, these EVIL corporations are succeeding with their poisons.
    Apathy….at it’s best.

  13. I am so happy to see this article which confirms my long standing feeling that high fructose corn syrup is not good for us and with diabetes on such a horrendous rise, I have felt that it may be due to the addition of this poison in our foods. Thank you very much for this information and also for the breakdown of the artificial sweetners. Sacchrine was on the market way back in the 1950’s when I was growning up. My grandmother was a model and used it extensively as her sweetner to keep in shape. She died in 1954 of bladder cancer.

  14. Your article contains both truth and falsehoods.
    Sugar is an important molecule in nature. Plants manufacture it during photosynthesis and store it
    as food. It feeds bees, ants and hummingbirds. As for bees, honey is a mix of two invert sugars, dextrose (glucose or grape sugar) and levulose (fructose or fruit sugar.) In other words, honey contains the very “bad” sugar (fructose) you warn readers to steer away from, and yet God put it in fruit, so it can’t be all bad.
    As for HFCS, glad we can acknowledge that it’s fructose made by enzymes, which are naturally found in corn sprouts. Mercury? Well that’s also found in tuna fish and vaccines, so let’s avoid those too. But I hope you aren’t suggesting that all HFCS manufacturers add mercury to their products.
    Also don’t forget that carbon-sugar is the basic fuel of life; the brain runs exclusively on sugar, and carbohydrates must be broken down to sugar to provide metabolic energy.
    Yes, sugar feeds cancer, or more specifically, fungus, which is a precursor to cancer. Sugar
    also feeds yeast and yeast cultures, including candida yeast. But none of that takes away from above facts. Diabetes is a deficiency of chromium and vanadium, and when farm animals receive these supplements, their diabetes goes away. It was better known a decade ago as GTC (glucose tolerance factor) chromium but FDA frowns upon health claims as big pharma try to black out information to create another medical dark ages.
    Laetrile (Vitamin B-17) was discovered by Krebbs to be a sugar molecule surrounding cyanide,
    which cancer gobble up and are selectively killed by the cyanide released. Sprouted seeds also contain this molecule, and enzymes (if uncooked) that digest the protein coat around cancer. (The protein coat prevents the body’s immune system from recognizing and destroying it.)
    The problem is not so much sugar as mineral deficiencies. People are sick because they’re mineral deficient. Adequate minerals suppress fungal and bacterial growth. Modern ag practices only use four basic minerals for fertilizer when plants need at least 20 and humans the whole spectrum. Minerals suppress disease, in plants and animals. More minerals, less herbicides, everybody wins; but I digress.
    Stop demonizing sugar and thank God that industry has found a way to make it cheaply. I wouldn’t be surprised if yours is a plot to drive up prices. Only you are responsible for what you put in your mouth, stop whining, study up and live your best knowledge and practice. Ignorance IS personal.

    1. Table sugar is about half glucose and half fructose with a weak bond between them. Recent research by Doctor Richard Johnson MD shows Free unbound Fructose is a very deleterious substance.
      HFCS is at least 55% and up to 75% free unbound fructose.
      It is not hard at all to live close to totally without these two very toxic substances. All you have to do is totally avoid processed food.

  15. Great information in comprehensive text. I wish more people would pay attention to how sugar can ruin your health. Thank you

  16. I have been using a product called Lakanto. I purchase it online from Body Ecology It is a sugar substitute – zero calories, zero glycemic index. Ingredients are Erythritol and Luo Han Guo.
    Is Erythritol safe since it is made from corn? Any other information that I should know?

  17. Your “How Sweet It Isn’t” article was both frightening and informative.
    Can you please explain why so much government money is spent testing food safety and yet the results are so often in question? BIG money is the usual reason, but why over years, have the FDA and other testing organizations not been sued for their partial truths and hidden secrets? Surely their lack of accurate coverage and feed back has been responsible for many thousands of deaths. Why no challenges in the courts for such sloppy outcomes?

  18. interesting. I question the addition of Honey at the end though. It is common practice for bee farmers to feed their bees sugar. That would be conventional beet sugar. The idea that honey has a different chemical composition than beet sugar is not presented here, just the idea that a ‘natural’ product (which one could argue it is no longer) is ‘healthier.’
    Also, maple syrup as sustainable? Only if you are buying from farms that don’t over tap trees and actually care about the health of the trees instead of higher volume. With global warming having a huge (and very sad) effect on sugar maples, I’m not really sure how sustainable a source it is anyway.

  19. This info is absolutely frightening! I just say, might as well consume sugar as opposed to those nasty sugar substitutes! Thank you for this very insightful piece! A must read for anyone that eats ANYTHING that is mass produced!

  20. I have had Type I diabetes for many years and since menopause I am quite brittle. Although I may not be representative of all Type I diabetics, I have found that I can eat agave syrup with no noticeable rise in blood glucose levels. I am therefore wondering about the statement that agave does not have a low glycemic index. Any further input on that?

  21. Great help!!! Onion has FOS….grows yeast in me. I don’t eat sugar any more….so now carrots taste sweet. Even if I use Stevia I am not wanting to eat deserts any more. I only eat vegetables now.

  22. Thank you for this powerfully informative article. It is so very sad to hear over and over again how
    Greed (profit) seems to be The Prime Mover of things no matter where you are in the world.
    I have been living in Brazil the last 3 years and though it may look different on the surface of things
    it is the same here. Perhaps some of the Scandinavian countries do a bit better. Any comments ?

