SHREWSBURY, Mass.—People can lose weight while consuming typical amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as long as they reduce their caloric intake, according to a new study published in the Nutrition Journal. The findings debunk the vilification of high fructose corn syrup in the diet.
“The results show that equally reduced-calorie diets caused similar weight loss regardless of the type or amount of added sugars. This lends further support to findings by our research group and others that table sugar and HFCS are metabolically equivalent," said James M. Rippe, MD, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, one of the study authors.
The study design included 247 overweight or obese subjects ages 25 to 60 who took part in the randomized, double blind trial. After 12 weeks on a reduced calorie diet, there was no evidence that either table sugar or HFCS prevented weight loss when the amount of overall calories was reduced. The results are significant for those trying to lose weight and anyone concerned about the type of added sugars in foods and beverages they consume. Importantly, this study looks at sweeteners consumed in real-world diets and at levels that are typical among American consumers.
"We wanted to design a study that would generate information that is useful and applicable to the way people actually eat, not speculative results on simulated laboratory diets that focus on one component at extreme dietary levels," he said. "Misinformation about added sugars, particularly high fructose corn syrup, has caused many people to lose sight of the fact that there is no silver bullet when it comes to weight loss. A reduction in calorie consumption, along with exercise and a balanced diet, is what's most important when it comes to weight loss."