Supposedly Healthy Cereals Contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

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Why proclaim that a cereal is good for you when it contains a potentially harmful ingredient like high fructose corn syrup? I wrote about the debate between HFCS and regular sugar before, and mentioned this:

“In soda, it has been found that by using HFCS instead of pure sugar it can make the soda 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds. According to one study, carbonyl compounds are elevated in people with diabetes and are blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage. Another study concluded that foods with increased fructose “produced significantly higher fasting plasma triacylglycerol values than did the glucose diet in men” and “if plasma triacylglycerols are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, then diets high in fructose may be undesirable”.”

HFCS is used in place of plain sugar because it is much cheaper than plain sugar – it’s all about cutting costs and making more money. It is definitely not about health at all. While off the top of my head I can name some products that contain HFCS (sodas, candy, etc), did you also know that it is probably also in that “healthy” breakfast cereal you eat every morning? Unless you read the ingredients of every box of cereal that you buy, you might not know that a product such as Special K contains HFCS – and Special K is supposed to be good for you! Some other cereals that contain HFCS and should be avoided if possible include:

Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Original cereal
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® cereal
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® cereal
Kellogg’s® Low Fat Granola With Raisins
Kellogg’s® Mueslix® cereal
Kellogg’s® Smart Start® Strong Heart Toasted Oat cereal
Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal

There are plenty of breakfast cereals that do not contain HFCS, but they might be a little harder to find. But if you check out Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Trader Joe’s or another natural food store, you are apt to find suitable replacements for the name brand cereals that you have been eating that are much better for you. Personally, I like the Raisin Bran and the Corn Flakes from Trader Joe’s – all natural and HFCS free. So why put a genetically modified corn product in your body if you don’t have to? Beware though – once you start looking for it, you are going to find it in cookies, bread, granola, cereal bars, you name it…so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Comments

  1. That’s why I stopped buying/eating boxed cereal a few years ago. I make my own granola and oatmeal now — easier, cheaper, and so much healthier.

    Thanks for spreading the word.

  2. I don’t think that it is so much the type of sugar that we would be worrying about as the package as a whole. Check the labels and pick the one that is high in fiber, protein, and and other nutrients that we need in our diet. Supplementing that with fruit and some other source of a complete protein is your best best for a well rounded breakfast.

  3. That’s an interesting study you mentioned about carbonyl compounds–I have never heard of the relationship between that and HFCS. I actually read that fructose levels in table sugar were similar to those in HFCS. Like you said, HFCS is in everything…most all processed foods contain it. Honestly, if I am going to eat something sugary I just try to limit the quantity and supplement it with fruits and vegetables.

  4. I always like to eat healthy and my parents even think im becoming paranoid from HFCS…i was recently shopping in albertsons with my mom for some cereal and so i looked for the ‘healthy’ ones. So my mom was like, hey how about this one..10 different vitamins & minerals and its low fat..so then i thought it would be ‘healthy’. Then i came back home and looked at the ingredients and there i saw HFCS…it angered me. Not just cause its in there, but also the fact that i’d have to eat it cause i chose the cereal myself and my parents wouldn’t want me to waste it. I noticed more and more foods these days are containing HFCS…its becoming really frustrating.

  5. I’m sure everyone has seen the commercials for sweetsurprise.com, right? In my opinion, its a bunch of bullshit. Its an attempt to keep afloat a cheap and unhealthy industry that gets kids addicted to sweets. If you don’t think so, take a look in the candy aisle at your local grocer. And again ask yourself, “Why would there be a commercial attempting to convince us that hfcs is ok?” The answer is, its in everything! Imagine if everyone grew wise to how unhealthy this sweetener is. That’s a billion dollar industry right down the tubes! I also noticed that on all the channels this sweetsurprise commercial played, there were also a handful of Kellogg’s commercials. Coincidence? I think not.

  6. Great point Charlie – it is in everything. Companies advertising for a particular ingredient? You know its bad for us when you see that!

  7. HFCS should be banned. People in the US thinks its banned in canada its not in canada HFCS is known as glucose-fructose and it should be banned.

  8. Not hard at all to find cereal without HFCS. Just avoid Kellogg’s. Every General Mills cereal doesn;t have it (although they have lots in Yoplait), and none of Post cereals have it either.

    Enjoy.

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