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Diet Buster: Watch Out for High Fructose Corn Syrup

Updated on December 26, 2007
Check the ingredient label!
Check the ingredient label!

Sometimes I think that the food processing industry must use more high fructose corn syrup than any other ingredient. When you get in the habit of reading product labels, you'll notice high fructose corn syrup turning up in all kids of foods that you would never expect.

I did a little bit of research about why this ingredient is so commonly used, and the only explanation I can find is that can be significantly less expensive for food manufacturers to sweeten processed foods with high fructose corn syrup. However, some of the foods that contain this product aren't even sweet. Many others include refined sugar and other sweeteners in addition to high fructose corn syrup.

Regardless of the reason a product contains high fructose corn syrup, it's a fact that this ingredient can add empty, often unnecessary, calories to the foods we consume. When dieting, it's important to make sure that the foods you eat provide the greatest nutritional benefits with the fewest number of calories. Whether you're trying to shed excess pounds or just want to maintain a healthy body weight, one has to question the wisdom of eating foods full of empty calories.

Some researchers say that eating products high in this ingredient actually contributes to overeating, because fructose consumption doesn't trigger the brain to realize it's full. Others say that this ingredient contributes to increased body fat. Some people even argue that high fructose corn syrup, along with its prevalence in the foods we eat, is the primary reason for the current obesity epidemic in the United States.

Following a healthy diet involves making smart decisions about the foods that you choose to put in your body. It's important to check the ingredient labels of the processed food products that you purchase so that you understand exactly what you are putting into your body. Many people are surprised to find out what types of artificial ingredients go into foods that seem like they would be healthy choices at first glance.

Reducing your consumption of foods that contain high levels of high fructose corn syrup can contribute to healthy weight loss. Better yet, stick with whole foods that don't contain chemically altered ingredients. When you want to make sure that your diet is as healthy and diet-friendly as possible, it's certainly in your best interest to build your diet around healthy, whole foods that that are naturally rich in the nutrients that your body needs.

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  • Sally Dillon profile image

    Sally Dillon 

    10 years ago from Pacific Northwest

    THANK YOU! Great article. The over-use of High Fructose Corn Syrup is indeed a prevalent problem and research does indicate that it CAUSES obesity and even diabetes. High fructose corn syrup is another form of white sugar. It dissolves easily, it's cheap, and it's about as sweet as sugar. However, regular, unadulterated corn syrup is not a health problem - it is essentially another form of pure dextrose, which is another form of glucose - the form of sugar our brain requires in order to function! We get glucose from rice, corn, and other grains. All sugars are damaging to our bodies, however, glucose or dextrose is the least damaging. Fructose, lactose, galactose, etc., are the baddies. Just like there are good fats (polyunsaturated) and bad fats (trans and saturated) - there are okay sugars and BAD sugars. Contrary to what the health food stores would have you think, fructose is a BAD sugar and that is WHY high fructose corn syrup is a baddie. I don't have time right now, but one of these days I'll back it up with research references.

  • mgwhite profile imageAUTHOR

    Mary White 

    10 years ago from Mobile, AL

    Yes, it is actually shocking to me to see how many products actually have this ingredient. Even things that aren't sweet seem to be full of it!

  • arrow sheds profile image

    arrow sheds 

    10 years ago

    I saw a show on the Discovery Channel about sugar and corn syrup. I seem to remember that the corn syrup is indeed used by manufacturers because it is less expensive than a healthier alternative. Good Job!

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