Author Topic: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE  (Read 6641 times)

Offline Chris Parker

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High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« on: January 23, 2009, 04:41:50 PM »
Holy crap it is everywhere!!! I just finished shopping and since living on my own am trying to get into good eating habits. While looking at products I keep seeing about 80-85% of the products on the shelf (that I was looking for) had HFCS and I keep hearing that is horrible for you. So I took a little longer to shop today to find products that do not have it nor anything with tons of sugars (or anything that ends in ose). A question that I do have is that I was looking for grape jelly and no matter what brand I looked at (might have missed one) they all had HFCS. Does anybody know of a brand that makes health grape or strawberry jelly?
Chris
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 04:48:20 PM »
I know what tombb will say! Something along the lines of:

There is no such thing as natural or unnatural fructose, it's the same molecule.
Calorie for calorie, HFCS is actually -healthier- than the sugar from a fruit snack/fruit syrup or say clear 100% apple juice because the ratio of fructose to glucose is proportionally less, where fructose is the worst of the two in terms of health consequences.


Or something like that. Basically, it's bad but not in the way it's usually described... there's more to it. Large quantities of sugar in general are what's bad, not just that it's HFCS.
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 06:17:51 PM »
HFCS is bad for you.

Also, I found one brand that's tasty, cheap, and has no HFCS. I'll go downstairs and in a bit and then post again and let you know what it is.

Offline tombb

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 06:58:59 PM »
I know what tombb will say! Something along the lines of:

There is no such thing as natural or unnatural fructose, it's the same molecule.
Calorie for calorie, HFCS is actually -healthier- than the sugar from a fruit snack/fruit syrup or say clear 100% apple juice because the ratio of fructose to glucose is proportionally less, where fructose is the worst of the two in terms of health consequences.


Or something like that. Basically, it's bad but not in the way it's usually described... there's more to it. Large quantities of sugar in general are what's bad, not just that it's HFCS.

That's right. HFCS is not good or bad as a molecule, the problem is just that it's cheap and tasty to many people so it's unnecessarily added in to lots of things and you end up with an excess of sugars in your diet, especially fructose (basically sugar from fruit). And more importantly, since it's been purified you are not eating it with the fibers, vitamins and other nutrients that normally would come with it, which is really the problem.

So while it's good to prefer foods that don't have additional sugar added, you need to consider the amounts, tiny amounts are not really a problem, it's just as bad as putting a small fraction of a teaspoon of honey in your drink (honey is ~70% HFCS with some water and good vitamins and micronutrients).
Even the most natural foods already naturally have what you call HFCS (a mixture of about half Fructose and Glucose, the name just comes from how it's extracted but chemically doesn't matter), but they have them balanced with lots of other good nutrients like fiber, vitamins etc, so your body can use that HFCS to get healthier (instead of getting worse like when you consume it in excess because you add it everywhere unnecessarily).

Grape Jelly in particular, even with no sugar or anything added, is just pectin and grape juice, and all the calories from natural grape or grape juice are all from its own naturally occurring 'HFCS' (grape juice has a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose as its main natural occurring sugars).
It's all good for you until you start drinking so much grape juice that you start getting diabetes and become obese, and if you drank it like water you could actually get to that point.

Basically whole foods are preferable, sugar added especially in large amounts is generally not a good idea, and the main reason why we see the negative health effects of overeating fructose is that it's cheaper to make than other sugars.

Offline Chris Parker

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 07:04:13 PM »
sweet thanks tombb +1 :) So i can have it but in very limited quantities and do not over indulge in sugars in general.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 07:23:43 PM »
The term "limited quantities" is kind of ambiguous here...

1 drink a day or more is likely too much...

Offline tombb

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 07:37:29 PM »
Yes, in general what I am saying is, try to find alternatives when it's easy and reasonable, like have water instead of soft drinks and whole fruits instead of sweetened fruit juices, but go more by the total sugar content and amounts than only the ingredient names.

