7 Surprising Sources of High Fructose Corn Syrup

7 Surprising Sources of High Fructose Corn Syrup


Remember those commercials aired by the Corn Refiners Association that tried to convince us that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) isn’t bad for you? It turns out, they may be wrong. It’s all over the blogosphere this week: in the national fight against obesity, high fructose corn syrup is one food ingredient we should possibly be avoiding altogether. The nutrition controversy has raged for years, with one side claiming HFCS contributes to obesity in a way that plain old sugar does not, and the HFCS camp countering that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. But several recent studies have indicated that this may not be true.

And while you know to pass on the candy bars, even meals like sandwiches and salads may be hiding a serving of high fructose corn syrup behind their healthy image. Check the labels of these typically nutritious foods to play it safe.

Photobucket Bread

Nothing goes together better than whole grain and high fructose corn syrup. Wait a minute. That’s not right! You mean well, but when you buy a loaf of whole grain bread, you may be getting duped by the manufacturers. While whole grain is stamped on the front in big, bold letters, high fructose corn syrup may be hiding in fine print on the ingredients list. This is a common marketing move, but at least you’ll never fall for it again.


PhotobucketFlavored Yogurt

Key lime pie, blueberry crumble, chocolate raspberry, lemon meringue”¦ It’s hard it is to resist a 100-calorie snack of these mouth-watering flavors, but flavored yogurt is often a source of high fructose corn syrup. According to a carton of Yoplait Blackberry Pomegranate yogurt (that I just threw in the trash), it ranks fourth out of fourteen on the list of ingredients. Just opt for plain yogurt and add some flavor with sliced fruit and cereal…Oops, I spoke too soon.



When you decided to take the Special K challenge, you had no idea you were upping your dose of high fructose corn syrup in an attempt to shed a couple extra pounds. This and other seemingly wholesome cereals entice you with nutritious claims that are nothing but smoke and mirrors. Opt for simple, home made granola instead.



Backyard BBQ season is just around the corner, so beware of this year’s infamous party crasher: high fructose corn syrup. Ketchup, barbeque sauce and Worcester sauce, just to name a few, contain large amounts of this unhealthy ingredient.

Canned Vegetables

PhotobucketCanned Vegetables

Would it surprise you to know that a can of sliced peaches is chocked full of high fructose corn syrup? Probably not. What if I said the same thing about canned tomatoes, beans or pickles? I, for one, was shocked to learn that this all-too-common processed substance is a leading ingredient in many types of canned vegetables. Opt for fresh and seasonal, or frozen, and when buying canned veggies check the labels.

Salad Dressing

PhotobucketSalad Dressing

High fructose corn syrup even manages to find its way into your nutritious salads via the dressing. Read the labels to steer clear of this ingredient or concoct your own tasty salad dressing from oil, vinegar and spices to ensure you know exactly what you’re consuming.

PhotobucketGranola Bars

Not only are they packed with sugar, many different kinds of granola bars also contain surprising amounts of high fructose corn syrup.

For more foods with high fructose corn syrup, visit Divine Caroline.

Images: Flickr; Emiline220, Dalboz17, ohdearbarb, atomicShed, LollyKnit, The Gifted Photographer, Stef Noble

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22 thoughts on “7 Surprising Sources of High Fructose Corn Syrup

  1. Pingback: Is Fructose Linked to Obese Americans?

  2. Great article, and wonderful pictures. Thanks for calling attention to how high fructose corn syrup is “hidden” in supposedly “healthy” foods. Thanks for the information.

  3. Great article, and wonderful pictures. Thanks for calling attention to how high fructose corn syrup is “hidden” in supposedly “healthy” foods. Thanks for the information.

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  9. Note to Ellie Di in Canada:
    Unfortunately, you will find lots of HFCS in Canada, it just goes by a different name here: glucose/fructose.

  10. Thanks for this wonderful expose of foods with Fructose/Corn Syrup. (I just threw out alot of food!!!!! Sad thing is, now that we are all alerted, food companies like Nestle, etc., will convince the upcoming Republican led congress and administration to conceal this ingredient by calling it something else and labeling the consistency of the new named ingredient, proprietary. We saw ‘proprietary’ used so BP wouldn’t have to divulge the ingredients for the oil dispersant used in the Gulf of Mexico.

  11. nikkie baby: High Fructose Corn Syrup is NOT the same as Fructose.
    Crystalline fructose and high-fructose corn syrup are often confused as the same product. When commenting, please make sure you have your facts correct.

    One more product that has HFCS: Campbell’s Tomato and Vegetarian Vegetable soups. HOWEVER minestrone soup does not.

  12. Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, levulose, and laevulose, is a simple monosaccharide which the body can use for energy.

  13. Bees gather nectar from flowers which contains sucrose. They then use an enzyme to hydrolyze or break apart the sucrose into its component parts of glucose and fructose.

  14. I had been looking at the labels on yogurt containers. Some said “high fructose corn syrup,” some “sugar,” a couple even “fructose.” Then I found the pièce de résistance! 99% fat free yogurt (with fruit on bottom). Ingredients: Cultured Grade A low fat milk, _fructose syrup_, strawberries, _sugar_, _high fructose corn syrup_, blueberries, _fructose_”¦. 23 g of sugars! (I guess the sugar and the HFCS weren’t enough by themselves. Of course, fruit also contains fructose naturally.)

    I won’t name the brand, but I think no matter which brand you look at you’ll find something similar.

    Also, look up Dr. Robert Lustig’s presentation regarding how our bodies metabolize fructose more like ethanol than glucose. He was also on Nightline recently.

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  17. Great post (and I love the photos!) I agree with Elizabeth about reading the labels. I’m a compulsive label reader. What you find out can be surprising — and not just the HFCS. Even with organics you have to read labels — just because something is organic doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy.

    Elizabeth, I bake some of my own bread, but for sandwiches, my kids like the 365 whole wheat bread from Whole Foods. It’s made with honey (and doesn’t have a lot of extra crap in it.)

  18. When I moved to Canada I was shocked and amazed to find that HFCS is hardly anywhere to be found. It’s all sugar baby! While it’d be nicer to not have so much sweetener in stuff anyway, it’s a relief to have real food in my food.

  19. Sadly, it is also in some baby formulas! I think it is totally criminal and another reminder how important it is to read your food labels.

    And read your cosmetic labels as well….

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  21. Great piece Tina. One good tip for people to know if they want to stay away from HFCS is to buy organic. Yes, this is another reason to buy even organic processed foods like ketchup, cookies, breads, etc.

    Because there isn’t yet an organically certified version of high fructose corn syrup. Hopefully there never will be.

  22. I was aware that HFCS was hiding in my foods so I started cooking at home 5 or 6 nights out of 7. I even made my own bread last year because there wasn’t any in my grocery store without HFCS as an ingredient. My husband and daughter have now also been trained to scan even the most unlikely list of ingredients and avoid purchasing anything with HFCS in it. In the last few months I have noticed more and more items advertising that they don’t use HFCS and I try to buy those first. However, eating a diet high in carbs and sugar isn’t good for you whether its natural sugar or HFCS, so I’ve tried reducing the amount of carbs that we were eating and replacing them with more vegetables. It’s tough, but you can avoid HFCS if you are willing to invest a lot of time into reading labels and cooking at home.


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