By Tina McCarthy
Remember those commercials aired by the Corn Refiners Association that tried to convince us that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) isn't bad for you? It turns out, they may be wrong. It's all over the blogosphere: in the national fight against obesity, high fructose corn syrup is one food ingredient we should possibly be avoiding altogether. The nutrition controversy has raged for years, with one side claiming HFCS contributes to obesity in a way that plain old sugar does not, and the HFCS camp countering that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. But several recent studies have indicated that this may not be true.
And while you know to pass on the candy bars, even meals like sandwiches and salads may be hiding a serving of high fructose corn syrup behind their healthy image. Check the labels of these typically nutritious foods to play it safe.
Nothing goes together better than whole grain and high fructose corn syrup. Wait a minute. That's not right! You mean well, but when you buy a loaf of whole grain bread, you may be getting duped by the manufacturers. While whole grain is stamped on the front in big, bold letters, high fructose corn syrup may be hiding in fine print on the ingredients list. This is a common marketing move, but at least you'll never fall for it again.
Key lime pie, blueberry crumble, chocolate raspberry, lemon meringue ... It's hard it is to resist a 100-calorie snack of these mouth-watering flavors, but flavored yogurt is often a source of high fructose corn syrup. According to a carton of Yoplait Blackberry Pomegranate yogurt (that I just threw in the trash), it ranks fourth out of fourteen on the list of ingredients. Just opt for plain yogurt and add some flavor with sliced fruit and cereal ... Oops, I spoke too soon.
When you decided to take the Special K challenge, you had no idea you were upping your dose of high fructose corn syrup in an attempt to shed a couple extra pounds. This and other seemingly wholesome cereals entice you with nutritious claims that are nothing but smoke and mirrors. Opt for simple, home made granola instead.
Backyard BBQ season is just around the corner, so beware of this year's infamous party crasher: high fructose corn syrup. Ketchup, barbeque sauce and Worcester sauce, just to name a few, contain large amounts of this unhealthy ingredient.
Would it surprise you to know that a can of sliced peaches is chop full of high fructose corn syrup? Probably not. What if I said the same thing about canned tomatoes, beans or pickles? I, for one, was shocked to learn that this all-too-common processed substance is a leading ingredient in many types of canned vegetables. Opt for fresh and seasonal, or frozen, and when buying canned veggies check the labels.
High fructose corn syrup even manages to find its way into your nutritious salads via the dressing. Read the labels to steer clear of this ingredient or concoct your own tasty salad dressing from oil, vinegar and spices to ensure you know exactly what you're consuming.
Not only are they packed with sugar, many different kinds of granola bars also contain surprising amounts of high fructose corn syrup.
For more foods with high fructose corn syrup, visit Divine Caroline.
26 March 2010 — Return to cover.