Health Kick Chick

Join me on my laymen's journey towards better health. Eat. Move. Rest.

One month without High Fructose Corn Syrup

For the past 31 days, I’ve been high fructose corn syrup (HCFS) free.  It all started last month when my forever friend suggested I try a fast for Easter to clear blockages around my life.  I did a modified fast that week eating only breakfast and a small dinner.  I did not allow any highly spiced or sweetened foods (only the occasional piece of fruit) into my diet at all.  By the end of the fast, I felt like my metabolism had reset.  I wasn’t as hungry as usual and most importantly, I wasn’t craving sweets.

What’s most interesting to me is that my heritage is firmly rooted in the Sugar Belt.  Every type of sugar has graced my table at some point: beet, Turbinado, organic raw, evaporated cane syrup, Sucanat, Demerarra, palm, sugar bricks and the less exotic brown and white varieties.  I fondly look back on sticky summers here I’d pass up a slice of cantaloupe for a 6 inch section of sweet, fibrous sugar cane.  We’d pour heaping tablespoons into the blackest coffees and drown it with creamer to make café con leche or sprinkle over savory foods for an unexpected touch.  Sugar was our friend. And yet, I don’t have a sweet tooth.  I love cake and ice cream but more often than not would rather have tortilla chips.

So then, why was it so hard to give up HCFS foods?  Because they are in everything.  When I made a conscious effort to go grocery shopping, I realized that I couldn’t just pick up foods that looked healthy.  I found the ingredient in everything from crackers to salmon burgers.  Salmon burgers!  I don’t trust HCFS esp. since fructose isn’t found naturally in corn.  It’s manipulated beyond recognition for a quick buck.  So, I don’t want to let a mass producers need for profit affect my waistline.  I’ve tried to avoid artificial sweeteners for some time now and moderate my use of HCFS.  But now, as I’m trying to eat more whole foods I realize that HCFS just doesn’t make the cut.

I’m taking a more active part in cutting it from my diet and have—for 31 days at least—been successful.  I choose more natural sugars like the ones named before and occasionally maple syrup, honey or (iron rich) molasses depending on my moods.  I even slather creamy raw honey on bread with PB for a quick sandwich full of antioxidants.  I’ve yet to try agave syrup and have had brown rice syrup in many of my favorite foods but not on it’s own.  I’ve recently sampled several brands of stevia and would rather go without sweetener than try any of the ones sent to me.  Blech!

At the end of the day, whether HCFS is good for us or not remains unclear.  How timely then, that the Mayo Clinic comments on HCFS in a Q&A today?

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2 Comments»

  Alex wrote @

Thanks so much for posting this today! I’m about to start cutting out HFCS, myself, and it was helpful to read someone else’s perspective on it. Thanks, too, for the Mayo Clinic link. I’ll be sure to check it out. 🙂

  Health Kick Chick wrote @

Alex,

It’s a process but it’s not impossible. I’m glad you liked the article…the Mayo Clinic is so honest that I had to include it.


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