For example you have one of those TV dinners like say green beans and almond slices or say meat or eggs and vegetables, you probably shouldn't worry that the ingredients may include a touch of HFCS and a touch of salt (some cooking styles often use a tiny pinch of each as they might with herbs), especially if they are toward the very end of the ingredients list (meaning they are in the smallest amount), just look at the total nutrients ratio, if it has more proteins and fibers than sugars for example you are doing very well regardless of the source of sugar.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 07:47:01 PM »
I still say avoid it if you are new to nutrition.  There is no reason to eat it and it will just muddle the way you interpret what your body wants.

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 08:03:27 PM »
... anyway, it is definitely hard to find stuff that is completely free of all the crap. In the end though, it won't kill you. Even a lot "won't kill you" but there is no problem with avoiding it as much as possible. You'll just have to compromise in terms of time and money.


Where do you live? You could check out a local farm. I know a few by me that offer jellies and jams that are only made with what they should have.
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Offline Chris Parker

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 08:04:39 PM »
i live in fort collins colorado
"A priest, rabbi, and Griff walk into a bar and I Kill them. And by them I mean Griff"
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"I'm gonna rip off his partridge and kick him in the pear tree."
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Offline Schuman

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 10:06:22 PM »
Jelly- Polaner. Great tasting, and all natural. I got some at walmart.  Also smuckers makes some great tasting natural peanut butter. just peanuts and a little salt but it tastes the same.

HFCS in a nutshell:
Sugar and HFCS are nutritionally the same. But! not chemically the same.
When your body processes suger, it turns into ATP which is quick access energy for your cells to use. HFCS isn't natural, but made of chemicals so your body dosn't know how to process it. So instead of getting energy, your body processes the HFCS directly into fat.
Another downside, Your body dosen't direclty recognize HFCS as a food so when you eat products with HFCS, your still hungry. Thats why you can drink half a gallon of soda in one sitting.
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 10:28:50 PM »
Something seems wrong about that... :-\

At least it deviates from what I've learned.
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Offline tombb

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2009, 11:13:24 PM »
Jelly- Polaner. Great tasting, and all natural. I got some at walmart.  Also smuckers makes some great tasting natural peanut butter. just peanuts and a little salt but it tastes the same.

HFCS in a nutshell:
Sugar and HFCS are nutritionally the same. But! not chemically the same.
When your body processes suger, it turns into ATP which is quick access energy for your cells to use. HFCS isn't natural, but made of chemicals so your body dosn't know how to process it. So instead of getting energy, your body processes the HFCS directly into fat.
Another downside, Your body dosen't direclty recognize HFCS as a food so when you eat products with HFCS, your still hungry. Thats why you can drink half a gallon of soda in one sitting.
That's nonsense. I striked the statements that are absolutely wrong.

Typos aside, those are very misguided notions that might lead you to make irrational choices.
HFCS is simply sugar extracted from food, chemically it's exactly the same molecule, and I mean exactly (specifically it's 2 molecules, fructose and glucose). Your body can't possibly tell the difference between it and an imaginary 'unnatural' sugar molecule, nor can anything else in the universe.

If it was synthesized through simple inorganic chemistry however, you could get isomer forms, which are technically different molecules (like left-handed vs right-handed gloves), and you would have to separate them later as some of them are not really used by biological organisms. But again all this doesn't apply here since sugar is extracted and not made through impractical and more costly synthesis.

Sugars are not just processed directly into ATP or fat, they can be used in a variety of different energy pathways, converted into glycogen, etc. That's not dependent on the source of the molecule but rather by the needs and state of your body (total blood sugar level, insulin, cellular ATP levels, glycogen stores etc). There is no magic molecule that when ingested is sure to be converted into fat, nor is there any magic source of sugar that will only be used for ATP or glycogenesis.

