By now, we’ve all heard how detrimental high fructose corn syrup can be to a diet. Even for those who are not on a fruit diet, however, high fructose corn syrup is unhealthy. Unfortunately, high fructose corn syrup is found in many of the processed foods we buy.
This all-too-common sweetener and preservative works by changing the glucose found in cornstarch to fructose, giving the food an even higher concentration of not one, but two sugars: fructose and glucose.
Why do manufacturers use high fructose corn syrup so often? It’s a shelf-stable sugar that can lengthen the shelf life of many foods, including sodas, fruit drinks and processed foods.
High fructose corn syrup is the bad guy to any dieter, because foods containing high fructose corn syrup are full of calories but low on nutrients. It’s like consuming empty calories.
Foods with high fructose corn syrup simply add to your overall weight and have no benefit nutritionally. These types of foods can also contribute to causing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.
How do we fight this diet enemy?
- Read your nutritional labels. Shun foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or added sugar. When choosing fruit options, select fresh fruit over fruit juices or fruit-flavored drinks. When purchasing canned fruit, choose fruit that is in its own juices over fruit in light or heavy syrup.
- Dieters and anyone who wants to avoid high fructose corn syrup should also limit their soda intake, or switch to drinking diet soda. Regular sodas are full of high fructose corn syrup, adding empty calories you don’t need.
- Make sure to drink enough milk. Many people who are heavy soda or juice drinkers tend to drink that over milk, and don’t get enough milk in their diets. Milk is important to building healthy bodies and has been shown to help in weight loss as well.
When trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet, remember some of the culprits that you would not suspect of containing high fructose corn syrup. These include salad dressings, marinades, catsup, and even certain breads. Again, be sure to read those nutritional labels before buying and/or consuming any food.
Corn refiners are becoming wary of savvy shoppers who are reading more nutritional labels and eschewing foods high in high fructose corn syrup.
They are currently petitioning the FDA to be allowed to call high fructose corn syrup “corn sugar,” so as not to alert the consumer to its presence in foods. So be sure to be a smart label reader: if it says corn sugar, you can almost guarantee that the ingredient in question is high fructose corn syrup.
The bottom line, for dieters and anyone worried about their consumption of high fructose corn syrup, is to read your nutritional labels. This is the only way that consumers have of protecting themselves from hidden sugars, fats, and other ingredients that are detrimental to anyone who is trying to lose weight.