Statistics show that more and more Americans are becoming obese. But it doesn’t seem like food manufacturers are taking this into account when deciding on food ingredients. Therefore, we have to be responsible for making changes in our own diet so as to reduce our consumption of unhealthy and fattening substances, such as high fructose corn syrup.
What is it?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquefied and processed form of sugar derived from corn and two types of sugars: fructose and glucose. Because corn is subsidized, HFCS is inexpensiveness to produce and is often used as an added sweetener. It surprises me and maddens me to see this on so many different food labels.
What’s wrong with it?
Simply put, it’s bad for you. Not only can this lead to tooth decay and weight gain, excess consumption of HFCS can lead to the formation of kidney stones, clogged arteries, Type II diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and increased triglyceride levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
How can we avoid it?
Limit your consumption of these foods:
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, sauces)
- Salad dressing (Make your own dressing with my simple recipes!)
- Processed foods (packaged goods)
- Sweetened yogurts (especially Yoplait)
- Certain cereals
- Certain breads
- Baked goods
- Nutrition bars
- Fruit drinks
- Sports drinks
- Jams (Make your own!)
- Canned fruit
For women, try not to exceed 100 calories (6 teaspoons) a day of added sugar from any source, and 150 calories (9 teaspoons) for men.
What if I’m craving the sweetness?
- Opt for natural sources of fructose: fruits such as mangoes, bananas, apples, berries, grapes, watermelon, pineapple, and pears.
- Buy 100% juice.
- When baking, reduce the amount of sugar, and instead use applesauce or other fruits.
- Ditch the sweetened yogurts and choose low-fat yogurt and add a handful of fresh berries.
- Forget syrup on waffles and pancakes, and make a fruity sauce by throwing blueberries in a blender.
- Choose cereals with 5 or less grams of sugar and add fresh strawberries, blueberries or bananas.
- For coffee-lovers, take a break from sugar and try placing a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean to spark some flavor in your morning cup.