When last we left our intrepid hero, she was ensuring that the last of her High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) containing items had been removed from the hacienda.
Now thankfully since I've been eating healthy for a good number of years now, the amount of HFCS in my house is minimal. Now odds are good you've been reading the news and watching tv over the last few years. You are aware that HFCS is a bit of a lightening rod food for folks. In some circles it's being touted as the food of the Devil! On the other hand you have the good folks with the Corn Lobby who insist that HFCS is a natural sweetener. Who's right? The answer is both of them.
First things first, high fructose corn syrup is indeed made from a naturally occurring product- corn. Said corn is taken through a series of steps in a factory setting. Those steps include, milling the corn, separating out the starch from other solids, adding naturally occurring enzymes, and finally filtration.
You can safely say that HFCS is made from naturally occurring ingredients, but is not something found in nature.
Now the research is still in progress about just how much of a negative impact HFCS makes on the human body. The picture is not clear yet that this particular form of sugar is worse for you then other forms of sugar. By that I mean there are not multiple, peer reviewed studies that clearly demonstrate a causal link. What can be stated is that HFCS is a wide spread source of additional sugar in many foods. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and a source of calories. Ingesting too many calories without enough exercise leads to growing waistlines.
For people looking to improve diet, cutting extra sugars is a great way to do just that. HFCS is also a product that was not on great gramma's shelf. (It was invented in 1957). So if you are looking to shift away from highly processed foods, looking for HFCS is a great way to do that too.
On face that seems easy yes? Did you take a look at your fridge for HFCS containing items?
Things you may have found-
Skinny Cow Ice Cream bars
Special K cereal
Smuckers Grape Jelly
Clausen Pickle Relish
Ben and Jerry's ice cream
That's just a couple of the items you may find in your fridge. We won't even go into your sodas, assorted kinds of kid food, and salad dressings.
You've got a pile of stealth calories in those foods, several which masquerade as healthy food. No go. Just because a product is natural, that doesn't make it healthy. Remember, arsenic occurs in nature too. Not sure that's on my good eats list.
Again, the research is still out on HFCS being the tool of the devil. At a minimum, for someone trying to eat healthy and lose weight you do not need those added sugars.