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High Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight LossHigh Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight Loss


High Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight Loss

What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener used by food manufacturers. It is formed when corn starch is broken down into corn syrup. Enzymes are added to the corn syrup to convert some of its glucose to fructose. The result is a sweetener that is about 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. It is a less expensive alternative to sugar, and it also serves as a preservative in packaged foods. HFCS is most often associated with regular soda, but if you check food labels, you will find it in pasta sauce, barbeque sauce, ketchup, sweet pickles, jam, bread, crackers, cereals, ice cream, and baked goods.

How Does HFCS Affect Weight?

Many health professionals question if HFCS is linked to the rise in obesity over the past 50 years. It is speculated that fructose alters the hormonal response of the body, resulting in increased body fat storage and appetite when compared to other sugars with the same number of calories. Supporters of HFCS argue that chemically it is similar to table sugar, and that the body does not recognize the difference. The topic is still heavily debated with research supporting both sides. As with most theories, more research will eventually reveal if there are associations between HFCS and weight gain.

Should I Eat Foods with HFCS?

HFCS is an added sugar. Reducing added sugar intake is important for health regardless of whether that sugar comes from white table sugar or HFCS. The American Heart Association recommends that women limit added sugar intake to no more than 100 calories (six teaspoons) per day and men to no more than 150 calories (nine teaspoons) per day. Reducing your intake of packaged, processed foods and regular soda will reduce your overall intake of the sweetener. But for a healthy diet and reduced risk of disease, be sure you aren’t replacing HFCS with other added sugars.


8 Foods that Keep You Feeling Full8 Foods that Keep You Feeling Full


Foods that Keep You Feeling Full

The key to smart snacking is finding foods with a balance of complex carbohydrate, heart-healthy fat, and protein. This combination gives you long-lasting energy and prevents a spike in blood sugar that will leave you hungry in a few hours. Here are a few foods that will curb hunger and keep you feeling full.


Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats that help to sustain your energy levels. Research shows that they also help the body absorb valuable antioxidants. Mash up half an avocado and spread it over a piece of whole grain bread for a mid-morning snack.


Beans pack a punch of nutrition with protein and fiber. Combine a few of your favorite cooked beans with basil or cilantro, minced onion, and bell pepper. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil to add healthy fats.


This garbanzo bean and sesame based spread provides protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats. Use it as a dip for fresh vegetables or spread it over whole wheat pita bread for a healthy afternoon snack.

Natural Nut Butters

Store shelves are now lined with nut butters from peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and even macadamia nuts. All of these spreads contain the same quality protein and heart-healthy fat as whole nuts. Just be sure to read the label closely and select those that are unsweetened and low in sodium.


Research shows that people who eat peanuts maintain a lower BMI and waist circumference when compared to those who don’t consume nuts. Peanuts help reduce hunger due to their high protein and fiber content which stabilizes blood sugar. They also provide monounsaturated fatty acids.


Not only do pistachios provide protein, fat, and fiber for fullness, they are also one of the lowest calorie nuts. Taking the time to remove the shell will also slow your snacking, helping you to practice mindful eating.

Pumpkin Seeds

Also called pepitas, a 1 ounce serving of pumpkin seeds has 9 grams of protein and provides both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Snack on a few when hunger hits in the afternoon and you will make it to dinner without giving in to an unhealthy option.


Yogurt contains fewer of the healthy fats than other snacks in the list, but it is packed with protein. Choose Greek yogurt for an even greater protein boost. Pay attention to nutrient and ingredient labels. Buy plain yogurt and add honey or fruit to control the amount of sugar and calories in each serving.


How to Lose Weight: Diet or Exercise?How to Lose Weight: Diet or Exercise?


How to Lose Weight:  Diet or Exercise?

It is possible to lose weight by only reducing your calorie intake or by only increasing exercise, but research shows combining the two is a much more effective approach.

While reducing calories alone has a slight edge over exercising to lose weight, exercise can help you keep the weight off. Studies show that that those who successfully maintain their weight loss are often regular exercisers.

Combining dietary changes with exercise can also help you feel less deprived. Weight loss occurs when you take in fewer calories than you burn. By exercising, you create a greater calorie deficit for weight loss.

