Big Food is at it again.
They are trying to fool us with a new name to get America to buy a food many people don’t want to consume.
They are naming a more concentrated form of this sweetener under the name fructose or fructose syrup.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is one of the substances that has made a bad name for itself.
This questionable sweetener – which is much cheaper than regular sugar and extends the shelf life of processed products – has been linked to many health problems such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, cancer, and liver failure.
For this reason, many consumers have begun to check food labels and steer away from foods containing HFCS.
But manufacturers have come up with a sneaky way to fool their customers so that they don’t have to change their money-making ways.
Instead of removing this cheap, harmful ingredient, they have just changed its name on packaging to conceal it within their products.
For years, the corn industry has tried to mislead us. In 2010, the Corn Refiners Association sought to improve the image of HFCS.
Thankfully, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stepped up and turned down their request to rename HFCS to the more natural sounding term “corn sugar.”
Nonetheless, they succeeded in changing the name of a form of HFCS called HFCS-90 to fructose or fructose syrup.
Since fructose makes up the sugar content in fresh fruits, it sounds much healthier than HFCS, however, when we consume fructose in fruits, we consume it along with fiber, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
The toxic ingredient now called fructose, or fructose syrup, contains even higher concentrations of harmful HFCS, making it more of a health risk than regular HFCS.
Regular HFCS (HFCS-42 or HFCS-55) contains either 42 or 55 percent fructose, while HFCS-90 contains 90 percent.
The Corn Refiners Association stated:
“A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label, they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup.’”
Food companies are taking advantage of the name change to hide even more HFCS in their products.
That box of General Mills’ Vanilla Chex cereal you’re buying may say “no high fructose corn syrup” on the front of the box, but HFCS will be hidden in the ingredients list under the name fructose, which is the most concentrated form of HFCS.
Instead of listening to the demands of the people for healthier food, Big Food corporations are successfully concealing the one ingredient consumers want to avoid.
What about the FDA? They declined to recognize HFCS-90 as safe, so why aren’t they taking action?
Due to budget reasons and long product review times, the FDA decided in 1997 that food companies could review their own products and determine if they were safe or not. This self-regulatory system legally enables food companies to put profits above safety.
Even though multiple scientific studies add to a growing body of evidence that indicates HFCS consumption may result in negative health consequences when compared to natural sugar, high concentrations of HFCS are still allowed in our food chain.
Some foods that have high levels of HFCS:
Some foods that you think should be safe from HFCS, may be the ones that surprise you the most.
- Juice “Cocktails”: if they are not 100% juice, they are most likely filled with HFCS
- Soda: you probably guessed this one but beware of those sodas that claim to be “healthy”
- Cereal: check the ingredient every time- you’d be surprised.
- Yogurt: go for plain and then if you want to add some Liquid Monkfruit Sweetener, fruit, etc. you know what’s being added. Flavored yogurts are often crawling with sugar and HFCS!
- Salad Dressings: Yep. Those sneaks are trying to get into your healthy salads! Try making your own, check the ingredients, or use quality oils and vinegar: simple but so tasty!
- Granola/Energy/Nutrition Bars: See what I mean… these companies call them “nutrition bars” and too often we just trust them! Again, check the labels and don’t get too frustrated when you find yourself making your own.
While the renaming practice may be legal, it seems to be highly unethical.