High Fructose Corn Syrup will kill you

by - Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I was at the grocery store yesterday picking up the things I needed for the upcoming week. I was heading down the canned fruit aisle to pick up some applesauce because I have been on a huge kick lately, and saw it was on sale.

I grabbed the "Original" off the shelf and flipped it over to check the ingredients.

Then I had a WTF moment.

Ingredient number two: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

What the heck? Apple sauce is supposed to be mushed up apples and not much else. (mmm I just made that sound so appetizing)

So I put that one back on the shelf and look up higher to find one that is labeled "Unsweetened." I flip that one over to check out the ingredients and it's just apples and water. Now that's what I'm talking about.

But here's my question. Why is the Original applesauce full of nasty high fructose corn syrup? Don't people know that stuff will kill you. (Thanks to a co-worker for sharing the link to the study from Princeton.)

Study overview:

  • Rats that consumed HFCS instead of sucrose (table sugar) gained significantly more weight even when calories were equal.
  • Rats that consumed half the concentration of HFCS that is found in a soda gained more weight than rats who consumed the same concentration of sucrose found in a soda.
  • HFCS caused abnormal increases in body fat especially around the abdomen
  • HFCS increased triglycerides in the blood.

It's this part of the study that really hits home though:

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

It seems to me that the unaltered, more natural version of a product should be labeled Original and the yucked-up high fructose corn syrup version should be slapped with a big label that says "Sweetened" or "Contains HFCS" or maybe just a blatant "This product will make you fat and contribute to your early demise."

What do you think? Am I overreacting to this study or do we as a country seriously need to lay off the HFCS?

(Photo source)

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