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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 13, 2007

8 ‘Health’ Foods That Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup!

By Worker Bee
74 Comments

Yay diabetes!Busted! High fructose corn syrup is incredibly cheap, partly because the U.S. government artificially fixes sugar prices and partly because corn is heavily subsidized (not so much “free market” anymore as “free lunch”). Clearly, your federal government loves you and hopes you get obesity and diabetes really soon so you can take advantage of all the great medical care that we don’t have.

High fructose corn syrup is also terrible for you, and not even the most conservative of nutrition experts disagrees with that. While there are a few slightly more terrible liquids out there – lighter fluid, for example – it’s really a shame that the “foods” available to us are so commonly laced with HFCS. And it’s even worse that they’re often promoted as being suitable for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss! They may look very cute, but beneath the fiber sprinkles and happy labeling lurks the heart of darkness. Really.

corn syrup and obesity

These eight “health” food products all contain high fructose corn syrup:

– Yoplait Yogurt

Every variety of Yoplait contains HFCS! How much do you think it really costs The Premium Yogurt (aka Yoplait) to slap some ultra-pasteurized milk products, a dash of pectin, and a swig of sweetener into each pretty little personalized bucket de diabetes?

– Salad Dressings: Oh, the Love!

Most salad dressings contain corn syrup, but “lite” and “reduced calorie” versions are brimming with it. Prior to the no-fat craze, salad dressings were typically made with cheap, poor-quality corn oil. Now they’re made with cheap, poor-quality corn syrup. Dump them (as in break up with them, not dump them on your salads). Make your own dressings at home from cheeses, lemon juice, olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

– “Smart” Ice Cream Sandwiches

Many of the low-calorie ice cream treats are packed with upwards of 20 grams of this nutritionally deficient sweetener.

– Special K

It’s high time for cereals to stop proclaiming health benefits. Made from grains, gums and sugars, there’s nothing smart about cereal for breakfast, no matter how special it may be. Self-esteem for breakfast?

– Cereals with the Heart Healthy Claims

Many breakfast cereals are loaded with sugars and processed junk, but because they have a few grams of fiber or are low in fat (big deal), they are promoted as health foods. Just steer clear of the middle aisles, period.

– 100 Calorie Snack Packs

When was the last time anybody starved? We’re all in favor of portion control, but what’s in the package matters. You’re much better off eating 100 calories of almonds or sugar snap peas than some processed cookie confection. Although we know this might make a few friends a little cranky.

Thanks to Back in Skinny Jeans for exposing these sneaky sweets! (via one of our favorite fitness blogs: FitSugar)

Street cred: corn syrup research and how corn syrup is made

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42 Comments on "8 ‘Health’ Foods That Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup!"

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Crabby McSlacker
9 years 5 months ago

But Crabby is always Cranky! That’s her Job!

Actually, you can have those nasty snack-packs. Even I would rather have the almonds.

Just don’t mess with my cupcakes.

(But to be disagreeable (job description), that graph with obesity and corn syrup is not too convincing. It could just easily be a graph about obesity and Cell Phone Usage or obesity and Wearing of Crocs or Obesity and Celebrity Starlet Misbehavior. Lots of things have been increasing over time.) But I’ll go with Paris Hilton causes Obesity!

Jan Johnstone
Jan Johnstone
5 years 9 months ago

Wow, I have been having some health issues and elimanted soda. Realized that had high frutctose corns syrup in it. Ate some Oreos and had the same problem! They have high fructose corn syrup in them too. I am down to making my own cookies now! I know the common link is high fructose..I just have to not intake any of it!

grisly atoms
grisly atoms
1 year 2 months ago

Jan,

Did you really expect the Oreos to be healthy?

Donna
Donna
9 years 5 months ago

I’m anxious to see the movie “King Corn” whenever it’ll be available. That will be an eye opener. I hope everyone else will see it, also!

Sara
9 years 5 months ago

Crabby, you crack me up! And good point about the graph…association is not necessarily causation. Although it does give one pause…

I want to know who invented the cupcake. It’s just so…cute!

Bradford
Bradford
9 years 5 months ago
History of the Cupcake: In the first World War, soldiers were often sent out into the fields without confections. The prolonged lack of sweets led to battle fatigue, trench confusion, and sometimes rebellion as was the case with the mustard gassing of troupe 63. To remedy this, the army included a baker with each regiment. The baker would send troupes into battle with fully baked pound cakes or occasionally a buche de Noelle, but the cakes quickly became soggy, slopping a soldier’s gear and jamming his grenades. The army hired Hormel Industries under an independent contract to develop a canned… Read more »
Oxybeles
Oxybeles
9 years 5 months ago

Perhaps the saddest aspect is that corn syrup is categorized as “all natural.”

Yes, the US Government recognizes corn syrup as an “all natural” ingredient.

So the next time one buys that “all natural” food product, you may be getting corn syrup.

Sara
9 years 5 months ago

Reminds me of Crabby’s point last week that “natural” does not mean healthy! At this point even “lean” and “trans fat free” do not mean healthy.

