High Fructose Corn Syrup = Bad
So…you might have heard that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you. And it is. But do you know why? I hope to clear that up for you today.
But even more importantly, a new study came out this week with yet ANOTHER reason to avoid high fructose corn syrup…it contains mercury! Mercury is a toxic metal that can exist as a pure element or in a variety of inorganic and organic forms and can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with autism (autism.com).
Minneapolis – Mercury was found in nearly 50 percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to a new article published today in the scientific journal, Environmental Health. A separate study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brandname food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient-including products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.
HFCS use has skyrocketed in recent decades as the sweetener has replaced sugar in many processed foods. HFCS is found in sweetened beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS. Consumption by teenagers and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels.
Read that last line. This is truly disturbing to me. And I know it’s true…I’ve seen how much Mountain Dew my brother drinks. And the stat about an “average” American consuming 12 teaspoons a day? Blech.
Oooh but Sara! I just saw a commercial that said it’s not bad for me! It’s just like honey! Oh my friends…don’t believe those insane commercials paid for by the Corn Refiners of America (aka…the people that profit from HFCS sales)…their claims are downright lies in my opinion. If you haven’t seen it, here you go:
My favorite part is when they say it’s “fine in moderation”…which is a very trendy thing to say these days. However, if you are eating the standard American diet, you are getting much more than “moderation” with your HFCS intake. It’s in EVERYTHING. It’s in your bread. Your vitamins. Your ketchup. Your cereal. Your energy bars. Your “natural” strawberry jelly. (FYI…the word “natural” is not regulated). Your canned goods. And pretty much everything you’re feeding your kids…which is even more disturbing now that they’ve tested it for mercury.
Oh, and my other favorite part of the commericals? When the moms are talking about HFCS being so safe, and then they are giving their kids red juice on top of it. Red #40 is my arch enemy 🙂 Stay away from it mamas! Bella doesn’t have a strong reaction to it like some children do…but just the fact that red dye #40 has been banned for use in children’s products in some countries, yet it has been allowed as “safe” for use here in America is not very comforting. I choose to avoid it whenever possible. Here is a little article about why women should avoid it as well.
Anywhoo…this is the end of my rant. But please, please be aware of what you are putting into your bodies (and into your little one’s bodies). Sometimes, it’s unavoidable…when you’re at a restaurant and you can’t be sure of what is in everything…but you do have a choice when you’re at home. I challenge you to go through your cupboards and your fridge and get rid of everything that has it. Eat clean and your body will thank you for it!