Weight Loss Support - High Fructose Corn Syrup?




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cupcake84
02-19-2007, 09:08 AM
What is it? what is it in? I never read any of the books on whole foods but I am interested in it. Ive seen it mentioned in a few other threads, but I was just wondering what it is, what its in, and why its so bad?
Thanks!:)


northernbelle
02-19-2007, 09:30 AM
High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn. It is found in a wide variety of processed foods- from soda pop, to baked goods.

It is a relatively inexpensive sweetener for manufacturers to use and has many benefits in the manufacturing process- mixes easily, extends shelf-life and is as much as 20 percent cheaper than other sources of sugar.

BUT the body handles this sweetener differently than it does others. It does not stimulate the pancreas to make insulin, and fails to increase the production of leptin- both hormones signal the body to slow down the appetite. So eating a product with HFCS makes us want to eat more. HFCS has no nutrients and is a source of whopping empty calories.

There are many sweeteners in products, some better than others. Although you cannot avoid HFCS totally, moderation is the key. Just as moderation is the key with any food type.

MariaOfColumbia
02-19-2007, 10:25 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fructose_corn_syrup


cupcake84
02-19-2007, 12:58 PM
thanks guys!
also is HFCS called anything else?

meowee
03-05-2007, 08:32 AM
In Canada it appears on the ingredient list as two separate entries -- corn syrup, fructose-glucose -- but it amounts to the same thing -- not good; so try to avoid it as much as possible.

cbmare
03-05-2007, 04:55 PM
Is evaporated cane juice in that category as well? I've seen that listed on several things.

veggielover
03-05-2007, 05:03 PM
There are many sweeteners in products, some better than others. Although you cannot avoid HFCS totally, moderation is the key. Just as moderation is the key with any food type.



I second this. Moderation, moderation, moderation. :carrot:

cantforgetthis
03-06-2007, 03:03 AM
While I agree that moderation is a good thing...

I disagree that you can not avoid HFCS completely. You definately can and many people do. I have not had anything with it in over 10 months by following a whole foods lifestyle.

MariaMaria
03-06-2007, 03:26 AM
I'm not particularly whole foods oriented and I manage to avoid HCFS-- yes, all the time. AFAIK I've had it once in the past year ("lite" yogurt I didn't think to check the label for).

It's not that hard to check labels once, and once is all you need to know that you can or cannot buy a specific product.

Moderation is great for healthy foods, but IMO there are some things that we just do not need to eat.

VelVeeta
03-06-2007, 11:30 AM
I read Northern Belles explanation of hfcs and I'm having a hard time figuring why it is so bad- I love sugar, but eat it in moderation (or try to anyways!) so why not take the same approach with hfcs?

brandnewme
03-06-2007, 10:20 PM
If you really want to know about HFCS, I suggest you read the book, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Some of it is very dry reading, but very informative nonetheless. He basically takes you through the entire process of making HFCS starting from growing the corn and ending with where the corn and HFCS are used, and the problems that go with using both virtually everywhere. I had to read it for a class, otherwise it's not a book I'd normally read, but I'm glad I did now because it was really an eye opener.

LisaMarie71
03-06-2007, 11:07 PM
I read Northern Belles explanation of hfcs and I'm having a hard time figuring why it is so bad- I love sugar, but eat it in moderation (or try to anyways!) so why not take the same approach with hfcs?

I'm a firm believer in moderation for everything. I'm sorry, I just don't believe that HFCS is the poison it's being made out to be. It's not the best thing for you, obviously, but I've lost 75 pounds since July without cutting it out of my diet, and I ran 5 miles this morning so my body seems to be working ok...

Obviously it's best to eat whole foods, and it's best to avoid a substance that will make you crave more sugar, but it's also possible to control your impulses. I believe in portion control and limiting myself to a certain number of calories. Within that calorie range, I'm not that strict with myself in terms of what makes up the calories. That's what works for me, and it might be what works for you as well. Don't completely cut something out just because other people do. Work on limiting it, sure, and obviously we should all get the bulk of our calories from healthy whole grains, fruits, veggies, etc. But I don't believe you have to completely cut ANYthing out -- you can still be healthy and lose weight and be fit. For many of us, we'd rather enjoy a little "bad" food here and there because it's an enjoyable part of life, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Off my soapbox now...

cupcake84
03-07-2007, 06:54 AM
Theres no way, that right now in my diet, I would be able to cut it out all together. Im like you LisaMarie71 I count calories and Im not strict as to what makes the calories up.
On the other hand its good to know about it so I can limit my consumption a bit, but theres no way I could give it up completely. I love my food too much haha

sharonrr
03-07-2007, 08:59 AM
While I agree that moderation is a good thing...

I disagree that you can not avoid HFCS completely. You definately can and many people do. I have not had anything with it in over 10 months by following a whole foods lifestyle.

I agree you can totally avoid HFCS. Read, read,read, labels,

QuilterInVA
03-07-2007, 10:51 AM
Actually, just counting calories will not work over the long run. What you use your calories for is very important.

