Here’s another good reason to avoid packaged foods: getting high-fructose corn syrup out of your life. This high-calorie sweetener, subsidized by federal dollars, is in just about everything you can buy in a bottle, bag or box. But like partially hydrogenated oil before it, scientists are now producing evidence that this processed ingredient is actually much worse for you than good, old-fashioned fats and sugar.
From the Princeton University study findings:
Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet.
Also, the rats that ingested the high-fructose corn syrup gained more weight than rats that ate the equivalent amount of calories, but with access to table sugar instead. So if you really want to lose weight and stay healthy, you really need to eliminate this ingredient from your life.
Here are some tips for avoiding high-fructose corn syrup:
- You can assume that any sweetened beverage sold in the U.S. contains it. The best bet is to eliminate these entirely.
- Also avoid all fast food, since almost all of it contains HFCS.
- Foods labeled 100% organic cannot contain HFCS.
- As much as possible, buy whole ingredients and cook your food — especially snacks and sweets — yourself.
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