What is High-Fructose Corn Syrup and why should we care? In the most basic sense High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a cheap, liquid sweetener that is similar to sugar. According to Wikipedia HFCS is “produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change most of the glucose into fructose.” It starts from corn, but the end result is more a product of industry than a product of nature.
So we have all heard that it isn’t good for our health to eat too much sugar and the same should go for HFCS. The biggest problem with HFCS though, is that it is hidden in an unbelievable amount of processed foods in every single aisle of your grocery store. Well, I say it is “hidden” but it isn’t really a secret if you just simply read the ingredients label before buying your food (which for some reason I never did before now!).
There are a lot of controversial studies and news stories about how bad HFCS really is and if it is more harmful for your body than sugar. But, no matter what all the different experts disagree on there is one thing for certain – it would be wise to avoid consuming high quantities of HFCS - just as you would with any other type of sweetener including sugar. And chances are you are consuming a lot more HFCS than you think.
Following is a list of products that I found to include HFCS. Some may surprise you as they did for me – I used to be a loyal customer to some of these brands! This list is hardly the tip of the iceberg, but at least something to get you started in case you suddenly feel the urge to clean out your pantry….
Food product category
A sampling of specific brands that contain HFCS
Similar alternative with no HFCS (plus a shorter and less complicated list of ingredients)
|Jellies and Jams||Most Smuckers preserves and jams||Pollaner All Fruit or easily make your own by mashing up a banana with a fork or grinding a strawberry or other fruit in a little mini food processor|
|Yogurt||Both fat free & original Yoplait||Stoneyfield Organic Yogurt (buy plain if you can manage to flavor it yourself)|
|Beverages||Minute Maid Lemonade (in cold section)||Simply Lemonade although it does include regular sugar|
|Coca-Cola||I am sure you know my answer to this one – skip the soda and drink some water instead!|
|Most V8 Splash Drinks||Look for juices labeled as “natural” that also say 100% juice and just to be sure read the ingredients!|
|Dairy||Store brand fat free half & half||Original half & half|
|Frozen Foods||Frozen Smuckers Uncrustables (in both the bread and jelly)||Make your own PB&J with good bread and jelly!|
|Frozen Bagel Bites||Make your own pizza from scratch|
For more examples of brands containing HFCS please visit the main Food Illusion blog.