All Entries For corn syrup
The Corn Refiners Association petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) several years ago requesting a name change for high fructose corn syrup. According to the Association, the change was to alleviate confusion about the ingredient. However, some believed it was nothing more than a way to trick consumers who had become wary of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Between 1970 and 2005, corn sweeteners like HFCS replaced cane and beet sugars at an increasing rate and became the leading substitute for sucrose because of its lower cost. Analysis conducted in 2005 found that HFCS-42 (one of the popular blends of HFCS) cost an average of $13.6 cents per pound compared to beet sugar that averaged $29.5 cents per pound. Because of its liquid form it is easier to blend in foods than sugar and has become a common sweetening agent in soft drinks, sports drinks, and condiments as well as numerous other processed foods.
Last month the FDA formally rejected the name change request largely because the FDA defines sugar as a solid, dried, and crystallized food and not liquid syrup. Did you know that HFCS is just one of many sweeteners produced through the corn refinery process? Let's get to know some of them--and take a look at the corn syrup debate.
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A new study about beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is making headlines. Published in the journal Obesity (see the full article here), researchers found that random samples of HFCS-sweetened drinks actually contained far more fructose than expected.
"I told you so," is what all the opponents of the corn-based sweetener are saying, using this study as proof that corn syrup is worse than sugar and should be avoided. I was taken aback myself. While I don't believe that high fructose corn syrup is any worse for us than other types of sugar, I avoid it sometimes but won't shun every food made with it. (After all, I would be very cranky without the occasional HFCS-containing Twizzler in my life.)
While this study seems to be about corn syrup being worse for us than we thought, it's actually about something else entirely: whether food manufacturers are telling us the truth about what's in their products. Allow me to explain. Read More ›
By any other name would smell as sweet."
High fructose corn syrup, that ubiquitous refined sweetener found in everything from jams and sodas to breads and tomato sauce, has taken quite a beating in the last couple of years. Documentaries such as King Corn vilified the ingredient. Conscientious consumers started reading labels and asking for less refined sweeteners. Companies such as Gatorade, Hunt's ketchup and Thomas English muffins publicly removed the ingredient from its products. ("Now with no high fructose corn syrup" boast packages in every aisle of the supermarket.) And the industry took note.
First came the "Sweet Surprise," a $20-$30 million campaign by the Corn Refiners Association to boost the reputation of HFCS. (Watch the ads here.) Now, the Corn Refiners Association has decided to petition the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow for a name change. High fructose corn syrup would be known as called corn sugar, if the industry gets its way.
According to SparkPeople dietitian Becky Hand, "theories abound that HFCS has a greater impact on blood glucose levels than regular sugar (sucrose). However, research has shown that there are no significant differences between HFCS and sugar (sucrose) when it comes to the production of insulin, leptin (a hormone that regulates body weight and metabolism), ghrelin (the "hunger" hormone), or the changes in blood glucose levels. In addition, satiety studies done on HFCS and sugar (sucrose) have found no difference in appetite regulation, feelings of fullness, or short-term energy intake." (Read more about HFCS and its effects on the body here.)
Still, SparkPeople members and the general public have qualms about consuming it. Read More ›
Eating a balanced diet every day is the best way to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
A multivitamin can be helpful in providing some "insurance" for those days when your food choices aren't the best.
Water regulates every function of our body, flushes out waste and toxins and transports nutrients. Since our bodies contain about 70% water, it is really important to drink water daily.
So what about the combination of vitamins and water together?
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Recently, some of you asked about crystalline fructose, a sweetener that is used in plenty of drinks, even some that call themselves "health drinks." We decided to do some research into this corn-based sweetener to help you better understand what you're sipping.
Fructose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in fruits and vegetables. Many of us consume it regularly as part of our healthy diet. We also know that fructose is 55% of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with glucose making up the other 45%.
What about the crystalline form of fructose that is being used in carbonated beverages, enhanced or flavored waters, sports and energy drinks, and nutrition bars as well as baked goods, frozen foods, cereal, dairy products, reduced-calorie foods, canned fruits, and drink mixes?
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A few months ago, Tanya and I wrote about high fructose corn syrup, specifically the Corn Refiners Association's series of ads aimed at repairing the image of the economical but much-maligned sweetener.
Corn syrup, the "Sweet Surprise" campaign proclaimed, is "made from corn, doesn’t have artificial ingredients, has the same calories as sugar and honey, and like sugar, is fine in moderation."
As it turns out, there might be another sweet surprise in your corn syrup: mercury.
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Previously Stepfanie blogged about the new corn syrup ads released by the Corn Refiners Association, which we're seeing as the CRA attempts to make over the public image of high fructose corn syrup. So I thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the main messages in these commercials.
The main messages are:
- High fructose corn syrup is made from corn
- Has no artificial ingredients
- Provides the same calories as sugar
- Is OK to eat in moderation
- Has been endorsed by the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration.
So are these claims accurate?
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This is a the first in an ongoing series called "Consider the Source," in which the dailySpark examines nutrition information and its sources.
HFCS, or high fructose corn syrup, has taken quite a hit by the media in recent years, and some new ads are fighting back. Read More ›