Say “No!” to High-Fructose Corn Syrup

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Even if you are not a committed food label reader, start NOW to avoid jeopardizing your health with High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)! This ubiquitous and dangerous ingredient was the brainchild of the corn industry, introduced in the 1950s as a way to deal with farmers’ corn surpluses. It hit commercial the market in the late 70s.  Cheaper than sugar cane, HFCS is now used widely to sweeten juices, sodas, candy, cookies, and cakes, but you will find it in many pre-packaged food items, bread, soups, condiments, snacks, and more than you can imagine.  And what about your favorite ketchup? Sauces? Even Newman’s Own Pink Lemonade?  Check it out for yourself.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup stimulates the pleasure centers of our brains. The result: we want more, more, more…. sweeter, sweeter, sweeter! Since 1970, the consumption of HFCS has gone up over 1000 percent.  Are you sitting down? We each consume an average of 24.8 kilograms of HFCS every year! This leads to an increased incidence of obesity, which is one of the major risk factors for adult-onset diabetes.

An article published in Global Public Health online, based on data from 43 countries, found that adult Type-2 diabetes is 20% higher in countries that consume large amounts of HFCS. The European Union imposes production limits for HFCS for member countries but they can, nevertheless, export it to others.  While the U.S. continues to be (no surprise) the largest producer, and consumer of HFCS, thanks to those decades of farm subsidies, other countries, such as Mexico, are beginning to catch up. Do yourself a favor: buy HFCS-free foods. And spread the word!

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