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High Fructose Corn Syrup

You may be getting more sugar in your diet than you know. Susan Blenner, a registered dietician from McKay-Dee Hospital, says there are many different kinds of sugar. The first place your should look is at the food nutrition label - anything ending in O-S-E is a sugar.

"There are natural sugars and there are added sugars," says Blenner. "Lactose in milk is a natural milk sugar. Fructose in fruit is a natural fruit sugar." But the big issue now, according to Blenner, is high fructose corn syrup.

Corn syrup is basically sugar. A common belief today is that it is the main cause of weight gain in America. Blenner says high fructose corn syrup is just another form of sugar, and it's the excess amount of sugar in our diet - not necessarily high fructose corn syrup - that is causing people to gain weight.

High fructose corn syrup is added to processed foods because it's cheap, it adds flavor and it helps to preserve products. It is found in lots of things, but mainly in soda pop. It commonly is the second ingredient on the list, and if it is listed high on the ingredient list, then you will be getting a lot of sugar per serving.

"The American Medical Association recommends that you get no more than 8 teaspoons of added sugar to your food on a daily basis," says Blenner. "Now it can be hard to calculate. A soda pop, for example, has about 16 teaspoons of sugar, but it is pure sugar, so you know what you're getting. You have to keep an eye on the added sugars that don't have any nutrients. Those unneeded sugars are high in calories and are the primary reason people gain weight."

"Natural sugars that you get in your diet from fruits and vegetables, milk and whole grains...those are fine. It's the added stuff that you need to look at. So you need to look at the labels, specifically high fructose corn syrup and anything with an O-S-E."

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