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High Fructose Corn Syrup Free

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a corn-based sweetener.  It is found throughout the American diet, in everything from sugary foods like soda and cookies to savory products like tomato sauce and salad dressing.  There is an ongoing debate about whether it is worse for you than regular table sugar.  Here’s a clip from a 2009 article from Prevention magazine:

“Gram for gram, table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are equal in calories,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, a New York City-based nutritionist. They are also equally sweet. And both consist of two simple sugars — fructose and glucose — in roughly the same proportions (though the two sugars are merely blended together in HFCS, versus chemically bonded in sugar). Your body breaks down both products in virtually the same way, says Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. He adds, “There’s no evidence that high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar once it’s in your body.”

For those of us who need to be FODMAP Free, the debate is irrelevant!  Just like honey and agave, our bodies do not like it!

My advice … read ingredient labels carefully and avoid all high fructose corn syrup.


Baked Goods — Of course, you are avoiding these anyway because of the gluten!

  • Many baked goods, including English muffins, rolls and white and whole wheat bread contain high fructose corn syrup. The syrup helps baked good achieve a brown crust and retain moisture.


Tomato-based Sauces

  • Pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, ketchup and barbecue sauces typically contain high fructose corn syrup, which is used to balance the tart tomatoes and bring out the flavors of spices.


Soft Drinks

  • Soft drinks use high amounts of the syrup as a source of intense sweetness. It also helps stabilize flavors over the long shelf-life of the drinks. Diet soft drinks do not usually contain the syrup.


Breakfast Cereals and Bars

  • Most breakfast cereals, particularly sweetened ones, contain high fructose corn syrup. Cereals aimed at adults also often contain the syrup even if they don’t taste especially sugary.   While you might expect to see high-fructose corn syrup in the cereals that your kids love to eat, this ingredient also hides in cereals targeted at the adult population. For example, Kellogg’s Apple Jacks contain high-fructose corn syrup, but so do Kellogg’s All Bran cereals. And don’t think you’re safe if you choose a breakfast bar instead of a bowl of cereal. According to Jeana Lee Tahnk of, popular brands like Quaker Oatmeal to Go, Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars and Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries all contain high-fructose corn syrup.


Fruit Drinks

  • Fruit drinks often contain high levels of the syrup. It is used bottled juices, drink pouches and in frozen concentrates. High fructose corn syrup has a lower freezing temperature than other sweeteners, and that makes thawing faster.


Processed Foods

  • Processed foods such as lunch meats, dinner sausage, macaroni and cheese, boxed meals, packaged lunch meals and other processed foods contain the syrup because it is inexpensive and provides a long shelf life.


Salad Dressings

  • In an effort reduce calories from oil, many salad-dressing manufactures add high fructose corn syrup instead. Low-fat and low-calorie dressings tend to have higher levels of the syrup than dressings that are made with olive or another kind of oil.


Yogurt — Of course, you are avoiding these anyway because of the dairy!

  • Many yogurt brands contain the sweetener. Even flavors or yogurt lines that are called “all natural” and “organic” contain high fructose corn syrup.


Cough Syrups

  • Many liquid cough suppressants and expectorants contain high fructose corn syrup. Flavored varieties designed to taste better for children tend to have higher amounts of the sweetener.


Fast Food

  • When you purchase a burger at a fast food restaurant, you are often asked if you would like fries as well. Unfortunately, you are not asked if you want high-fructose corn syrup. According to a list of McDonald’s ingredients compiled by, the bun and the majority of the available sauces, including ketchup, contain high-fructose corn syrup. McDonald’s is not the only fast food restaurant to incorporate high-fructose corn syrup into their recipes. Whataburger also puts the ingredient in their hamburger buns, as does Arby’s. You should also know that one of the main ingredients in the Arby’s Sauce that typically comes on a Roast Beef Sandwich is high-fructose corn syrup.


Invert Sugar – A FODMAP Free Alternative to Corn Syrup

Many recipes call for corn syrup … a no-no for a FODMAP Free diet. There are a few substitution options: golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses and treacle. However, if you may find these substitutions change the flavor of your recipe.  The alternative … make Invert Sugar!   Invert sugar is close in function to honey or …

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