high fructose corn syrup “in moderation”

Have you seen this commercial promoting high fructose corn syrup? What about this one?

The gist? High fructose corn syrup is “fine in moderation.”

Considering that high fructose corn syrup is in so many products, consuming it “in moderation” requires some serious learning and consistent effort. I’m not sure if it’s even possible for me to eliminate it from our diet. But I can reduce our intake. Our pantry and fridge probably hold WAY more HFCS than I realize. But I’m learning. Reading labels. Comparing products. Changing products. Changing brands. One product at a time. This is one job I don’t think I will EVER “finish.”

Seriously. And who paid for those commercials? Who thinks we are all stupid? Who thinks there is not an answer to the question:

“What do THEY say about high fructose corn syrup?”

There are many people who would NOT be reduced to dumbfounded babbling if they were asked about high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup in general. Like THIS mom. And THIS guy:

“In the past, fructose was considered beneficial to diabetics because it is absorbed only 40 percent as quickly as glucose and causes only a modest rise in blood sugar.5 However, research on other hormonal factors suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.” (click here to read his entire article)

I believe that sugar is bad for me. I believe that high fructose corn syrup is worse. I used to consume many more foods made with high fructose corn syrup than I do now, but not intentionally. I was completely uninformed. Then I began learning more about it. Now, I’m taking active steps to minimize the amount of high fructose corn syrup in my diet, and my family’s diet. Whenever I have a food alternative which does not contain HFCS, I choose it. It’s usually more expensive. But the last thing PinkGirl needs is a CapriSun.

Water is first, but when we do give her juice, it’s Juicy Juice. We put One Carb Ketchup on her Oscar Mayer hot dog, tucked in her Snuggles hot dog bun. FavoriteSon’s PB&J is made with Smart Balance peanut butter and Smucker’s Sugar Free preserves, on Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat bread. (Not all Nature’s Own breads are free from HFCS, check the labels.) Little changes move us a little closer to that “in moderation” goal. I’m sure we all still consume a lot of HFCS, but we’re working on it. PinkGirl had cotton candy at a Magic game Friday night and I didn’t freak out. FavoriteSon had a Gatorade after football practice a few days ago. No freaking out. He prefers Smart Water anyway. FavoriteSon is starting to make his own food choices, so we’ll have to wait and see how much of all this is is sinking in.

(I’ve only listed a few of our HFCS Free family favorites, we’ve found more. But we’re always on the lookout, so if you know of any products which are HFCS FREE, please share!)

So, I’m learning. I’m making changes. I’m NOT, however, belittling anyone for consuming HFCS or giving it their kids. Ask me what I think about high fructose corn syrup and I’ll talk, but I will not initiate the conversation by saying to you:

“Wow. You don’t care what the kids eat, huh?”

Who is that obnoxious?

Learning about HFCS Works for Me. I’m not going to stop. And I’m not going to babble like an idiot if someone asks me what “they” say about HFCS. I may not know everything about it, but I know more today than I did a few months ago. Changing the contents of my grocery cart Works for Me too. I just need to remember to bring my reading glasses to the grocery store with me. So, Corn Refiners Association? Sell it walking. I’m learning here.

I spent some time yesterday researching and learning more about HFCS. In all my previous reading and learning, I had not heard about the documentary, “King Corn” Very informative. And not boring.

A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 1

A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 2

A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 3

And this series by Peter Jennings “How to Get Fat Without Even Trying” provides a lot of food for thought as well.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Want to learn more from lots of different people? Click on over to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

11 thoughts on “high fructose corn syrup “in moderation”

  1. I never realized how sodium laden everything was until I started this blood pressure lowering cleanse.

    Brad’s dad is a doctor and teaches a course about weight loss, he himself used to be obese. The first thing he always tells people to do is to eliminate HFCS.

    Memarie – ahh. sodium. my nemesis. One night of sushi with soy sauce and the next day I have tiny little eyes and my wedding rings are way too small. A gallon of water and two trips into the sauna and I’m on my way back to my normal self. Too bad we can’t purge HFCS like excess water. (by JSM)

  2. Isn’t that movie amazing?! My husband and I watched it in fascinated horror. We’ve mostly cleaned out the HFCS from the house, but who knows what’s in restaurant food? My boys don’t get vending machine treats or soda, so that’s an easy one, but there’s stuff out there I can’t control. At least we’re trying.

    My 8 year old’s teacher always starts the year with a lesson on nutrition (translation: what not to pack in your lunch), and she likes to get kids to label-read. One of the big things she pointed out to the kids this year was HFCS and its link to diabetes. I’m glad people are finally talking about this.

