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Tag: high fructose corn syrup

Hidden Places Where GMOs Lurk

Here are a few places where you might not think you’d find Genetically Modified ingredients, so be aware.

Breakfast cereals. Almost all of the corn and soy crops in the USA are now GMOs; unless your cereal sports the Non-GMO Project or Certified Organic seals, be certain that, by default, they contain GMO corn or soy.

Soda pop. If it contains high fructose corn syrup, you can bet it’s full of concentrated modified/mutated DNA. I’m pretty sure that there is not a GMO-free version of high fructose corn syrup, but let me know if I’m mistaken.

Chewing gum. If it contains Aspartame, it contains GMOs. Same goes for Diet sodas.

Chicken. Yep, those chicken nuggets, chicken fajitas, chicken sandwiches, chicken burritos… Even that plain grilled chicken breast on rice served at the luncheon and that roasted half-breast-and-leg portion offered at some fancy restaurants. All of that comes from chickens fed a feed made up of corn and soy. Yep, you guessed, it: unless it’s specifically labeled as Organic of GMO-free, it’s most assuredly chock-full of GMOs. So the chickens eat the feed and now they incorporate the GMOs into their flesh.

Eggs. See above. Always choose organic eggs.

Beef. Cows, too, are fed a feed made of GMO corn and GMO soy. The mutated DNA remains in the meat of the animal, which means that your hamburger is likely brimming with tinkered DNA.

Milk. See above. Studies have shown that GMOs pass into the flesh, milk, and eggs of animals fed GMO-contaminated feed. This goes for non-organic yogurts, too.

The Definitive Word on Fructose

Fructose makes you fat.

Don’t be fooled: fructose does not come from fruit. It is made in a laboratory out of corn, beets, and sugar cane and is added to packaged foods to make them sweeter.

You might have been under the impression that fructose was a healthier sweetener than, say, Aspartame or high fructose corn syrup (made of corn syrup with added fructose), or even better than plain cane sugar. You were fooled.

Don’t blame yourself! Fructose shows up on labels of foods you might have thought were healthier alternatives, like flavored waters or energy bars, giving the impression that it’s a healthier alternative to sugar.

It’s not.

A recent study out of Yale using MRI technology found that fructose inhibited the brain from switching off the appetite, leading to overeating. In contrast glucose, as found in complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, will turn off hunger when appropriate levels are reached.

Start reading the labels of your foods and you might be surprised everywhere high fructose corn syrup or just plain fructose shows up. And we wonder why we have an obesity epidemic here.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Shows Up In the Most Surprising Places

After reading the label on a package of cocktail nuts they were snacking on in the office, the Huffington Post staff were surprised to find high fructose corn syrup as one of the main ingredients in what they had believed to be a healthy snack food sweetened with honey. This discovery prompted them to look for corn syrup in other surprising places. Some of these corn-syrup-containing products might surprise you:high fructose corn syrup

  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
  • Yogurts
  • Bread
  • Cereal bars
  • Frozen pizza
  • Cocktail nuts
  • Tonic water
  • Salad dressing
  • Canned fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Ketchup
  • Jams and jellies

Let me add a couple more to the list that have shocked me when I read the labels and discovered high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient:

  • Bread crumbs
  • Prepared frosting
  • Cake mix
  • Pickles
  • Peanut butter
  • Coffee creamer
  • “healthy” cereals
  • margarine
  • chocolate bars
  • “maple flavored” pancake syrup

Why should you care if you eat so much corn syrup, high fructose or otherwise? Tune in tomorrow…

Blue Sky Natural Soda Pop

I’m not a regular soda pop drinker by any means. In fact, in January when Dr. Oz suggested on Oprah that a simple way for people to start losing weight was to stop drinking soda pop, I scoffed. Do people really drink that much soda pop that simply cutting it out could cause weight loss?

Apparently so. We Americans love our soda pop.

Two weeks later, callers left testimonials for Oprah. “I’ve already lost 14 lbs.!” one caller reported excitedly. Others had similar stories.

I started to pay more attention to the soda drinkers around me and realized that some people start drinking soda pop first thing in the morning, instead of or right after coffee, and continue all day long. I counted more than three people I know who nurture a 6-pack-of-Diet Coke-a-day habit. I watched a 20/20 special on Appalacian Mouth, the high incidence of rotting teeth in Applacia due to high consumption of Mountain Dew.


Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy a good soda pop now and then myself. But there’s a lot of stuff in mainstream soda pop I don’t enjoy: high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and caffeine, not to mention other synthetic sweeteners like Aspertame in the diet or low-cal versions.

So I was excited to see Blue Sky soda
on sale recently at our local Vitamin Cottage natural grocery store. When I lived in Santa Fe in the early 90s, Blue Sky was the little local company; now you may find Blue Sky sodas almost anywhere that carries natural products.

High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Sugar

The Corn Refiners Association would like us to believe that ingesting high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is as natural for the body as eating an ear of corn. They even snail-mailed me a whole package filled with convincingly-assembled literature after I wrote a post critical of HFCS, not to mention their slick television campaign showing teenagers drinking sodas and talking about how “natural” HFCS is.

Luckily, we, the purchasing public, are not so easily fooled.

High fructose corn syrup is the result of a highly complex chemical process conducted in a laboratory — this stuff does not occur naturally on our planet, it has to be synthesized. Just knowing this should be setting off warning bells.

If you read Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, you know that we overproduce corn in this country, and in an effort to help our farmers add value to the US corn crop the University of Iowa developed a host of corn byproducts, including HFCS.

A sample of products made with high fructose corn syrup
A sample of products made with high fructose corn syrup

HFCS exploded on the market in the early 1980s because it was cheaper than sugar and had a longer shelf-life. Coincidentally, the obesity epidemic in this country really began to build around this time (it really exploded in the 1990s). In the last twenty years, HFCS has captured 56% of the sweetener marketplace. Hmmmm…. Could there be a connection?

There have been enough complaints stirred up about high fructose corn syrup in products that some companies are responding to customer demand by switching to real cane or beet sugar, including Snapple, Ocean Spray, Log Cabin Syrup, and some Pepsi products.

Is it better to ingest products made with sugar than those made with HFCS? In a word: Yes.

And no.

While sugar will be metabolized much better than HFCS, it can still carry a glycemic load and can spike blood sugar levels and then send you crashing down afterward. The most preferable way to eat sugar is to have sweet things following a healthy meal, when the stomach has other foods in it to buffer the digestion. The least perferable way to eat sugar is on an empty stomach.

Most unfortunately, I did see recently that soon all of the sugar beets in this country will be genetically modified beets. Sigh.

When I purchase sugar to use at home, I choose raw, unbleached, organic cane sugar.