Disguising Dangerous Sugars: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Disguising Dangerous Sugars: High Fructose Corn Syrup

How many of us actually know what those hard-to-pronounce ingredients are on the back of some packaged products? The reality, probably no one but the manufactures that make them!

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a commonly used sugar alias – it is used in a number of products instead of sugar, mostly because it is so much cheaper and easier to produce. As the title of this article suggests, this corn-based sweetener is not our friend. The biggest problem with HFCS is how common it has become in processed foods. High fructose intakes have been associated with adverse health effects, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, elevated triglycerides, and diabetes complications to mention a few.

The science-y bit: HFCS is a blend of fructose and glucose. Fructose is digested differently than glucose in our body. Glucose stimulates insulin release, a hormone which helps cells uptake glucose from the blood. This action helps our bodies release leptin, a hormone which stimulates a satiety response, telling our brain that we are full. Fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion, which means that leptin will not be secreted either.

Having said this, it is not wise to completely eliminate fructose from our diet, as it is the primary sugar found in fruits and we all know that fruits provide valuable nutrients. It is more important to be aware of how much fructose we are consuming.

HFCS is mostly found in processed products. You won’t be able to find amounts of HFCS on labels, but can gauge how much is in the product depending on where it appears in the ingredient list. Items at the beginning of the list are the most abundant and appear in descending order. So, if HFCS is listed as the first ingredient, run away! I say stick to the basics – avoid those middle isles at the grocery store where the processed, sweetened packaged foods are.

Common Foods with HFCS: regular soft drinks, fruit juices/drinks that are not 100% juice, pancake syrups, popsicles, fruit-flavored yogurt, frozen yogurt, ketchup, BBQ sauces, jarred/canned pasta sauces, canned soups, canned fruits (if not in its own juice), and highly sweetened breakfast cereals

I now challenge each of you to read the ingredients and make wiser choices about the foods you eat. If you need help clearing out your cupboards, you can always invite the knowledgeable Oakville Nutritionist into your home!

For a great HFCS free recipe try our Raspberry “Ice Cream”.


Guest blog by: Anisha Gupta

Flavin, D. (2008, December). Metabolic danger of high-fructose corn syrup. Retrieved from http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/dec2008_Metabolic-Dangers-of-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup_01.htm

Mohr, C. (2008, August 21). The dangers of high fructose corn syrup. Retrieved from http://diabeteshealth.com/read/2008/08/20/4274/the-dangers-of-high

Zucchini Hummus

Zucchini Hummus

A Twist on an Old Favourite!

Are you tired of regular hummus and want a nice change? Try this twist – it uses zucchini in place of chickpeas!

Why zucchini?

Zucchini is a highly nutritious vegetable that is full of water and enzymes, and easier to digest than chickpeas.



2 zucchini peeled and chopped
¾ cup raw tahini
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic (depending on the size)
2 teaspoons sea salt
pinch of ground pepper
pinch of sweet paprika
½ tablespoon ground cumin

Blend and serve with raw veggies or crackers

Island Alive Smoothie

(An easy smoothie recipe to feel island alive)

Let’s imagine that we’re on an island.
The cool ocean breeze has just touched your skin.
Do you hear those waves splashing onto the shore?
Do you hear the birds chirping?

Do you wish that you were there now?

Summer or winter, this easy concoction will take you to the tropics!


6-7 ice cubesPineaple Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh pineapple
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp maca powder (optional)
1/2 fresh lime squeezed
* add more water or ice for a thinner consistency


Blend and enjoy!

Homemade Granola with Hemp


This tasty creation is not only delicious but packs a punch in protein too!

You might have heard that granola is seemingly a health food but secretly packs a lot of sugar. Here’s a granola recipe that is low in sugar and extra calories.

3 cups rolled oats
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove (optional)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ slivered almonds
¼ shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup raw honey or agave
**Add 3 tbsp Hemp hearts over each individual serving
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt )optional)

Preheat the oven to 300
In a bowl mix oats, seeds, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, clove and sea salt
In a separate bowl combine honey and coconut oil- pour wet mixture over wet and stir
Spread mixture over parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 min. Be sure to check and rotate in oven
Remove from the oven when granola texture is to your liking

Let cool, top with some fruit and or yogurt (optional) and enjoy!
Store in air-tight containers in the cupboard
**When serving add 3 tbsp Hemp seeds for protein to each dish