High Fructose Corn Syrup and Me

HFCS is thought to be a “baddie” among those trying to lose weight, but it wasn’t until I consciously cut out HFCS that I realized why this compound is so devastatingly harmful for my weight (gains).

high fructose corn syrup

OK – there is no strong scientific data proving these compounds (a varying percentage of fructose linked with other sugars) cause obesity, but there is evidence that HCFS is metabolized quickly to fat and stored in the liver, which could influence cholesterol and insulin metabolism (among who knows what else) and thus result in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

I quit drinking regular soft drinks eons ago (a huge source of HCFS in the American diet), but even as I yo-yo’d along the past almost 20 years, I realized the strong association between sweets and my binging. (Yes, I’m an emotional eater too, but bear with me.) During the last 4 months of eating healthier, I have lost all desire to binge – except the few times when I used protein bars to substitute as quick meals. Looking at the ingredients of these nutritionally “balanced” bars what did I find as the sweetener but HCFS. Hmmmm. I also noted in my record keeping that I always ended up eating 2 of my favorite “lite” yogurts, which contained – yep, HCFS. So, I changed to Brown Cow low fat yogurt – a creamy but higher calorie fruity yogurt that uses cane sugar. Guess what – totally filling after 6 oz.

My scientific training makes me cautious of anecdotal stories – but evidence comes from the highest quality data available combined with accumulated experience. For me, I’m going with cutting out HCFS.  Here is one link that I use as a quick reference for foods that do not use HCFS. You will be amazed at how many “natural” and “healthy” and “diet” foods incorporate this super sweet perfectly unnatural compound.

And, I won’t even getting into the economics and politics of corn subsidies…

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2 thoughts on “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Me

  1. Kicking the soda habit was one of my big steps, too. I used to drink 3 or 4 Cokes a day, including one for breakfast. I haven’t tried Brown Cow yogurt — my grocery store doesn’t have it, but I know one a bit farther away that does, and I’ll try it. Thank you! My current challenge is finding a quick (2 minute) breakfast. (We’re about the same age, have many of the same troubles, and I’m also a writer. Maybe it’s all the sitting down and thinking….) Good luck!

  2. My current breakfast is Brown Cow yogurt (low fat) mixed with a serving of Kashi Autumn Wheat. That adds up to 340 kcal. Sometimes I also will eat a hard boiled egg if feel the need for more protein. Breakfast is such a chore for me…

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