What is High Fructose Corn Syrup Anyway?

I recently went to breakfast at a restaurant with my family and wouldn’t you know it, as soon as we sat down, I noticed this brown liquid in a clear bottle sitting on the table. I said to myself, “Tracy, for once don’t ask so many questions about the food”, but how could I not.

So I ordered pancakes for my son and wanted to know if they served “real” maple syrup and the woman was confused by my question. I could tell, she probably doesn’t get asked that question often. She said she didn’t know, but would find out. When she returned to the table, she said it was NOT maple syrup. I thanked her for letting me know and I knew that it was HFCS with color added to look like maple syrup. Boy, was I disappointed. Let me tell you why.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is actually hydrolyzed cornstarch, which means that cornstarch is mixed with enzymes and broken down. It is a sugar substitute derived from corn. HFCS, created in the 70′s, tastes exactly like sugar. In the 80′s soda manufacturers nixed using sugar to make their carbonated beverages and replaced it with HFCS which was a lot cheaper.

Over 17.5 billion pounds of HFCS are used every year. A majority of the corn in this country is genetically modified or what is also called, “GMO’s” (genetically modified organisms) from which HFCS is made and made with genetically modified enzymes. The average American eats an astonishing 41.5 lbs. of high fructose corn syrup per year.

High fructose corn syrup in the diet puts on the pounds, causes depression, leads to obesity in children and adults, rots teeth and messes with blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes. It also leaches valuable vitamins and minerals out of the body.

It’s found in salad dressings, tomato sauce, artificially made maple flavored syrup, ketchup, mustard and a ton of other products. If you see the words, “corn syrup” also stay away from that. Most fast food restaurants use it in their foods because it is sweet and in this country we are addicted to sugar. When you go out to eat, ask your server what is in their salad dressings when you order a salad. You’ll be surprised that a majority of salad dressings are loaded with high fructose corn syrup.

Please become your own nutrition detective and look in your pantry and refrigerator and get rid of every product that has this ingredient. Now you may be saying that this is extreme, but your body will thank you later.

If you are going to use maple syrup, use the “real” thing. On the bottle under Ingredients, it should say “100% Maple Syrup”, that’s it. There are different grades of maple syrup, grade A, B, and C. Grade B is less refined than Grade A and Grade C is less refined than Grade B and is very expensive and usually you won’t find this in your local supermarket. If all you see is Grade A, I’m ecstatic!

I hope I haven’t been too blunt, but someone has to say something. If you are one of my clients, then you’ve heard this before.

As a mom, I am always concerned about what I feed my son, so I hope you have found this information useful and please pass this information on to anyone you think may have products in their household made with HFCS.

Live well,


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