Eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup in Your Diet

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply want to live healthy, it’s important to determine the fructose content of the foods you eat. By definition, fructose is fruit sugar. It’s a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in plant-based sources. When fructose binds with glucose, it turns to disaccharide sucrose. Commercially, fructose is extracted from sugar beets, sugar cane, and corn as syrup.

Of all fructose sources, corn syrup is the most widely used. It’s a common ingredient in most fizzy drinks and processed foods. Corn syrup is also the main ingredient in ketchup and canned fruits.

Because government subsidies made corn a cheap commodity, food manufacturers prefer corn syrup because it’s very affordable. In fact, a study conducted by GA Bray at Louisiana State University conclude that high fructose corn syrup factors in about 40% of all sweeteners used in commercially produced drinks and foods.

A diet high in fructose from corn syrup is linked to various diseases including obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Health concerns over high fructose corn syrup lead manufacturers to find safer alternatives. Some companies – including Heinz and Kellogg’s – now add real sugar to their products instead of high fructose corn syrup.

Because high fructose corn syrup is so common, avoiding foods with it is a struggle. But it’s not impossible! So how do you eliminate foods rich in high fructose corn syrup from your diet? Consider these tips:

Avoid Food Rich in Preservatives

The best way to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet is to avoid food rich in preservatives. Most refined foods are laden with stabilizers like high fructose corn syrup. These foods include preserved fruits, breakfast cereals, bread, and condiments. Some types of yogurts are also full of the stuff so cut back on those as well. Juice cocktails, salad dressings, fizzy drinks and processed snacks should be avoided too.

Always Read The Labels

It’s always important to make an informed decision. More so if you’re avoiding something that’s massively produced like high fructose corn syrup. So always check the label. If high fructose corn syrup ranks high on a product’s ingredient list, avoid it. Learn how to read the labels, it will make avoiding unhealthy ingredients easier. This is great if you’re counting calories too!

Go Organic

If you have the willpower to eliminate processed foods in your diet, go organic. Organically produced foods go through minimal processing. This has a lot of benefits. For one thing, nutrients are retained because there is little to no heat used to preserve the food item. Also, most organic foods don’t contain high fructose corn syrup at all.

Of course, you have to do your own research. Some brands pass themselves off as organic, but they’re anything but. Major companies like Kelloggs own small organic brands. If you dig deeper, you will discover these brands. If an “organic brand” is less than forthcoming with the ingredients, avoid it. You’d rather be safe than sorry.

Also, we recommend shopping at the farmer’s market instead. Support local communities that offer fresh, organic foods. You could ask them for recommendation for other organic brands.

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