High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has already been deemed a possible suspect in the obesity epidemic. Now, two studies published last month report that mercury has been found in many tested samples of commercial HFCS and in brand name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second-highest labeled ingredient.

HFCS has replaced sugar as a sweetener in many common food items like BBQ sauce, jam, cereals, yogurt, ketchup, and other condiments. Many popular sodas also contain HFCS. HFCS has been widely used because it extends the shelf life of processed foods and has replaced table sugar because it is cheaper.

Given that mercury is toxic at all levels and the fact that so many of the products we consume contain HFCS, I have included a few commonly consumed culprits and their HFCS-free alternatives below:

Contains HFCS
HFCS-Free
Bread
Weight Watchers 100% whole wheat bread Ezekiel 4:9
Yogurt
Yoplait Fage
Cereal
Kellog’s Corn Flakes Barbara’s puffins
Nutrition Bars
Nutri-Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars Lara or Cliff Nectar bars
Ketchup
Heinz Annie’s Natural Organic Ketchup
Salad Dressing
Wishbone Salad Spritzer Classic Caesar Most Newman’s Own
Crackers
Wheat Thins FiberRich
Soup
Campbells tomato soup Amy’s light in Sodium
Oatmeal
Quaker Oatmeal to Go McCann’s Irish Oatmeal

Although this is an interesting study, there still needs to be more research conducted to truly understand its health consequences. Truth is, HFCS, like other sugars, when consumed in excess have many negative health consequences. Just like other forms of sugar/sweeteners, it provides no nutrients. If you are concerned about the amount of HFCS in your diet: Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins and limit your intake of junk food!:

SOURCE: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, news release, Jan. 26, 2009

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