Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Family Diet Danger: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Trying to save money, food companies introduced High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) into the food market in the 1970s. Sweetening manufactured foods this way is profitable, because it is less expensive and much sweeter than sugar, yet easy to transport because of its liquid state. Today HFCS is found in a variety of foods from soda pop to ketchup, fruit drinks to salad dressings, cereals, breads, flavored yogurt, and sauces.

Fructose should not be eliminated from your diet. It is primarily found in fruits, which provide a wealth of nutritional benefits for your family. Fructose found in fruits is fine! However, are we setting up our bodies for damage by constantly feeding it foods that have been filled with sucrose (fructose and glucose) and heavily loaded with HFCS, which is approximately one-half fructose?

A recent study conducted by the University of Cincinnati says yes. Mice freely consumed either water, fructose-sweetened water, or soft drinks. The researchers found increased body fat in the mice that drank the fructose-sweetened water and soft drinks--even though these animals decreased the amount of calories they ate from solid foods.

Another soda study conducted on humans suggests that HFCS does not provide the body with a sense of fullness. This may cause an increase in excess calorie intake, leading to weight gain.

Whenever possible, avoid food products that contain HFCS and refined table sugar. These foods often have little--if any--nutritional value. Start by:
  • taking inventory of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Start reading the fool labels. If HFCS is one of the main ingredients (which are listed in descending order on the food label), scratch it off your grocery list--permanently.
  • limiting foods that have "sugar" as one of the first ingredients.
  • shopping around the perimeter of your grocery store; this is where you will find the foods in their natural, unprocessed state.

Source: SparkPeople

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