  23. “All sweet tastes raise insulin”
    This is the key fact for understanding sweet tastes and your diet. We who try to live healthy KNOW keeping our insulin levels at their absolute minimum is an important facet of a healthy life.
    When you ingest ANYTHING with a sweet taste you are signaling your body that food in the form of carbs is coming; your body starts the process of producing insulin. Now if this sweet taste comes from a can of water and chemicals with no calories your body is producing insulin for food that is NOT coming. What do you think happens next?
    You get HUNGRY.
    You should not try to fool Mother Nature.
    Eat a NATURAL whole food mostly RAW organic diet and AVOID MANY “health problems”.
    DEMAND an honest government that will allow you to eat healthy.

  24. Thank you for this article. Good,clear outline of everything I’ve learned, as well as good new information (to me).
    I appreciate you ANH!

  25. Anyone inclined to mention how the Diet Industry benefits from Sugar Marketing?

  26. Very nice article. Choosing how to sweeten food has become a minefield. Choosing what to eat is like navigating a minefield. This is very helpful information. Thank you.

  27. The longer we live the more we learn. Thank you for this informative article. However, I would add that the combination of prescription drugs and the sweetners are wrecking havoc. In the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and 80’s simple was the key.l I know a lot pf people that take 36 pills a day. Now you add the junk that the article talks about and in my opinion you are swimming in a toxic pool.
    We forget that pill taking is the norm today. People ate lots of sugar 60 years ago, however the pills were not “in”. Today is a different world. I feel sorry for everyone.

  28. Saying go back to “good old sugar” is not useful because you don’t say what sugar. The advocates of renaming HFCS corn sugar argued that sucrose and HFCS were metabolized about the same and they are probably right. The true corn sugar is mostly dextrose, same chemical formula as glucose and I think metabolized like glucose. Used in sufficient MODERATION it is no worse that the starch it came from. Agave, all honey, cane sugar, beet sugar, and fruits all have substantial fructose. While the fruit and molasses have other beneficial ingredients and are good in moderation, I think true corn sugar is best for many sweetening needs as well as cheap to manufacture. I use NOW’s dextrose which is not cheap but I think still best in many cases.

  29. I’ve read that nutrasweet doesn’t actually kill ants, and in my experience, it doesn’t do a thing to ants. It’s a myth.

  30. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 3+ years ago. I use Xylitol for sweetner ( 1 pound lasts about 6 months or more) and a little honey occasionally on rye toast. I rarely (2x a year?) eat red meat. I try to avoid wheat products. I eat a lot of Chia Seeds and vegetables, fish and poultry. My A1c has been below 6 for a year now but my fasting blood glucose has been below 100 only once. Do you suppose my blood glucose meter is defective? My doctor tells me I am, in effect, no longer diabetic! I know many say that honey is sugar and no different from glucose but I don’t believe that is true either. For most of my life I become ravenously hungry after eating something with sugar in it. Honey has never affected me that way. Nor does Xylitol or Stevia. Perhaps different people react differently to different types of sweet. I never use Splenda, Saccarine, HFCS or any other chemical sweetners

  31. I am wondering why simple, cane sugar, raw sugar and organic sugar were not listed as options?

  32. I am finding it increasly difficult finding any food that is “clean” because we are trying to feed too many people.

  33. As you may know, HFCS is not any more ‘processed’ than sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or agave nectar production; they actually go through remarkably similar production methods. We do have information on our website that shows the similarities of how sucrose (table sugar) and HFCS are processed. You can see more at, and you can also see a video which shows how beets are chemically processed, similar to how HFCS is processed. (at the 8:50 mark).
    In regard to the mercury claims, you can see our response at along with a third party POV at In short, claims that HFCS contains mercury contamination are inaccurate, as no mercury or mercury-based technology is used in the production of high fructose corn syrup in North America.
    Many studies, some of which you mention were done either using abnormally high levels of pure fructose as if they involved HFCS, which they do not. Furthermore, the high levels of pure fructose that are used aren’t even consumed in isolation in the human diet. You can see the correction that is at the bottom of one of the articles that you cited, noting that they were talking about pure fructose.
    Peer reviewed research has shown that HFCS and sugar are handled the same by the body and have similar metabolic effects. You can see more at
    We understand that there is an obesity epidemic, and we agree that all sugars should be consumed in moderation, but taking pure fructose, misapplying it to HFCS and then demonizing a single ingredient is not going to help us all to adopt healthier lifestyles.
    We look forward to discussing this more.
    Therese, Corn Refiners Association

    1. And Robert Lustig doesn’t know what he is talking about? Sugar: The Bitter Truth is quite categorical that the fructose in HFCS is metabolized completely differently – and detrimentally to the body –
      from the fructose in fruit.

  34. To the HFCS industry apologist above: how can anyone trust anything you say? You’re paid to say it. Sorry, but you have a conflict of interest.
    I prefer to listen to research not paid for by your industry. The fact remains that the more highly processed a food is, the worse it is for the body, we’ve seen this time and time again. Also, claims that HFCS in “moderation” is the same as sugar are misleading. First of all, the human body does respond differently to HFCS and sucrose. They are different molecules, with different glycemic index scores. HFCS is accepted as having a very high glycemic index, and you simply cannot responsibly claim that eating higher GI foods makes sense for health. Second, it’s almost impossible to get HFCS in moderation if one eats the standard American diet of mainly packaged and processed foods from a regular supermarket. It is ubiquitous in these foods, appearing in many savory as well as sweet preparations.

  35. It’s hard to believe no one thought to test beet sugar vs. cane !!!??? All the supermarket brands, for instance, that do not specify ‘cane sugar’ are beet sugar. That is all I buy, when I need to use sugar that is.

    1. Read up on beet sugar, it is no bueno as well! Just when you thought your sweetener was safe…..

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