Sweetener Effects on Equicaloric Diets
The new study discovered that sugar and high-fructose syrup perform as well as a reduced-calorie diet. The researchers stated that, if an individual’s overall caloric intake is decreased, then the individual should lose weight while consuming the same amounts of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
The research project was conducted by Dr. James R. Rippe, a cardiologist who has studied nutrition and weight management. He is the founder and current director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute as well as a professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida. Rippe is also an adviser to organizations in the food and beverage industry like the Corn Refiners Association, which funded this particular study.
“Our research debunks the vilification of high fructose corn syrup in the diet,” explained Rippe, one of the study authors, in a prepared statement. “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.”
The scientists believe that the study’s results should be a relief to those who are interested in losing weight or for those who are concerned about eating sugars that are added to particular foods and beverages. The group looked at sweeteners that are consumed by people as well as the level at which they are consumed by people living in the U.S.
“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,” noted Rippe in the statement.
A total of 247 overweight or obese participants between the ages of 25 to 60 were included in the project. Over a 12 week period, they were involved in a randomized, double blind trial where they consumed a reduced calorie diet. Based on the study’s findings, there wasn’t any evidence to show that table sugar or HFCS made it difficult for weight loss when the overall amount of calories was decreased.
“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,” commented Rippe in the statement. “A reduction in calorie consumption, along with exercise and a balanced diet, is what’s most important when it comes to weight loss.”
In moving forward, the researchers believe that more studies need to be done with a larger group of subjects from more diverse population groups along with higher dosages of fructose. The findings are published in the Nutrition Journal. The publication includes manuscripts from scientists and physicians, aiming to challenge current dogmas, models, and tenets in the nutrition field.