Mark Sisson
9 years 5 months ago
Byron
Byron
9 years 5 months ago

Great list, but you forgot one of the main perps – bread. Yes, just about any kind of bread, including the various wheat breads, that see in a regular grocery store has HFCS as an ingredient. It pisses me off, I spent 30 minutes in the grocery store last night checking the ingredients of every type of bread on the shelf, and not one of them was free of either HFCS or ‘sugar’ (at least the latter used honest nomenclature).

Sara
9 years 5 months ago

Bread…hmm…people still eat that stuff?

phil
phil
9 years 5 months ago

I often times find myself sitting around the house, suffering from trench confusion. I’m glad I’m not the only one… even if every other documented case is almost 100 yrs. old.

dr. menlo
9 years 5 months ago

Add ‘Vitamin Water’ to the list. Propel, too. Yea, real healthy water there.

Kim
Kim
9 years 4 months ago

I am hearing mixed messages on the web about crystalline fructose (found in Vitamin water and several “organic” grocery items I buy) — is crystalline fructose as bad for one as HFCS?

Thanks in advance for you thoughts on this.

cheryl juhl
cheryl juhl
8 years 7 months ago

Hi

Is High fructose corn syrup used in making wine?

Kate M
8 years 4 months ago

great article!

Kate M
8 years 4 months ago

this was helpful in research i was doing for my own blog entry — thanks for highlighting the graph of hfcs/obesity in the US. perfect!

check this out http://veritashealth.blogspot.com.

susan
8 years 3 months ago

Its amazing how many food with no trans fats still have partially hydrogenated oils in them. Special K drives me nuts, esepcially with their starve yourself diet plan they advertise all the time!

Rachel
Rachel
8 years 1 month ago

Has anybody noticed that HFCS is one of the main ingredients in cough syrups too – stuff that’s supposed to help you get healthy while you’re sick. It really ticked me off seeing HFCS on the bottle of Dayquil that I had because the stuff just makes you sicker.

Pablo
Pablo
7 years 2 months ago

HFCS is a hoax…. I consume who knows how much HFCS in my lifetime (46 years) and I can still run a 5k in less than 20 minutes.

raven
7 years 14 days ago

this is an awesomr report you did!! It’s scary how much HFCS is in the things we eat on a daily bases!! Like i eat Yoplait Yogurt in the mornings! And thats it untill lunch! And half of the HFCS has freakin MURCURY in it!! i meen realy can u put anything more unhealthy in food!?

Esther Anders
Esther Anders
6 years 11 months ago
I know! This is ridiculous. I wanted to start eating even healthier, so I deiced a couple of months ago, instead of eating ice cream, low calorie brownies (that I made) and such, one of the items I would buy was Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Thinking, at least it’s better then other junk food, and I can eat it without feeling guilty. Then I read the label. Not only once, twice, or even three times, but SIX times did I see the words Corn Syrup, both high and not, on the label. What kind of skinny are they promoting?… Read more »
KINDELAN
6 years 7 months ago
The only answer is to ban processed foods, coke, pepsi, sugar, packaged food, etc., but of course this won’t happen because think of the professions that rely on the harm of these things: Medicine, drugs, industrial farms, chemical companies, nursing, nutritionists, O.B.’s, dentistry, business, soft drink producers, coffee companies, etc., and where would that leave the economy, in the tank where it belongs and a new economy would emerge with rules for behavior: No junk, no toxins, no chemicals, etc., and what would that do to the world populations? Chaos, death, confusion, and hopelessness to those addicted to junk food… Read more »
Jason
Jason
6 years 7 months ago

Sorry but a large part of this article is misleading. HFCS is depicted as some chemical or something that is “laced” in foods. Give me a scholarly article that has peer reviews that states HFCS is worse that sugar. The issue is sugar. It is not HFCS. HFCS is simply another form of sugar.
The fact that some companies market “sugar loaded” products as healthy, or they are depicted to promote weight loss is unethical and needs to be stopped.

Jeff
6 years 2 months ago

These ‘health’ foods are not very healthy, more like ‘relatively less bad’. Thinking about it, it’s quite sad that these are considered healthy by the general public.

tomx
tomx
6 years 2 months ago

all along some of the things we thought are beneficial to us happen to be detrimental.

herbal sexual enhancement

Brian
Brian
6 years 1 month ago

You can add Emergen-C to the list. Here’s an email where thier customer service denies it’s HFCS but it still comes from corn.

“The fructose in Emergen-C is purified fructose that is derived from corn; however, it is not high fructose corn syrup.”

Huh? Did I miss something?

Preston
Preston
5 years 11 months ago

“While there are a few slightly more terrible liquids out there – liter fluid, for example”

Liter fluid? A liter of what type of fluid? I know some people are afraid of the metric system, but just because fluids are measured using it, doesn’t make them dangerous. A liter of water is perfectly harmless. In fact, it is often quite beneficial. On the other had, a liter of lighter fluid would be rather detrimental.

