3 Simple Ways to Eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from Your Diet

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Photo courtesy of Food Thinkers.

The following is a guest post from Robyn Adams of The Couponing Journey.

When I set out on a quest a few years ago to feed my family healthier foods, I made a surprising discovery. My son, who suffered from severe eczema for the few short years of his life, suddenly found relief. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what created the near miraculous recovery.

Life Changing Discovery: High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Good

After I let him “cheat” in a few times, however, the offender became clear pretty quick: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This chemically created sweetener hides in many places, including juices and bread. It’s everywhere and typically in over 50% of what the average person eats.

There is also mounting evidence that HFCS may be more of a culprit to the obesity in our country than other factors we’ve suspected for years. The fact is HFCS is not a natural substance and it really doesn’t have a place in the human diet.

1. Choose Foods Close to the Earth

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more natural than an apple or an orange. No added ingredients there. A salad with a little vinegar and olive oil splashed on it is about as healthy as it gets. There is no need to eat unhealthy foods. Whole foods taste delicious and don’t contain any HFCS. Simple is better when it comes to food choices.

2. Become an Avid Label Reader

You will be shocked at how many everyday foods that are touted as “healthy” actually contain HFCS. For example, Wonder Bread is marketed as a healthy choice for kids. Yet, the 4th ingredient in it is HFCS! That’s why label reading is so important. This chemical sweetening agent hides in very unsuspecting places, like yogurt, juice, and many other things you might feel are healthy for your family. Just make it a practice to read labels before you put groceries in your grocery cart, so you know exactly what you’re buying.

3. Cut Out Fast Food

Obviously if you’re pursuing a healthier lifestyle, cutting out unhealthy foods should be a given, right? But sometimes we cheat and think a salad or fruit smoothie are “healthy” choices from fast food places. But those are prime hiding places for HFCS! The only way to know for sure you are avoiding HFCS is to cook food yourself or to speak to a chef about the ingredients they use to prepare food at a restaurant. Nicer restaurants, particularly health focused ones, may avoid HFCS products, but not always.

Why Would You Even Want to Eliminate HFCS Anyway?

High fructose corn syrup does weird things to your body. It’s important to be educated on exactly what’s going on once it enters your body and how you can eliminate it completely from your diet. Experts believe it suppresses the ability for us to feel satisfied from eating and leads us to even more eating. This is compounding the obesity problem.

If you don’t feel you can eliminate it all together, reducing it would be a wise consideration. I know my son is healthier with both his eczema and asthma since I eliminated HFCS from his diet. That led me to explore cutting it back from my entire family’s diet. I’m convinced we’re all healthier as a result.

Robyn Adams loves to show others how simple couponing and frugal living can be, no matter what stage of life you’re in at “The Couponing Journey.” She also authored the successful ebook “30 Ways to Slash Your Budget in 30 Days” available for free download on her website.

Have you eliminated high fructose corn syrup from your diet, and noticed any healthy improvements? What are some of your tips for eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your diet? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  1. You are so right that HFCS is in so many prepared foods! I had to eliminate corn from my diet temporarily so time ago and it was a nightmare trying to find things that didn’t have it. It is surprisingly in many spaghetti sauces–who knew?

  2. We have tried so hard to eliminate HFCS from your daily food, but it is in so many things. I do look for items that do not have FHCS and they are there… just have to look a little harder for them and maybe pay a little more! I’ve found sites that will list items that do not contain HFCS! I’ve started eating more fresh veggies and fruit! Working on the rest of the family!

  3. I have cut down on many artificial sugar and it helps greatly with pain issues and stomach disorders. When I fall off the wagon I certainly notice.

  4. Maybe I was naive, but I was surprised to learn about a year ago how many breads and bread products (e.g., rolls) contain HFCS. We buy Nature’s Own bread and it doesn’t contain HCFS. (At least the honey wheat variety doesn’t, and that’s the kind we eat). And today I saw it at Costco for 2/$3.99 or maybe 2/$3.39 — this is better than either my grocery store or Target.

