High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is a corn based sweetener commonly found in sodas and processed and packaged foods. Food manufacturers prefer high fructose corn syrup to table sugar because of its low cost and long shelf life. The effects high fructose corn syrup could have on our bodies has incited ongoing controversy in various areas of research. However, most studies have found that high fructose corn syrup is not associated with an increased risk of obesity. At this time, there is insufficient evidence that high fructose corn syrup is any less healthy than other types of sweeteners. In fact, high fructose corn syrup is not any sweeter than sugar or honey—all contain the same number of calories (4 calories/gram).
The issue is sugar in general. Sugars from all sources have become so prevalent in the foods we eat without us even realizing it. Salsa, tomato sauce, bacon, and salad dressing are just a few examples of foods we consume that might have added sugars. This is why it is so important to look at food labels and read the ingredient list. Some foods are naturally sweetened; however, if there is any form of sugar in the ingredients, there are added sugars present. Too much added sugar of any kind can contribute to unwanted calories that are linked to weight gain.
I personally experienced this first hand when I did a 21-day sugar detox two years ago. My eyes were opened to the many sugars I had been consuming without ever realizing it! I have definitely been more conscious about the products I purchase at the grocery store, and I always check the food label for added sugars before deciding what I buy. So my challenge to you is, turn over that box, jar, or can next time and look at the ingredients of foods you are eating. This can help you make better buying decisions when you are grocery shopping and can help you be more aware of what you are consuming. Also, be cautious of the all the different types of sugar—believe me there are lots of names for sugar! For a list of different types of sugar please visit http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/different-names-for-sugar.