Sarah
Sarah
5 years 11 months ago

I’m allergic to corn and it’s really obnoxious that so many foods are off limits to me because everything has corn syrup. I don’t know or care if its worse than sugar but aren’t any of you corn syrup advocates interested in what JAM or YOGURT or POTATO CHIPS or 90% OF WHATS IN YOUR CUPBOARDS *really* taste like? Being away from corn so long I can taste the corn in all your food and if you would get off the sugar a little bit you would experience a whole new world of flavor.

Jason
Jason
5 years 5 months ago
Okay. Here is the truth on HFCS, so pay attention. Chemically, HFCS has exactly the same chemical formula as sucrose (table sugar). Both substances are disaccharide molecules composed of fructose, the sugar which gives fruits their sweet taste, and glucose, the sugar that your body converts in glycolysis into ATP, the energy your cells use. Both substances are broken down by the body by the enzyme sucrase. The fructose in HFCS is made by enzymatic activity using the enzyme glucose isomerase. This converts glucose-6-phosphate into fructose-6-phosphate. This same chemical reaction occurs within our cells daily everytime the glycolytic pathway is… Read more »
debbie
debbie
5 years 5 months ago
Truth – seriously? Judging by your use of large words, but over simplistic explanation I’m guessing that you just took your first organic chemistry class? HFCS and sucrose may be made of the same 2 saccharides, but they are not in the same proportion. It is that variance in proportion that can lead to problems. The body processes glucose and fructose differently – one by the pancrease and one by the liver (you will learn this in advanced biology, along with the true causes of diabetes). Therefore, the body has to handle HFCS differently than sucrose. You are absolutely right… Read more »
Ruby
Ruby
5 years 4 months ago

“Jason” is a paid corn industry PR shill.

Lynn
Lynn
5 years 1 month ago

As someone who is allergic to corn, including corn sugar, or hfcs,here is a site that explains why hfcs is not like table sugar. simple chemistry. It is a resistant starch. I am hla-b27 positive and cannnot have corn in any venue, or other resitant type of starches. If we must put warnings on products for soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, corn should be added to the list. http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/carbohydrates1.html

Darlene
Darlene
5 years 5 months ago

8? Didn’t I only count 6? You could’ve easily filled up the list with pages and pages of products…but you couldn’t find 2 more to make the list of 8?

CoachTerp
5 years 2 months ago

…was looking up some fructose stuff and stumbled upon this great post. Spot on!

When I first started watching what I ate, I purchased the so-called ‘100 calorie snack packs’ of almonds. Perfect, I thought.

Well, until I really read the label and understood what monosodium glutamate is.

Emerald likes to roll their almonds in corn syrup and sprinkle them with a healthy (excuse the play on words) dose of monosodium glutamate (MSG)!

We’ve arrived at a point where so much of America can’t even stomach a raw almond and have to turn to packages of almonds that have been poisoned by the manufacturers.

Kevin
Kevin
5 years 1 month ago

I recommend an excellent YouTube video by Dr Robert Lustig, entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” It sure opened my eyes!

Eder Chavarria
4 years 11 months ago

Hi! I’ll go straight to the point. I have a Pacific Natural Foods Organic Oat quart next to me, and there is no mentioning of any corn syrup or suspicious ingredient, but it has a beautiful red heart with Promotes Healthy Heart iscription in it. I wonder…Could it be included in your list of cereals? Thank you for this article that I’ll be using for my English classes down here in Costa Rica, if you allow me. Looking forward to the answer. Eder

Ptolemy
Ptolemy
4 years 6 months ago

The Yoplait container [the one shaped as a truncated cone – environmentally reprehensible] shows high fructose corn syrup [along with dyes and other processing chemicals] as a constituent. Yoplait is another processed chemical concoction masquerading s a healthful food. Don’t buy it.

Ptolemy
Ptolemy
4 years 6 months ago

The Yoplait container [the one shaped as a truncated cone – environmentally reprehensible] still shows high fructose corn syrup [along with dyes and other processing chemicals] as a constituent. Yoplait is another processed chemical concoction masquerading s a healthful food. Don’t buy it.

Christy
Christy
3 years 9 months ago

I have always made my own bread, and I think that contributes to my being healthy. occasionally drinking the soda pops also would help. thinking of fast food as ‘cancer food’ prevents me from going to McDonald’s, and besides, it all looks nasty anyway. I have stopped eating ketchup because of HFCS. I feel great because I have stopped eating HFCS!!!!

Melvin
Melvin
3 years 6 months ago

I’ve heard reports of HFCS in Yoplait before. I just checked my recycle bin for my old containers, and found no sign of HFCS in either of my Original Low Fat Strawberry or my Original Low Fat French Vanilla. In the store, I feel like I -have- seen things like HFCS and/or Sucralose in the other varieties.

grisly atoms
grisly atoms
1 year 2 months ago

So many comments complaining about HFCS in the yogurt. Just get plain! No sweeteners in plain yogurt.

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