  5. I was getting severe migraines and went on an organic kick. I did some internet research on my favorite foods and the one culprit they bad in common was the high fructose corn syrup. I eliminated it from about 85%
    of my family’s diet. I can te when I’ve eaten something that contains it because my head Lou.es and I get extremely lethargic and my chest will hurt. There are campaigns in Florida right now trying to convince the public that it is okay to consume in moderation, but I disagree.

  6. I apologize for my last post. I submitted it via my Android phone and if looks as though auto correct kicked in or I didn’t proofread well. I promise I am not a bafoon… :)

  7. I strongly recommend watching King Corn. It’s an amazing and interesting documentry regarding governments control over corn farmers and thus how HFCS began. Watching the guys ‘make’ HFCS and the chemicals and safety gear necessary to make a product that is considered an ‘ingredient’ in the majority of our processed food is alarming!

  8. Hi, I’m Robyn & the author of this article. You guys are so right about it being near impossible to eliminate from your diet. We’re not perfect by any means but I think at least being aware is a great first step. Reading labels is very eye opening!

    @Amy: Thanks for the suggestion of “King Corn.” I will check it out. I’ve heard all sorts of things about corn lobbyists so I can only imagine what this documentary says. :(

  9. Hi,
    Sage advice. Here’s a way to cut consumption of any sweet beverages, diet or caloric. Go out and buy a 12 pk of La Croix flavored sparkling water. Start by diluting 50:50 any beverage you drink, save milk, with the sparkling water. Since the La Croix is carbonated it won’t “kill” the soda and since it is flavored it actually adds a bit of taste. You’ll find you really won’t mind drinking the diluted beverage. Then be brave and try diluting your favorite vice beverage further. You will be surprised, as I was, how this one step will help you shed pounds and belly fat. Now I just drink lime flavored La Croix with a splash of whatever I used to drink full strength.

  10. I can’t say I think elimating this processed dreck is that hard when one considers the choice between quality, nourishing food and “convenience food” that only nourishes the food industry. I consider anything I can make myself to be a convenience food. ;) It was most important of the changes we have made for ourselves and our sons in the past three years. When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, had eczema and severe GI problems we knew that there was a solution. He was a completely different kid until the age of 3 1/2 and his diagnosis wasn’t until he was almost seven…VERY late because he just wasn’t born with these issues. So…something had to be causing it, right? My first thing was to eliminate dairy and gluten…well…there went probably 75% of the HFCS he was eating. Then we went all whole food, all homemade, and grain free for about 2 years. Combining that with some techniques for his sensory issues (easily overwhelmed and that keeps him from focusing and makes him stim…flap his hands, pace, if he gets his dose of exercises and lots of play every day? no flapping, pacing, self-talk or stressy kid), some treatment for his immune system issues….and now he is “undiagnosed” with all of those problems. GI issues are gone. Speech issues are gone. Disconnect from the world…gone too. And he eats GREAT and our food is yummy. But…we still don’t eat much packaged or processed stuff. In fact…it is almost four pm and they haven’t eaten one thing that wasn’t homemade. Mama and Daddy have lost weight too and my joints don’t ache anymore and I am not the crabby mom I used to be. I chalked that up to stress. Well…I still have three young, busy boys and a super intense life with high expectations but I feel GREAT. HFCS and MSG and genetically modified foods and refined table salt and refined sugar…all a disaster for my family. We will never go back!!!! It is so worth it. Food can harm you but it can also heal you if it is the good stuff. We were so lucky and blessed to figure this out so we could help our little boy and ourselves.

    • Thanks for sharing! Do you blog about your families new cuisine/how you prepare the food/ what you make? My daughter has some food allergies and now she tested to be fructose intolerant. Ding the research for her diet has been kinda stressful, however it has gotten me more interested/educated about the importance of eating REAL food. Any help/links that you use would be great!
      Thanks again for your story!

  11. Oh my! This is probably the reason for my son’s mystery rash he gets whenever he eats something that wasn’t made by me or if I don’t know for sure 100% what is in it! When I make whatever it is, no rash. We go out somewhere? Rash. So annoying! And even more annoying when you go to a darn allergist who says “allergic to eggs and milk” then find out from his actual doc that that paperwork was wrong and that he could have gotten the flue shot…annoyed. Can you tell?

    This is a great post – thanks for sharing what you figured out!

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