We're all trying to get healthier. In recent years, there has been much discussion about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), GMOs, and other long-winded names for bad ingredients. There are certain foods that you expect to be bad for you such as candy, cakes, prepackaged foods, and soda. But there are also some evils lurking within some of the most common foods. High fructose corn syrup is in a lot of food you eat, especially condiments. If you're trying to get healthier, you want to start replacing these condiments with healthier versions. Read on to learn why condiments without HFCS are healthier for you.
What's the problem with high fructose corn syrup?
You may be thinking, "It's made out of corn, how can it be bad for me?" Although this ingredient is created by processing corn, it's not exactly as healthy as it may sound. It is created by corn starch, which is essentially a sweetener. Unlike other alternative sweeteners, HFCS does the same thing to your body as regular table sugar. Both sugar and high fructose corn syrup have been linked to tons of serious health problems. Some side effects that can be caused by consumption of high fructose corn syrup include:
Increased risk of obesity
Fructose is processed through your liver. Consuming small amounts of fructose naturally from fruits isn't too bad. But your liver can't handle an overabundance of fructose, so it then converts it into fat.
If you're eating too much fructose, you will become insulin resistant. Your body will not be able to respond to insulin correctly, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Extreme levels of fructose can promote inflammation. This inflammation is often linked to heart disease.
Fructose also promotes tumor growth. This can cause cancer and make it easier for cancerous cells to live in your system. Even worse? HFCS doesn't possess any nutrients that are necessary to your health and development. It's simply a cheap sweetener that proves of no service to your nutrition.
Which condiments have HFCS?
There are plenty of foods that you should watch out for when it comes to high fructose corn syrup. However, most of these foods are condiments. We'll take you through the several condiments that you should avoid.
When eating a salad, you shouldn't have to worry about being unhealthy. But if you're slathering on salad dressing over your lettuce and veggies, you're actually adding more sugar and calories to your meal. Many store-bought salad dressings are packed with HFCS. And don't be fooled by the dressings that state they are "fat-free" or low calorie. These can potentially be even worse for you. Almost all the fat-free or low-calorie salad dressings replace the tasty fattening ingredients with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Because of this, you're adding additional calories and toxic ingredients that you may not have been aware of.
A great alternative? Try making your own salad dressing with all natural ingredients. Olive oil and lemon juice make for a tasty, simple dressing that won't cost you your health.
It's just made of tomatoes and a little salt, right? You're definitely wrong. If you're not purchasing organic ketchup, you're most likely getting a high dose of high fructose corn syrup in each serving. Before you purchase ketchup, make sure that you check the ingredients list first. Chances are, you'll see HFCS as the first on the list of ingredients. You may also see high amounts of sugar, as well. If you're looking for an alternative, there are plenty to look out for on your next shopping trip. Look for organic ketchup that has only tomatoes and a few other natural ingredients.
Yes, a common staple in most American households is on this list. In fact, you'd be surprised of all the common foods that contain HFCS. Barbecue sauce not only has tons of sugar, it's almost always made with high fructose corn syrup.
Like ketchup, there are ways of avoiding these types of condiments. Opt to make your own from natural ingredients, or search for an organic version. Many health food stores will have an alternative option that won't force you to consume HFCS.
Jams & Jellies
Watch out before you start making your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Lots of jams and jellies fool you by stating they're made from 100% fruits. In most cases, this isn't the truth. In order to keep these spreads sweet and tasty, they either have sugar or HFCS added into them. And usually, they are one of the first ingredients on the list. Instead, ditch the jams or jellies and eat a piece of whole fruit. Can't beat the PB&J craving? We don't blame you. You can find tons of organic options at your local natural food store.
The next time you get a hot dog at the ballpark, tell them to hold the relish. This condiment is one that is severely doused in high fructose corn syrup. While you may think it's all pickles and seasonings, it's more harmful than it looks. Thankfully, making your own relish isn't a large task. There are tons of natural options online that you can try. And like everything else, you can always find an organic option at your local store.
It seems as though all of our favorite foods aren't the healthiest. From snack foods to condiments, they're all filled with preservatives and ingredients we can't even pronounce or spell. Unfortunately, your favorite condiments aren't exempt from the list of foods that aren't healthy. While you may not think about it when you're at your summer barbecue, you're actually consuming toxic additives that can harm you if consumed in excess. Thankfully, you have other options available to you. Choosing healthy options shouldn't be difficult, and making your own healthy versions is worth avoiding the health risks.
Are you looking for other, healthier condiment options? Take a look at our Organic Ketchup with High Fructose Corn Syrup and start eating healthier by making a small change in your eating habits today!