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While there is some controversy over whether high fructose corn syrup is good or bad for you, I am a believer that it is more bad than good and I want to punch the television every time I see one of the ads that says it’s just corn sugar. I can’t say that it never enters the diet of family, but I sure as heck do my best to keep it out of our cabinets and refrigerator. However, I’ve found that often when I think I’m making a healthy choice for my family, manufacturers have figured out a way to sneak this ingredient into our kids’ favorite healthy foods even when I least expect it. The following foods are some of the top offenders in my opinion and are ones that I always make sure I read the labels on to be sure they don’t include this controversial ingredient.
Flavored Waters– It seems obvious to choose water over juice as the better choice for your kids, but companies like Capri Sun add high fructose corn syrup to their Roarin’ Waters product whereas their 100% juice products don’t have it.
Applesauce– Yes, even something that can be made with nothing more than apples and water now has food manufacturers adding high fructose corn syrup to it. Rather than buying the more popular brands, I buy my grocery store’s in house organic line which is typically not that much more expensive when it comes to this product.
Yogurt– What should be a healthy low-fat dairy product that we love to feed our kids is tainted by many brands who add high fructose corn syrup to their ingredient list whether it be in a tube or tub. Try brands like Stonyfield Farm and Chobani for kids’ yogurt that doesn’t include it.
Ketchup– Chances are that if you’ve got kids (or even if you don’t) you’ve got ketchup in our fridge. Almost all store bought brands of ketchup seem to have high fructose corn syrup in them unless they are organic. Heinz was offering Simply Heinz Ketchup for a while which didn’t include the ingredient, but I’ve found it harder to find on the store shelves and impossible to find on their web site so it appears they may have discontinued it.
Bread– Even the whole wheat and whole grain varieties of many brands of bread list one of their top ingredients as high fructose corn syrup. Before you pack that lunch box with another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, look for all natural or organic varieties when it comes to breads.
The fact is that no matter how healthy a product looks because of its packaging or history as a product, we really have to read the entire food label before we purchase something. It’s not just about the calories and fat content, but also the extra ingredients that are added to our food. Maybe high fructose corn syrup really is ok, but I’m not going to take the risk in feeding it to my family on a