Weekly challenge: cut calories, not high-fructose sweeteners to lose weight.
By Deborah Kotz, Globe Staff
High-fructose corn syrup -- the most ubiquitous sweetener in the American diet -- has shared a lot of the blame for the obesity epidemic. Some nutritionists have called for a return to table sugar to sweeten sugar sodas, ketchup, and baked goods after a few studies suggested that the processed corn syrup fostered weight gain more readily than other sweeteners.
As it turns out, we probably don’t need to worry about specifically avoiding foods with high fructose corn syrup in order to lose weight: We simply need to watch our calorie intake. A new review of more than 40 studies published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that fructose didn’t lead to any extra weight gain when it replaced sugar in the diet, though it did cause study volunteers to gain weight when it was added on top of calories.
Bottom line: If you’re trying to lose weight or avoid gaining excess pounds, stick wtih smaller portion sizes and don’t be fooled into thinking that foods sweetened with “evaporated cane juice” or plain-old sugar are any less damaging to your waistline than those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.