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It’s scary to think that the majority of the human population has no clue as to what toxins they are consuming on a daily basis. If you knew that the “food” you were putting in your body was poison, would you still consume it? What if you were told that high fructose corn syrup is one of the worst ingredients we ingest, yet it is found in almost every American household?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a GMO, highly processed, industrialized sweetener extracted from corn through an unknown chemical process. Meaning the actual process has never been made accessible to the general public. And due to the fact that it is sweeter and cheaper than table sugar, it is found in nearly all poor-quality, processed foods and drinks.

HFCS is one of the most toxic “food like” substances we can possibly consume. It is linked to multiple diseases, including, but not limited to, obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver. It converts to fat quicker than any other type of sweetener and is truly addictive. When consumed, our brains are actually triggered to over eat and crave more. This is why most people find it difficult to give up, especially soda and processed sweets.

There is false information out there stating that table sugar and HFCS are similar and are made up of nearly the same molecular structure, implying that there is no harm in replacing table sugar with HFCS. However, this is deceiving. While table sugar is made up of a tightly bound 50-50 fructose to glucose ratio, HFCS is 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio, and the molecules are no longer bound together.

“Regular cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together– glucose and fructose in equal amounts. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, not in a 50-50 ratio, but a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio in an unbound form. Since there is there is no chemical bond between them, no digestion is required so they are more rapidly absorbed into your blood stream. Fructose goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol) this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country.” – Dr. Mark Hyman, MD. For more information, click here for Dr. Hyman’s post.

Avoiding HFCS is easy. Nearly all packaged/processed foods contain HFCS such as soda, cookies, pastries, and so much more. Even beer, breads and canned soups can contain HFCS! So, when you are at the grocery store, read the labels of everything before you place it in your basket. If HFCS is listed, put it back on the shelf.

Tips and hints moving forward

  • Get familiar and comfortable with reading food labels and avoid any and all products with HFCS.
  • If you’re going to have sugar, first opt for approximately 25g or less, per day.
  • Sources of sugar that are less harmful (but still need to be mindful of taking in) are cane sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Another alternative for sweetener that is non-sugar based is Stevia – straight from a Stevia leaf, no additives.
Nichol McIntosh

Atavist Nutrition & Life Coach | Yoga Instructor