Blog has moved, searching new blog...

Friday, November 6, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Guilty or Innocent?

I'm continuing my discussion of sugar today with the bad boy of sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup. Several early studies linked America's rapidly increasing obesity problem to our equally rapid rise in the consumption of high fructose corn syrup since the 1970's. But does it deserve this bad reputation? The question isn't easily answered as research has shown mixed results.

While high fructose corn syrup is made from corn, it has none of the nutritional value of eating an ear of corn. The industries' claims that it has no artificial ingredients may or may not be true depending on where it is manufactured. Another industry claim is that it is fine to eat in moderation but because high fructose corn syrup appears in so many foods, it can be hard to watch how much you consume.

High fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar and extends the shelf life of processed foods leading to the rise in its use. Many foods containing high fructose corn syrup are high in calories but low in nutrition, making them poor food choices. It is found in breads, soups, sodas, yogurt, snack food and fruit drinks to name a few.

Once again, I recommend cutting back on sugar and processed foods like snack cakes and sodas in general. Your daily diet should consist of whole fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Reading food labels and understanding what you are reading is key to better nutrition and better health. I like to distinguish between "treats" like snack cakes or cookies and "snacks" like fruit or cheese. A snack is part of a healthy diet while treats are to be eaten once in awhile.

Do some research online and read some food labels. Then make better choices. I hope the weather is nice where you live and you can get some fresh air and exercise this weekend.