High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is a corn-based sweetener that was invented in the 1960s and has been increasingly used in sodas, sauces, fruit-flavored drinks, and many other food products since the late 1970s as the price of natural sugar jumped.
However, this common ingredient has been getting a lot of negative press recently.
As more and more Americans are consuming high-fructose corn syrup, many scientists believe that it is causing a glut of health problems, including increasing rates of obesity and even diabetes. Some researchers have even found mercury in foods with high fructose corn syrup, a toxin that is thought to enter HFCS foods from the mechanism that separates sugar from corn.
Whether or not any or all of these claims are true, there’s been enough anti-HFCS noise in the media to leave me running for natural sweeteners. In fact, when it comes to shopping for healthy foods, I know life would probably be much easier in Europe, where use of high fructose corn syrup is greatly regulated.
Thankfully, a little poking around at the grocery store has proven to me that, while many sweet foods in pantries and refrigerators throughout out great land may have high fructose corn syrup, there are some food manufacturers that are sticking to good ol’ white cane sugar to sweeten their products.
So, what products don’t contain high fructose corn syrup?
Here’s a list of some common products that are sans HFCS:
- Country Hearth 12-Grain bread
- Nature’s Own 100 percent whole wheat bread
- Pepperidge Farm 100 percent natural bread varieties
- Sara Lee Soft and Smooth 100 percent whole wheat
- Kashi cereal varieties
- Life cereal
- Shredded wheat
- Bulls-Eye original barbecue sauce
- Heinz organic ketchup
- Hunt’s 100 percent natural tomato ketchup
- Hellman’s mayonnaise
- Trader Joe’s pickle relish
- Nabisco Original Triscuits
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers
- Jif peanut butter
- Peter Pan honey roast peanut butter
- Breyer’s natural vanilla ice cream
- Haagen Dazs dark chocolate ice cream bars
- Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies
- Newman’s Own alphabet cookies
- Pepperidge Farm butter Chessman cookies
- Cadbury – many varieties
- Dove – many varieties
- Hershey Special Dark bar
- Nesquik chocolate syrup
- Log Cabin Natural Table Syrup
- Classico – many varieties
Soda and Other Beverages
- Capri Sun ALL NATURAL 100 Percent juice
- Mountain Dew Throwback
- Pepsi Throwback
- Sierra Mist Natural
- Simply Juice (orange and lemonade varieties)
- Breyer’s yogurt
- Dannon all natural vanilla yogurt
- Nature’s Valley oats & honey flavor granola bars
Regardless of what no-HFCS items you want to buy, you need to check for any artificial sweeteners you may not want added in lieu of high fructose corn syrup.
If you are going totally organic, cane sugar (often listed as just sugar on most food labels) or stevia, the only natural, zero-calorie alternative to sugar.