- High fructose corn syrup is a cheaper alternative to sugar.
- Surprisingly, high fructose corn syrup is in more foods than you might think.
- There are no nationwide bans on high fructose corn syrup, despite what some think.
If you’re a label reader, you’ll find that many foods use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar or other sweeteners. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn starch that, when broken down, turns into a 100 percent glucose corn syrup. Enzymes are then added to the corn syrup to convert some of the glucose into fructose, or fruit sugar, per the FDA.
Sounds harmless, but studies have found a link between added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and obesity. According to Healthline, consumption of foods with high fructose corn syrup has been linked to other health issues such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, inflammation, heart disease, and even cancer.
These foods contain high fructose corn syrup.
Here is a list of brand-name foods that usually contain high fructose corn syrup:
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Skippy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Del Monte Canned Peaches
Oscar Mayer Smoked Lean White Turkey
Paula Dean salad dressings
Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juice (usually called “fruit drink” if it contains more HFSC than actual juice)
Del Monte Mexican Stewed Canned Tomatoes
Ritz Original Crackers
Honey Bunches of Oats breakfast cereal
Progresso Light canned Vegetable Barley Soup
Hunt's Pasta Sauce
Chef Boyardee Mac & Cheese
A1 Steak Sauce
McDonald's Apple Pie
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
Maruchan Ramen Noodles
Myoplex Deluxe Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein bar
Smuckers Fruit Preserves
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
Pearl Milling's (Aunt Jemima) pancake syrup
Moose Tracks Ice Cream
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
Kroger Mild Viva Salsa.
Is high fructose corn syrup banned in Europe or anywhere else?
Although many people believe that high fructose corn syrup is banned in European countries, that is a misconception. While the European Union (EU) has put some restrictions on the production of high fructose corn syrup, those restrictions have loosened over the years.
According to Livestrong, production quotas on high fructose corn syrup were implemented to ensure fair agriculture practices, not because of any possible health concerns over its use. In 2011, those quotas were loosened to increase high fructose corn syrup production to meet demand.
High fructose is used in many of the foods we consume, primarily because it is less expensive to use than regular sugar. While it's not surprising for things like soda pop and candy to contain high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener can also be found in food items you wouldn’t expect, like spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, and crackers.
How to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup:
The best way to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup is to read the labels on everything you buy. You wouldn’t think spaghetti sauce would have any type of sweeteners in them, but they do. Also, you may have switched to wheat bread or pasta, thinking it was better for you, but those may also contain high fructose corn syrup.
It doesn’t appear that any restrictions will be put on using high fructose corn syrup in the U.S. anytime soon. The FDA said that while it recommends people “limit their consumption of all added sugars,” it has not seen evidence that high fructose corn syrup has a “difference in safety” than other sweeteners.