In order to lose 1 pound per week, you will need to create an average calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. While you can cut 500 calories from the foods you eat, a better approach may be to burn 250 extra calories and cut your food intake by 250 calories. You will likely feel less overwhelmed and more energetic with this approach. This will increase the likelihood that you will stick with your new healthy habits.

See also

7 Hidden Habits that Make You Gain Weight7 Hidden Habits that Make You Gain Weight


Hidden Habits that Make You Gain Weight

Hidden habits have a way of sneaking into your daily routine and preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals. These simple actions may seem harmless, but they can have enough impact on your calorie balance to keep the scale from moving in the right direction.

Staying up just a few more minutes.

Research shows that sleep deprivation causes an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and hunger. At the same time, there is a decrease in the hormone leptin, which signals satiety (fullness). Skimping on sleep may make you eat more.

Taking a few bites.

A bite here and a nibble there may seem insignificant to your total calorie intake, but that all depends on what you are eating. A few bites of cookie dough can contain as many as 120 calories. If you fail to add that to your food diary, it is easy to overlook extra calories that are keeping the weight on.

Cutting out early.

Skipping the last 10 minutes of indoor cycling class to beat traffic may get you home faster, but it isn’t helping you reach your goals. A 150-pound person burns 79 calories in 10 minutes of moderate indoor cycling. Skip out on five workouts and you will miss burning almost 400 calories!

Topping it off.

Salads, oatmeal, black bean tacos, and baked sweet potatoes are all healthy meals, but only if you don’t take the toppings too far. Nuts, seeds, dressings, cheese, croutons, and sour cream can all add delicious flavor when used in moderation. Go overboard, and you will quickly turn your meal from healthy to high-calorie.

Snacking on processed foods.

Packaged foods like crackers and cookies may be described as whole grain, diet, light, or natural, but that doesn’t mean they will help you lose weight. Excess sugars, fat-replacers, and sodium are all hidden ingredients that may make them too good to be true. At snack time, reach for fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds instead.

Skipping the water bottle.

Hydration plays a role in curbing hunger. Drinking water throughout the day will keep you feeling full and energetic. It can also keep you satisfied while replacing higher calorie drinks like soda and fruit juices.

Sneaking in sugar.

Controlling portions of pasta sauces, condiments, yogurt, granola bars, and cereals will keep calories in check, but it is the sugar that is the problem. Excess added sugar can cause you to crave more sugar, which can lead to eating the high-calorie dessert you don’t need.

How to Avoid Self-Sabotage During Weight LossHow to Avoid Self-Sabotage During Weight Loss


How to Avoid Self-Sabotage During Weight Loss

You are likely familiar with the pattern -- you get close to your goal weight and then sabotage your efforts by indulging in unhealthy foods or skipping workouts. The self-sabotage phenomenon is common, especially when goals are within reach. This can indicate that you have not fully realized the difference between wanting to be fit and actually being fit.

Living with the daily desire and dream of being fit can be consuming. It not only causes you to put your life on hold, it gives you an excuse for not fully living in the moment and provides a scapegoat for all things gone wrong. When you're overweight, it's easy to make excuses when a situation doesn’t go well: "If I wasn't overweight, then he would like me," or "I can take that chance on a new career once I lose weight." It's a comfortable fantasy without risk.

When you actually reach your goal weight, a primary self-protection mechanism is gone. You have reached the goal of being fit, the one thing that you have been waiting for and dreaming of for years. The excuse that weight once offered is no longer valid. It can be a scary and unnerving situation that leaves you feeling vulnerable. If things don't work out, then who or what is to blame?

It takes courage to live life and roll with the punches, but you can do this without losing weight. Start now and the transition won't be so difficult once you reach your goal. To work through this, begin by assessing what role weight plays in your life. Start a journal and answer these questions:

  • What positive aspects does it offer you?
  • How does it protect you?
  • Can you find alternative ways to protect yourself without hiding?
  • What does being fit mean to you?
  • What internal qualities do you have? In your mind, can you maintain these qualities and still be thin? If not, why?
  • Does being fit threaten you in some way? Why?

Self-exploration takes time and patience, but the result can help you get past those issues that hold you back. There are many resources that can help, including Web sites, books, and professionals such as registered dietitians and nutritionists. Be patient and trust that you can resolve internal conflicts by facing them and working through them, one by one.

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