    Tari – Try is the best we can all do. There’s too much HFCS out there for me to say I’m “eliminating” it from our diet 100% of the time. I make my kids read labels too. When they want something at the grocery store, I ask them, “Is either one of them in there?” Either one would be HFCS or . . . (don’t get me started) partially hydrogenated . . .

    I don’t have the King Corn movie, but from these you tube interviews, I want to get see the entire thing! (by JSM)

  3. As always, you are quite informative. Those HCFS commercials have bothered me. The “in moderation” point is only helpful to someone who can understand and truly practice “moderation”. Vigilance is required with that type of moderation. We’re paying closer attention to it in our house as well–and not freaking out over the occasional Blow Pop.

    Elle – And we trick or treat! The funny thing is, the kids eat candy the night they get it, but then they each put it in a gallon zip lock bag and, for the most part, forget about it. We throw away Halloween candy at Christmas, Christmas candy at Valentines, Valentines candy at Easter and then the Easter candy gets tossed at Halloween. It’s a waste, but the truth is, I’d rather see all that candy go into the trash than into my kids, so it works out well. (by JSM)

  4. In moderation – it’s the way it’s said in the commercial with THAT tone. Well, the whole tone of all of those commercials is just ridiculous.

    I have been changing my diet for the past 10 years. My mother claims I am the queen of cutting things out of my diet – no wheat is my new thing. But I have found that for each thing I have cut out of my diet I have felt better! I didn’t do enough though as I just found out two weeks ago that I have diabetes. Soooo, I’m now reading the labels again armed with new things to look into.

    Julie, I just love how informed you are. Thanks so much for sharing this information with your faithful readers 🙂 I know that I appreciate all the work you put into these informative posts. (not to mention the marriage saving Underwear Principle)


  5. Those commercials are ridiculous. My husband and and I watched in disbelief the first time we saw one. They just make no sense. I would also like to know who in world is paying for those commercials.

  6. I don’t know if you can get Jones Soda in FL, but all their sodas are made with cane sugar, not HFCS. The root beer is especially good!

  7. A great alternative to Capri Sun, but still in an easy-to-pack-pouch is Minute Maid’s Fruit Falls. They’re made with just water and a little fruit juice for flavor. My kids love them and no HFCS!

  8. Hi, my name is Liz and I work for the Corn Refiner’s Association. I wanted to share some information about High Fructose Corn Syrup.

    High fructose corn syrup, like table sugar and honey, is composed of fructose and glucose, which are found in many naturally-occurring fruits, vegetables and nuts. And high fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as sugar and honey – 4 per gram.

    For the most part, you’ll find high fructose corn syrup in the same kinds of products in which you would find sugar or other sweeteners. At the same time, corn sweeteners offer some unique functional benefits that help companies offer more choices in food products. High fructose corn syrup keeps foods fresh, enhances fruit and spice flavors, retains moisture in bran cereals, helps keep breakfast and energy bars moist, maintains consistent flavors in beverages, and keeps ingredients evenly dispersed in condiments.

    Price may have prompted manufacturers to switch from sugar to high fructose corn syrup 30 years ago, but it is no longer a primary factor, since high fructose corn syrup has specific and unique functional qualities not shared by sugar. In addition, the price of corn is rising substantially due to demand.

    There’s a lot of solid research and information at www dot Sweet (Sneaky) Surprise dot com and www dot HFCS (Twisted) Facts dot com. Thank you for your consideration.

    Read Liz’s comment – and my response – in the post entitled, “a response to Ms. CornRefiner’s comment.” (By JSM)

  9. We switched to Polaner All-fruit jam; it’s sweetened only with fruit juices and is pretty tasty! :o) We’re trying to avoid artificial sweeteners, too, and man it’s getting tougher and tougher to find anything without them or HFCS. *sigh*

  10. If you live near a Food Lion, their store brands of low-fat mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce don’t have HFCS.

    If you live near a Harris-Teeter, their store brands of dill pickles, hummus, and pancake syrup don’t have HFCS.

    All Trader Joe’s store brands (but not every brand in the store) are free from HFCS.

    Earth Fare and Whole Foods tend to be more expensive, but they do not stock foods made with HFCS (or trans fats, for that matter).

    Amelia – Wow! Thanks for the links on your blog! I’m always glad when someone “gets” my sense of humor and doesn’t just think I’m just mean.

    Thanks for the visit and the comments, too – We don’t have a Food Lion or a Harris-Teeter, but Trader Joe’s sounds familiar – I’ll look for it. We have a Whole Foods and another local Whole Foods type store, but you’re right, they can be more expensive, so I’m always on the look out for good HFCS free products. (by JSM)

  11. I was watching the Peter Jennings videos, but it is a 5-part series, and you don’t have the link to part 5 of 5. Do you know where I can find it?

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