Edit: Also digestion and feeling full are again dependent on other mechanisms, especially digestion speed and the presence of fat and protein in your digestive system.
If you can drink half a gallon of soda in one sitting I suppose that's impressive, but it has nothing to do with HFCS, if you can do it with soda you will be able to do it with sugar-free soda or even water too.
Sugar and water are both absorbed quickly in your stomach and don't require much in terms of digestion so there is no reason for your body to make you feel full.
If you want to feel full for a long time you should be eating solid food that contains proteins and fat, not sugar and water.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 11:47:54 PM by tombb »

Offline BearMills

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2009, 11:22:56 PM »
i thought i was the only one who noticed it! HFCS is in every single food item on market like what the hell next they are going to start making child toys outta it  :-[
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Offline tombb

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2009, 09:11:53 AM »
i thought i was the only one who noticed it! HFCS is in every single food item on market like what the hell next they are going to start making child toys outta it  :-[
Yes Alex, they did start to make toys out of corn a few years ago. Corn is used so much in the US because it's subsidized, which makes it cheaper as an ingredient in many things.

Here is a link on toys made out of Corn (bio-friendly plastic produced from corn instead of petroleum):
Children’s Plastic Toys Made from Corn! Classic Toys Made from Renewable, Sustainable Resources
They make much more useful things out of the same material produced from corn but even this is definitely a positive step in the right direction.

Offline BearMills

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2009, 11:36:38 AM »
Well it is nice to know that we are going green finally :D i meant the fructose syrup, i am glad we found out new ways to make children toys =P haha thanks for the link quite interesting
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Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2009, 01:24:45 PM »
it's 2 molecules, fructose and glucose
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that just sucrose? Fructose and glucose disaccharide formed via dehydration synthesis?
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Offline Jason K

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2009, 01:41:08 PM »
It looks to me like HFCS is a combinatin of both fructose and glucose but the molecules are not bonded to form sucrose.  If they were there would really be no reason to call it HFCS instead of sucrose.  Hope that helps clarify.

I'd also like to point out that it's true sugars aren't distinctly bad for you, the problem comes when you eat too much refined sugar without the fiber and micronutrients that accompany it in nature.  That's what can lead to diabetes.

Lastly, a good tip given to me by my nutritional sciences teacher is that if you want to eat healthier look for products that resemble something you would find on a farm or out in nature, like whole fruits and vegetables or whole wheat bread instead of white.  Those are the foods that the body was built to use as fuel.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 01:56:08 PM by Jason K »

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2009, 02:03:23 PM »
If they were there would really be no reason to call it HFCS instead of sucrose. 
Oh yea... industries never make up new names for things to try and pretend it's different from what people think... ::) ;D

Lastly, a good tip given to me by my nutritional sciences teacher is that if you want to eat healthier look for products that resemble something you would find on a farm or out in nature, like whole fruits and vegetables or whole wheat bread instead of white.  Those are the foods that the body was built to use as fuel.
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Offline tombb

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Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup... ITS EVERYWHERE
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2009, 02:09:53 PM »
it's 2 molecules, fructose and glucose
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that just sucrose? Fructose and glucose disaccharide formed via dehydration synthesis?
I mentioned this before in another thread a few months ago, but as Jason just mentioned, the fructose and glucose are already separated and not in sucrose form in HFCS.

In fact it's actually produced from starch from corn (corn has a lot of starch and little natural sugars in comparison), and that starch is then enzymatically converted to a sugar syrup and already enzymatically broken down to glucose and fructose also to further increase fructose to glucose ratio.

Sucrose (table sugar) doesn't taste quite the same, and in some respects it can be better than pure fructose and glucose because your body will absorb it a bit more slowly and in a slightly more controlled way. But fructose and glucose will exist separately in solution or powder form just fine.

Many natural foods like honey already have glucose and fructose separated exactly as in HFCS, although others will have it in combined sucrose form, for example sugar canes/beets.