Clearing the confusion on HFCS and crystalline fructose

The ongoing attack on sugar has now shifted to fructose. University of California, San Francisco professor Dr. Robert H. Lustig recently gave a seminar on behalf of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and ignited the fire – and people’s passion about protecting what goes into their mouth.

Dr. Lustig is a medical doctor who teaches pediatrics and is an obesity specialist within the endocrinology department at U of C. He’s seen the results of a diet containing high sugar levels. He warns that fructose could be associated with obesity, diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

After you eat it, fructose is broken down by the liver. It’s not a sugar that is used by other cells in the body. For example, the brain needs glucose, not fructose to perform optimally. Thus, the higher your fructose intake, the more you work the liver which has to break down the fructose, releasing triglycerides, free radicals and even uric acid.

Lustig isn’t the only one who is questioning the consumption of fructose. He and his ‘following’ are asking the question of how much fructose can the body handle at any one time, and the answer is unknown at this time.

They may be asking the wrong question.

Instead, the question may be what’s the difference between high fructose corn syrup that’s in all types of foods and beverages on the market and non-GMO, crystalline fructose used in cooking. Why couldn’t there be a big difference in how the two act in the body?

Surprisingly to some, high fructose corn syrup is only 10% fructose. If something is only 10% fructose, isn’t it possible that the other 90% of it may be responsible for the associations to health issues? And what if the fructose was a GMO-free, corn-free crystalline fructose?

One of the latest types of sugar replacement products is crystalline fructose that is GMO-free and corn free from Steviva Brands, Inc ( called Fructevia ( It’s a proprietary blend of crystalline fructose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), rebaudioside A from stevia extract and magnesium carbonate. And it acts a lot different than the high fructose corn syrup on the market that is the villain in those health issues mentioned previously.

For example, the Glycemic index is 20, much lower than ordinary table sugar. In fact, Fructevia sweetener comes up lower on the Glycemic index than some fruits. One full ounce of the pure natural fructose ingredient in Fructevia raises the blood sugar level one-third that of sucrose, and raises the insulin levels one-third as high as sugar, too.

It’s used in cooking, baking and flavor masking. With less than 3 calories per serving, diabetics and low Glycemic dieters don’t need to be concerned about its use. Yet, it tastes like sugar.

What we’ve learned in nutrition over the years is that all fats shouldn’t be lumped together in the same category. All cholesterol types – LDL, HDL, and VLDL shouldn’t be lumped together in the same category. And maybe now we’re learning that all fructose products are not the same either. Just as there’s a big difference between ‘natural’ meats and commercially-raised meats, there could also be a big difference between commercial fructose and the natural fructose found in Fructevia.

What if the natural fructose really was better? Would you have tossed the baby out with the bathwater?

The truth is that Fructevia ( could potentially reduce – not increase sugar intake and help the body offset the impact of sugar on the blood sugar level with the FOS and Stevia. It’s certainly something worth checking out.

Author's Bio: 

Thom King is the President and founder of Steviva Brands and co-founder of Trinity Hill Farm. Since 1999 Steviva Brands, Inc. has continued to be one of the largest importers and distributors of stevia-based sweeteners that are 100% natural and safe for diabetics.