High fructose corn syrup is a man-made product that is produced by
using enzymes to extract sugar from stocks of corn. This sweetener
should be avoided as it has been linked to a variety of maladies
including obesity, cardiovascular disease, blood sugar imbalances,
diabetes, fatty liver, liver failure, leaky gut syndrome, decaying
teeth, hypertension, elevated LDL / bad cholesterol levels, immune
suppression, dementia and cancer. Not to mention it can actually
Big Food loves high fructose corn syrup because it is both cheaper
and sweeter than cane sugar. Highly refined cane sugar is bad enough
but high fructose corn syrup delivers a fix that rapidly enters the
blood stream causing blood sugar spikes and the quick release of
insulin. This in turn causes an increase in appetite and a trend
toward weight gain and obesity over time.
The common sugar that sits in the pantry at home is sucrose.
Sucrose is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose – the
molecules are held together by a chemical bond. This bond creates
resistance and makes it harder for the human body to metabolize.
High fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent
glucose. This may seem like a small difference but the there is no
chemical bond holding the molecule together making it much easier for
the body to metabolize – hence the aforementioned blood sugar
Recall that 93 percent of corn produced in the United States in
genetically modified, so if high fructose corn syrup is consumed it
most likely comes from a GMO product. One study found mercury in over
half of high fructose corn syrup samples taken.
The easiest way to avoid high fructose corn syrup is to avoid sodas and sugary drinks. (No, this does not mean drinking diet / sugar free sodas as they contain aspartame or other toxic artificial sweeteners.) Normally it is best not ‘drink your calories’ but as an occasional treat there are drinks out there that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners – Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist all offer beverages ‘made with real sugar’. The international section of your local grocery store may also have Mexican Coke. Snapple does not contain high fructose corn syrup and here is an article from The Huffington Post with even more ideas including Hansen’s, Blue Sky and Izze. (Again we’re talking about an occasional splurge, not a regular indulgence.)
As consumers have become more educated to the dangers of high
fructose corn syrup some in the food industry have resorted to
changing the name that appears on the food label. If you see Fructose
or HFCS-90 move on to the next product as these both indicate high
fructose corn syrup. The fact that they are in effect hiding this
ingredient tells you everything you need to know.
Other foods that contain high fructose corn syrup include candies,
frozen deserts, candied fruits, breads, crackers, granola bars,
yogurt, cereal, ice cream, and condiments and sauces (i.e. ketchup
and barbecue sauce). Other surprising foods that may contain this
sweetener are peanut butter, deli meat, oatmeal, applesauce, miracle
whip, canned soups, canned tomatoes and even cottage cheese.
This underscores the importance of reading food labels – know
what goes in your body!
Sources used in this article include