LindseyLouWho
03-07-2007, 03:09 PM
While I somewhat agree with QuilterInVA, I'd like to add to it a bit. Scientifically speaking, losing weight is calories in vs. calories out. So technically, calorie counting as a weight loss method WILL work over the long run. I've seen it work many, many times. Just have a look at a lot of the success stories right here on 3FC. However, most people would find it very very difficult to stick with a diet/lifestyle change/whatever you want to call it over the long haul if they weren't careful about how they spent their calories. For example, simply calorie counting COULD mean to some people that they can use their daily allowance of calories all on junk food all day... just eating less than before. However, it wouldn't keep them satisfied and allow them to have a balanced diet that gives them all of the nutrients and fiber they need. Most people figure out fairly quickly that if they want to be able to stick to it, they need to make sure that they get in a balance of lean protein, whole grains, veggies, fruits, etc. in order to stay satisfied and healthy, which is why many people try to have a certain ratio of what their calories go to... fats, carbs, and protein. Personally, I'm in the moderation camp. For example, if skittles are your absolute favorite candy and you just don't know how you'll go on living without eating them, then I think you should allow yourself to have a few every once in a while so that you don't dump your diet altogether one day because you're fed up with not being able to eat the things you love. Also, it is possible to live quite happily without high fructose corn syrup, however many people may find it difficult to give it up completely considering it's a staple sweetener in the U.S. Thankfully, many whole foods stores carry sweets (candy, soda, etc.) that don't use HFCS, and instead use more natural sources. Whew... I hope this thread doesn't become a soap box battle... lol.

LisaMarie71
03-07-2007, 04:42 PM
Lindsey did a much better job of making the point I was trying to make. Moderation, moderation, moderation. No one believes her body would respond well to 1400 calories worth of Oreos and nothing else all day. One Oreo thrown in the mix, along with a bunch of healthy food? No problem. (Not for me, though -- I've always thought Oreos were disgusting). :lol:

zenor77
03-07-2007, 04:52 PM
I avoid HFCS at all costs. It inhibits the chemical/hormone that helps our body realize that it's full. I figure it's not going to help with weight loss, but hurt. I haven't read up on all the other "evils" of HFCS, but just that one fact was enough for me.

WaterRat
03-07-2007, 05:29 PM
I find it very had to avoid HFCS 100%, but I live (and shop) and a small town in a state that basically imports ALL its food. We have only "mainstream" grocery stores with limited health food/organic selections (though they're getting better). Nothing like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. 50 miles away in Anchorage there is an oriental grocery that has some non-HFCS products.

I do eat mainly whole foods, and for the rest I read labels and try to choose those where HFCS is way down the list of ingredients.

I also think some people are more susceptible to sugar and HFCS than others. I've never been a heavy sweets eater - not a lot of candy, sodas, etc. Eating something sweet doesn't usually set me up for cravings for more. But it does my DH - he worked very hard to kick a bad candy bar habit. :)

VelVeeta
03-08-2007, 03:55 PM
Personally, I'm in the moderation camp. For example, if skittles are your absolute favorite candy and you just don't know how you'll go on living without eating them, then I think you should allow yourself to have a few every once in a while so that you don't dump your diet altogether one day because you're fed up with not being able to eat the things you love.

Yeah, I guess this is pretty much how I feel. Obviously if you're determined, you'll be able to cut out hfcs for the most part- It just doesn't fit into my lifestyle- I find that when I make drastic food related changes, I have problems sticking to it and end up as you say LindseyLouWho, dumping my diet, and binging. I like a diet soda, or a 100 cal snack pak at work- they actually help curb my cravings I think- it satisfies my sweet tooth without making me feel guilty, you know? :)

jillybean720
03-08-2007, 04:22 PM
I read Northern Belles explanation of hfcs and I'm having a hard time figuring why it is so bad- I love sugar, but eat it in moderation (or try to anyways!) so why not take the same approach with hfcs?
I believe this was Northern Belle's point: The reason it's bad (particularly in regards to trying to lose weight) is that it basically does not allow your body to tell when it's full. You can eat HFCS junk all day long and never feel satisfied because of how it reacts in your body. Therefore, a diet typically high in HFCS is also typically higher in calories than a healthier diet because you don't feel full as easily so you keep eating more.

But yeah, a little bit here or there won't kill anyone (unless you're allergic to corn, I guess--are there people who are allergic to corn?).

There has also been a study of the effects of HFCS on rats--it ended with extremely obese rats who actually lost the use of their hind legs and became quite covered with malignant tumors. The accuracy of the study is questionable, though, and I don't believe it has been duplicated.

In any case, it's enough for me to make sure I choose HFCS-free everyday products--for example, I make sure my bread products (like sliced whole-grain bread, pitas, pizza crusts, hamburger/hotdog buns, etc.) are made with a natural sweetener (like honey), and that anything that does contain HFCS is used very sparingly (although I actually can't think of anything I use regularly that contains HFCS--there are so many healthier alternatives available nowadays that I find I can usually find a version of whatever it is I need that does not contain HFCS).

Losing weight is hard enough--why keep eating something that will only make it harder on me? But, to each her own...just like diet soda--I drink it daily, but others insist it impedes their weight loss attempts. I don't see any negative side effects of it personally, so I keep on a-drinkin'.

Spinymouse
03-08-2007, 04:51 PM
I agree with Brandnewme - that book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael is a real eye-opener. Regarding HFCS, it is more than just a question about its nutritional composition and use by our body. If it was just that I wouldn't be all that fazed by it. But it is a question of who are our dollars supporting when we buy it; who is profiting; what is the impact on our land and on the business of agriculture? With that info, I do not want to support that industry. I recommend the book; and I do not think it is dry but excellently written.

phantastica
03-13-2007, 01:19 PM
I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma right now, and it's an eye-opening book that is making a huge impact on my food choices. I agree - in spite of how good or bad HCFS is for you, corn in general is an over-utilized commodity and it's doing bad things to our planet.