If you've done any reading about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), you might notice that there are massive amounts of conflicting reports about it. You might be left wondering: Is it totally awesome for me like the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) commercials tell me? (Uhh, small conflict of interest?) Probably not. Is it the pure poison that all-natural vegan protesters claim? Mmm...probably not that either. What surprised me about all of this is what WebMD AND Time Magazine had to say about it:
Both definitively took a stand in saying that the American Medical Association has shown that HFCS does NOT contribute to obesity any more than other types of sugars. One certainty is that it is NOT natural, despite the whole "made from corn" argument. It is not found in nature and requires multiple enzymatic treatment steps to be made. At that point, no one can claim that it is natural, now can they? (Nice effort from the CRA, though). Does HFCS do anything bad to us? The jury is still out on that. As Time mag went on to say, the problem is that HFCS is in EVERYTHING, from cereals to breads to even children's vitamins. Really, vitamins? Overall, we are simply eating too much of it.
So what did WebMD & Time Mag say we should do? The answer was an oldie-but-goodie cliché: Moderation in all things. This is where a little homework goes a long way - and where Calorista steps in to save the day! There are several foods for which it is fairly easy to find a version that does not have HFCS, and thus, cut back where you can.
Cereal is one food for which it's easy to find HFCS-free options. Several options are available at your regular grocery store. Kashi is one. If you like their Go Lean cereals, you are all set. I don't so much - but I do love their Organic Promise Strawberry Fields and Vive. If you want to slide over to the natural section, try Health Valley's granola cereal or Peace Essential 10.
Side note: Unfortunately, many of our favorite cereals do contain HFCS, like Fiber One's Honey Clusters (actually almost all Fiber One cereals), most of Kellogg's All Bran cereals, and Special K cereals.
Thomas English Muffins: These guys recently cut HFCS out of their 120 calorie Double Fiber Honey Wheat version and their light 100 calorie version. Since this English muffin is super mega awesome, this is obviously fantastic news. Good work, Thomas!
Nature's Own Organic Flour Bread - One AMAZING regular grocery store no HFCS bread is Nature's Own Organic Flour bread - 100 calories (for 1 big slice), and super wild & crazy delicious, too. This is the only bread I buy now.
Vitalicious Cakes & Muffins: This is a tougher one - most snack muffins and cakes have HFCS. However, Vitalicious 100 calorie VitaCakes do not, which is pretty super because these are tasty and MEGA healthy.
Kellogg's NEW Granola Bars: These new 130 calorie divine granola bars are HFCS free with 9 grams of fiber, antioxidants, no cholesterol, and low sodium. The Dark Chocolate Almond flavor is chocolatey, rich, almond-y and chewy. Again, Fiber One granola bars have HFCS, so these Kellogg's bars are a new, great option if you want high fiber, no HFCS bars.
Arnold Sandwich Thins: Thin buns are so IN! These new 100 calorie thin inventions are pretty slick: they are part soft bun, part tasty bread, part English muffin. This multi-grain flavor is stuffed with oats & seeds and super flavorful. Not to mention it has no High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), no cholesterol, almost no fat, and is high in fiber and protein. The thing that made these even better than English muffins is the fact that they peel apart easily and evenly. Pretty perfect! Now if I can get Arnold to make them in my favorite honey wheat flavor...