- Posted August 24, 2013 by
Ways to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of sugar in processed foods in the USA. In fact, the average American eats an astounding 41.5 lbs of high fructose corn syrup per year. American subsidies and tariffs have resulted in corn being a much more economical sweetener than sugar--a trend that is not seen in other parts of the world. Now that high fructose corn syrup is being added to an increasing variety of foods (breads, cereals, soft drinks, and condiments); some people are looking for ways to avoid it.
Be clear about your reasons for avoiding high fructose corn syrup. Reasons cited for avoiding it are:
- Beverages containing high fructose corn syrup have high levels of reactive carbonyls which are linked with cell and tissue damage that leads to diabetes, although there is no evidence so far that high fructose corn syrup consumption directly leads to diabetes. No significant metabolic differences exist between high fructose corn syrup and regular sugar.
- The corn from which high fructose corn syrup is derived may be genetically modified.
- There are increasing concerns about the politics surrounding the economics of corn production (subsidies, tariffs, and regulations) as well as the effects of intensive corn agriculture on the environment.
- Some people are allergic to products derived from corn.
- Although the enzymatic process used to create high fructose corn syrup is a naturally occurring process, it is an additional processing step that sugar refined from beets does not undergo. Some people prefer to avoid additionally processed foods and ingredients as much as possible.
- Some people believe that sugar satiates, or creates the feeling of "full", faster than HFCS, which, if true, would likely lead to reduced caloric consumption.
- Some argue that sugar simply tastes better than high fructose corn syrup.
Avoid fast food. Fast food often contains high fructose corn syrup.
Read food labels. This is the easiest and most sure-fire way to know if there is high fructose corn syrup in your food. High fructose corn syrup can be found even in products which aren't sweet, such as sliced bread and processed meats like sausage and ham.
Understand what "natural" or "organic" means on labels with regard to HFCS. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate the use of the word "natural". Foods and beverages can be labeled as "natural" even though they contain high fructose corn syrup, because fructose is a naturally occurring sugar. The word "organic" is heavily regulated, and basically, only foods labeled as 100% organic can be assumed to be HFCS-free. For a more detailed explanation, see the Tips below.