If you eat food that comes in a package, chances are you’re eating high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s that prevalent. Reducing your intake of HFCS is smart; it has more than a few links to the obesity epidemic. And, no, not all sugars are alike, especially when it comes to weight gain; according to a Princeton University research team, rats with access to high fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
Beyond weight, there are other reasons HFCS isn’t great. It comes from corn so isn’t technically artificial, but it is so processed it’s also not technically natural. Conventional corn is one of the most genetically modified conventional crops, and mercury, a toxic production by-product has been found in many samples of HFCS and the products that contain it. Because HFCS is cheaper than other sweeteners and used as a preservative, it lurks everywhere from sodas to cereals to snack bars you might otherwise consider healthy.
Do a quick audit of your own cabinets to see what you have that contains high fructose corn syrup—you may be surprised at what you find.
Read the ingredient lists for what’s in your kitchen, especially items you buy regularly like juice, cereal, and even sliced bread.
Replace the items containing HFCS with ones that don’t.
Organic corn syrup is made with non-GM corn and processed without chemicals, additives, or artificial flavors. But it’s still corn syrup.