Corn is in just about everything you eat. It may not look like corn, or taste like corn but it is in there normally in the form of high fructose corn syrup. This is an incredibly cheap and effective ingredient in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis, and it's one of the most influential contributors to obesity and other health related problems facing many people. If you have ever heard the expression 'corn-fed' as it pertains to cattle, well, we're all corn-fed, because corn is in just about everything.
What Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup?
High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS for short, is a corn based sweetener and it can be found in many types of food. It is commonly used because of how inexpensive it is to make compared to adding regular sugar. As far as can be seen, there are no health benefits to HFCS at all. In fact, there is a long list of negative effects of this sweetener. The only benefit of HFCS seems to be that is very inexpensive.
Common Items with HFCS
The fact that HFCS is so cheap to use is why it shows up in so many food sources such as:
- Kid's cereal
- Pre-made desserts
But these are the places you would expect to find HFCS, because it's inexpensive to use and this means the items you purchase will cost a little less. However, there are other names for HFCS, and many manufacturers will use these just in case you are looking at ingredients and want to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup added foods. These names include:
- Glucose-Fructose Syrup
- Iso Glucose
- Fruit Fructose
Where Else Is It Found?
You may be surprised to learn that HFCS manages to show up in places you would never expect them. This is especially true for those of us who are health conscious and try to watch what we eat. HFCS does manage to appear in foods labeled as healthy choices more often than you would think. This is why it's very important to know those other names for HFCS, so you know exactly what you're getting.
Some healthy foods which contain HFCS are:
- Yogurt: Despite yogurt being labeled as a health food, many manufacturers still use HFCS as a sweetener agent due to its low price.
- Low-Fat Salad Dressings: Yes, many low-fat or low-calorie salad dressings are full of HFCS in one name or another.
- Low-Calorie Smart Snacks: The health benefits of these are solely based on how many calories are in the package, but as a way to keep the manufacturing price down, HFCS is used as a sweetener in many of these items.
- Heart Healthy Breakfast Cereals: A cereal may be labeled healthy because it's made from whole grains and has low-fat aspects, you will still find HFCS in some form in many of these foods.
How To Avoid HFCS
This can be perceived as difficult but, in reality, it's not. If anything it is a bit more time consuming and can place a bit more of a drain on the wallet but, if you know what to look for in nutrition labels, avoiding high fructose corn syrup is something which is very possible.