Did you know that a fatty liver is the most common disease in America today? A fatty liver affects nearly 90 million Americans and is often seen as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, dementia and virtually all forms of heart disease. Most of these diseases cited above are related to obesity, a preventable disease that is attributed to lack of exercise or physical activity as well as poor nutrition.
However, we can break down even further from there and blame one single food that many Americans are eating that they shouldnâ€™t: high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is sweeter and cheaper for food manufacturers to make and is found in pretty much every processed food and sugary drink on the market. In a sense, eliminating it from your diet is the single most effective thing you can do to improve your health.
The Problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup
The average person now consumes about half a pound of sugar every single day, most of that sugar being high fructose corn syrup. Sugar consumed in these high doses is not only unhealthy, it is also a toxin in your body. Although HFCS is comprised in part of normal foods corn and water, it is also made up of a bunch of very strange ingredients like sulfuric acid, alpha-amylase, glucoamylase, and glucose isomerase. Sulfuric acid, an ingredient you may have heard of (although not in food) is a corrosive chemical that is also found in car battery acid and household items like toilet bowl cleaner.
Not only are the ingredients like sulfuric acid bad for your body, the syrup itself interferes with the bodyâ€™s metabolism. High fructose corn syrup slows down the secretion of leptin, a hormone that tells you that youâ€™re full, so it actually is like an addictive food item that makes us hungrier.
The list of unhealthy ingredients and effects goes on and on. One study found that most foods that had HFCS as the first or second ingredient also had traces of mercury, a metal that has been shown to cause damage to the brain and kidneys.
Common Foods that Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is in more food than you likely think. In addition to being in soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi, the sweetener is also in the following:
- BBQ sauces
- English muffins
- Cough syrups
- Dairy products like whip cream, ice cream and some yogurts
- Some juices
- Jams, jellies and syrups
- Salad dressings
- Some breads
- Breakfast and snack bars
- Processed snacks
In all, there is said to be over 50,000 food items that contain this unhealthy ingredient. Here is a link a page that has an itemized list of specific products that contain high fructose corn syrup.
What to Do to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is so many household products it may completely surprise you. Given the research that says this sweetener is highly correlated to obesity and heart diseases, places chemicals in your body that are harmful, and confuses your bodyâ€™s ability to know when itâ€™s full, weâ€™d advise that it is time to stop eating this harmful ingredient.
Hereâ€™s where to start:
Go through your refrigerator, pantry and any other food supply and carefully look for mentions of HFCS in the ingredients list. When you see these foods make sure to simply toss them out or completely avoid buying them in the future. Most Certified Organic foods donâ€™t contain HFCS but foods labeled â€œnaturalâ€ still might.
If you are still concerned about how to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from your diet and that of your family, consider enrolling in the Good Eats Meal Planning program brought to you in conjunction with Big Alâ€™s Family Fitness. This affordable meal plan ensures that you eat right, avoid fatty foods like corn syrup, and provides coaching so that you can incorporate physical fitness into your life. Life is stressful enough, the foods that we eat shouldnâ€™t contribute to that stress. Learn more about the Good Eats Program today by calling Big Alâ€™s and asking about the 3-meal a day plan for just $99.