I live under a rock. Well, that’s not true at all let me rephrase it. When we moved from Minnesota to my home state of South Carolina, we decided to not pay for cable or satellite TV to save a little money after the expense of moving and buying a home. We live far enough away from Charleston that our reception is crap and besides with Hulu and Netflix, who needs broadcast TV? When I’m traveling, commercials are almost enjoyable as I’ve never seen them. In January I saw this:
Let’s just say, I remained skeptical.
Yesterday my friend Paul linked to an article on a recent report from Princeton titled:
A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain
I’m not going to excessively quote the article, but the gist is this, in two studies rats given HFCS gained significantly more weight than those who ate equivalent amounts of table sugar. Furthermore rats on a high fat diet didn’t gain as much as those given HFCS.
Even if the Corn Refiner’s Association’s commercial is spot on, the problem is this:
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.
With HFCS in so many products, it’s really easy for a person to consume more than a moderate amount, which the commercial up there assures us is safe. Whether you believe the study or not doesn’t really matter, it’s far too easy to consume high fructose corn syrup in amounts that are unhealthy.
Read your labels, I know that print is small, but it’s worth the time. There are companies out there who are listening and are adding eye-catching labels to make this easier. Thank them. Sure it’s just another form of marketing, but I kind of like this one. It’s a lot easier than breaking out the magnifying glass.
In our family we avoid HFCS in all of our daily foods, but we do allow it in some of our treats.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the controversy over HFCS is just a bunch of crap or are you becoming wary of the ingredient? Are you a label reader?
**Edited 3/22/2010 2pm** While researching and looking for the source of the mercury reference in the comments, I found the study published in the Environmental Health Journal, which I believe is peer reviewed, but please correct me if I am wrong.
From the abstract of Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar:
Average daily US consumption of HFCS for the year 2007 was approximately 49.8 g per person according to the US Department of Agriculture website .
That’s enough to give me pause.
Other Home Ec 101 ramblings on nutrition: