High fructose corn syrup can be found in everything from cereal to spaghetti sauce. This prevalent product is made when the sugar in cornstarch (called glucose) is chemically transformed to fructose. The resulting high fructose corn syrup is a combination of fructose and glucose. Because it is cheaper than sugar and acts as a preservative, it used as an ingredient in a number of processed foods.
But high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has come under suspicion in a number of studies. While results are not yet definitive, the Mayo Clinic says regularly including products with HFCS in your diet "has the potential to promote obesity --- which, in turn, promotes conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease."
High fructose corn syrup isn't just found in sweet kids' cereals. It can also be found in supposedly "healthy" cereals that are marketed toward adults. Even popular brands of cornflakes have a dose of high fructose corn syrup added.
Sauces, Condiments and Salad Dressings
Spaghetti sauce, ketchup, thousand island dressing and even some brands of ranch dressing all contain HFCS. Vinaigrette dressing is typically healthier and isn't sweetened, making it a healthier choice for salad dressing.
Popular brands of sweet pickles and sweet relish contain high fructose corn syrup. To avoid HFCS, try dill pickles instead.
Don't be fooled by the pictures of strawberries and peaches. Fruit products, such as jelly, jam, cranberry sauce and cottage cheese add-ins usually contain HFCS. Unless the package says sugar free or 100% fruit, it likely contains an added sweetener such as HFCS.
Read the Label
The closer to the beginning of the ingredients list a food appears, the higher the concentration. If you can't find a product without HFCS, find one that lists it near the end of the ingredient list.