No, for real, high fructose corn syrup CAN be such a douche.

But other sugars are not much less douchie.

The difference is that other sugars have control points when they are metabolized. These restrict the rate that fat gets produced. Think of a dam that blocks a river. When the river gets backed up to a certain point, the dam can no longer contain the water and it spills over. These control points or “dams” are what prevent sugar from quickly flowing into massive fat production.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) on the other hand has no control points. There is no metaphorical dam keeping it from flowing into our fat cells. But don’t be alarmed. I have some good news! There is another option for Fructose. If you are being physically active after pounding some HFCS then it will go on to be burned as fuel, rather than flooding the fat.

Let’s play a game…

Where do you think your HFCS is going:

  1. If you are sitting on the couch watching a movie as you sip on your soda?  (Correct! Fat flooding!)
  2. If you are going for a brisk walk or a jog? (Correct! Fuel for your exercise!)
  3. If you are working on your computer? (Correct! Fat flooding!)

So is Fructose, or HFCS bad? Definitely not. Calorie for calorie it is the same as any other sugar. Other sugars will get you fat too. The difference is that it is MORE lipogenic (fat flooding). It doesn’t have to be. I’m not going to tell you to avoid Fructose or HFCS. I love me some HFCS. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to do something with it! Get on your bike! Do you think the Fructose wants to be fat? No way! It wants to be fuel! Make Fructose happy!

And here is a tip… think about the quantity you are consuming at a time. Anything with sugar is most likely going to have some fructose in it. So only eat or drink as much as will match the physical activity you are planning on doing.