This is not a comprehensive report after exhaustive research. This is simply a short note after a very quick run through the grocery store for a few needed items. Most of what I was hunting was fresh produce, so no worries about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) there. The new push for seeking them is based on the results of a recent study released by Princeton University. You folks are smart enough to decide for yourself what it means, so rather than dumbing it down into my terminology I’ll simply link it for your perusal.
A walk down the condiment aisle was where the dread came in, especially after a conversation with my good friend Andrea last week on her experience at the grocery store. Her family is making the switch to HFCS-free life, and while I’m not clearing out my pantry I am trying to re-stock without them. I’ve long believed in the dangers of HFCS and partially hydrogenated oils and have avoided what I thought were the big culprits for years.
After her recent experiences, I realize how far HFCS has infiltrated my pantry and fridge when I wasn’t paying attention. Condiments are filled with them, and Andrea recently reported that every variety of bread in her grocery store contained it. I rarely eat bread, but my family enjoys it. We never buy white, and only go for whole grain but I was braced for pain when I checked the labels of my favorite bread items.
I’m happy to report that all three “Nature’s Own” bread varieties I checked at my local store are HFCS-Free, and even tout this with a banner on the packaging. This is a whole grain brand my family already enjoys, so I was relieved. Every other brand I picked up had HFCS.
The place where I was most pleased was the condiment aisle. While Heinz ketchup has HFCS, the Reduced Sugar variety does not. I have used the RS ketchup for years and enjoy it. This is the only kind I’ll buy now, when the guys’ regular runs out.
Planning on making teriyaki chicken tonight, I checked the label on my usual low-sodium teriyaki sauce and was surprised to find that it is HFCS-Free. The normal variety does contain HFCS, so I’ll be checking the low-sodium food options in the future to see if this is a regular additional benefit to low-sodium foods. My habit is to buy low-sodium options whenever possible, dating back to LT’s health problems in 2003. It’s one I’ve not felt the need to switch back since it’s no longer needed for him, and even when I was recently told to increase my salt intake I preferred adding salt to my portion rather than increasing the sodium for my entire family when we’re all used to the healthier alternative.
Also, all the Sugar Free Syrup (for pancakes) is also HFCS-Free since it uses sugar alcohols for sweetness. There are other concerns in using sugar alcohols, but I’ll leave it to you to be able to decide for yourself if you want to make the switch to them.
In general I have to say, YAY for my reduced sugar diet!