A University of Colorado study found that even people who eat a healthy, low-sodium diet may be at risk of high blood pressure due to a commonly-found food additive. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is found in almost all processed, prepared, or packaged foods, was shown to increase blood pressure by up to 32%.
According to the study, HFCS causes inflammation in the bloodstream which causes the blood vessel walls to tighten, resulting in blood pressure increases. Even people who ate a healthy diet with periodic ingestion of HFCS experienced the blood pressure increase.
While HFCS can be listed as corn syrup, fructose, high fructose sweetener, natural sweetener, or other type of sweetener on the label of foods, it is still the same health-damaging sweetener. Even foods that claim to be “natural” can include HFCS. Only fresh whole foods or foods that are labeled “100% organic” are devoid of HFCS.
It can be found in almost any foods but is common in most types of soda, and processed foods labeled “low-fat” or “non-fat”. Most food manufacturers add high-fructose corn syrup to add flavor when they make fat-reduced foods and HFCS happens to be extremely cheap.
Read page 2 to learn some surprising sources of HFCS…
Some surprising sources of HFCS include:
-Granola and Granola Bars
-Cereal (even so-called healthy cereals or cereals intended for children)
There’s another problem with HFCS: most corn and corn-derived foods on the market are made with genetically-modified (GM) corn. While there still isn’t much testing on the effects of consuming GM-foods (and certainly no long-term tests), early tests show many negative health consequences.
While high-fructose corn-syrup contains fructose, there’s no reason to be concerned about eating fructose as it is found in fresh fruits. Research shows that consuming fruit does not negatively impact blood pressure, and may even improve it.
Michelle Schoffrro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, PhD.