Wednesday, July 4, 2007


HFCS = High Fructose Corn Syrup

This probably is a familiar ingredient to you since its in so many of our foods. I think it flew under my radar for so long because it doesnt sound that bad. You can pronounce each word and it has "corn" which is a vegetable and "fructose" which we associate with fruit.

Unfortunately HFCS is another hidden ingredient that is VERY unhealthy. You can read how it is made HERE if you want the scientific explanation - but here is a recap: they process corn starch to yeild glucose. It is processed by using 3 enzymes - 2 of which are genetically engineered. It is a complicated process involving fungus and chemicals - yuck!

HFCS has the same sweetness as sucrose from cane or beet sugar but even though it is much more complicated to make, it is cheaper than sugar. The article says that only 4 companies control 85% of this 2 billion dolllar industry. They are making a fortunte because HFCS is in tons of our food - ketchup, marinades, salad dressing, fruit juice, bacon, beer, ice cream, BREAD, and even a lot of "health food".

In the article linked above they mention an experiment with rats - the livers of those fed HFCS "looked like the livers of alcoholics" and the female rats could not produce live young. Eek!

We should avoid fruit juices anyways because water is the healthiest choice but especially avoid those loaded with HFCS. Next time you need to restock on ketchup or BBQ sauce or whatever, check the labels to find one without HFCS. I was unable to find any BBQ sauce without it at Target (grrrr!) but the organic ketchup we buy doesnt have it. Also if you buy powdered marinades in a packet and mix then yourself you can avoid HFCS. Same with salad dressing.

Whether its worse than white sugar or not, we can preserve the health of our families but avoiding both in our regular diets. :)

more about the effects of HFCS on our health

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