My new HFCS-free life

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My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:02 am UTC

I gave up HFCS for Lent (except finishing a few yogurt cups I had leftover- can't donate them and letting them spoil would be wasteful), and am looking for any good HFCS-free food. I've been eating a lot more fruit and whole grain bread and cereals, plus munching on popcorn instead of crackers, chips, or cookies. So far I've discovered a fondness for plums (I never ate one until this week) and for Havarti cheese. Once I'm back in school, I'll probably skip the school desserts, since I don't know if they have HFCS in them, but my indulgence is Haagen-Daaz ice cream. No corn syrup, and it's so rich I'm full after a few bites.

I wouldn't say I've noticed a major change yet (besides having a little more energy), but it's only been since Tuesday before last. Anyone else ever given it up? Any suggestions for foods not containing any? I have a major sweet tooth, and am willing to try anything that is not spicy (digestive issues) or fish (personal issues). If I start noticing a difference, I'll update on it- I read that HFCS could mess up leptin levels in some people, and since despite having been in recovery for bulimia for 6 years, my body still seems to think it's on the verge of starvation. I'm wondering if my leptin levels aren't a little weird, because even though I know I'm full, my hormones seem to be telling my body I'm still hungry.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:51 pm UTC

If you have the time and patience, you could always do homemade treats, like homemade fudge or hard candy.

Same goes for homemade baked goods, including homemade bread.

For drinks, there's Mexican Coke, which has pure cane sugar. It tastes like how Coke was supposed to taste. It also comes in the good old glass bottles. You might be able to find it in some Mexican restaurants, or if there is a Hispanic community near you, in their "Supermercado."

Here's a list of sodas containing pure cane sugar instead of HFCS.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby cerbie » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:08 am UTC

After reading links to type II diabetes, which is common on my family, I pretty much gave the stuff up (I'm not all that worried about the amount in, say, Heinz* Worcester sauce). It's actually not that hard, since the majority of stuff that has it isn't the best for you to begin with.

If you're into popcorn, too, consider getting a stainless steel popper (I got a Back to Basics one). One-trick ponies, sure, but they let you make great popcorn with ease.

On a side note, I've started picking up Sobe drinks, since most of them have actual sugar, and taste decent.

* they changed the recipe after they bought the L&P name, you see, so it's not the same stuff The Late Living God (Justin Wilson) kept on his counter.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby the_stabbage » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:27 am UTC

I did try to cut out HFCS, but I was unsuccessful as that stuff is in everything. However I did cut down on my sugar intake overall (now I almost don't drink soft drinks), which makes me happy. There's some diabetes in my family, though I think I'm mostly just paranoid about getting it.

Sources of sugar such as fruit and honey definitely help with the cravings. After a while, your taste buds become very sensitive to the varieties of the taste of "sweet", and sugar can even become overpowering.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:34 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:For drinks, there's Mexican Coke, which has pure cane sugar. It tastes like how Coke was supposed to taste. It also comes in the good old glass bottles. You might be able to find it in some Mexican restaurants, or if there is a Hispanic community near you, in their "Supermercado."

Here's a list of sodas containing pure cane sugar instead of HFCS.


Drinking 12 oz of Mexicoke isn't any better for you than 12 oz of American coke. It's still a hell of a lot of sugar.

If you really want cutting out HFCS to be productive, don't go looking to replace it with other forms of sugar. As other posters have said (and done), use it to direct yourself to healthier things - grab apple juice (Tree Top or similar - 100% juice, even reconstituted) instead of coke. Dehydrated fruit bits or something instead of chips or candy bars. Yogurt is on the healthy side of things as snacks go, but since HFCS is a lent thing for you, try stirring granola into plain yogurt.

cerbie wrote:If you're into popcorn, too, consider getting a stainless steel popper (I got a Back to Basics one). One-trick ponies, sure, but they let you make great popcorn with ease.


Or use a stainless steel mixing bowl on a stove... more complicated, but definitely cheaper.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Nath » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Drinking 12 oz of Mexicoke isn't any better for you than 12 oz of American coke. It's still a hell of a lot of sugar.

If you really want cutting out HFCS to be productive, don't go looking to replace it with other forms of sugar. As other posters have said (and done), use it to direct yourself to healthier things - grab apple juice (Tree Top or similar - 100% juice, even reconstituted) instead of coke.

Drinking 12 oz of apple juice isn't much better for you than 12 oz of coke. It's still a hell of a lot of sugar.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:44 pm UTC

Why not just make a habit of drinking water? This is probably the most important food-related habit anyone could ever instill in their children from an early age. The default should always be water. It makes sense from just about any angle—dietary, medical, financial, practical.

Plus, apple juice is the horse piss of juices.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:21 pm UTC

I drink water almost exclusively- sometimes I have no sugar added lemonade, and sometimes I splurge on carbonated fruit juice (like Izze or Twist) or no sugar added smoothies (like Naked juice). I drink at least two quarts of water every day- any juice I drink is in addition to how much water I drink. I'm defnitely losing my taste for soft drinks- Izze has 2 1/2 fewer grams of sugar per ounce than ordinary sodas, and is tastier. It's also a lot more filling... it's harder to finish a 12 ounce bottle of Izze in one sitting than it is to finish a 20 ounce bottle of Sunkist. Naked juice smoothies only have one less gram of sugar per ounce then regular soda, but it's WAY more filling and much harder to drink an unhealthy amount.

I really need to stock up on fruit for the next week, though. I'm not crazy about most vegetables- I'll eat salads (luckily, I prefer light vinaigrette dressings to heavy cream ones), brocolli, corn, peas... I wished I liked vegetables more, because I know they're really healthy and can help pad out my meals, but so far the only things I've been able to train myself into liking are salad greens and red onions when in salad. I'll probably be eating a lot more fruit and a lot more cheese.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Jinx » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

It's a little pricey, but one of the easiest things you can do is to go for organic products- they tend to be zero-tolerance towards things like HFCS. If you have a Whole Foods near you, that can help you indulge in things like ketchup.

Things like leafy greens, cheeses, and the like are great stomach fillers- though you have to watch for the HFCS in many dressings... although again, the organics approach can help you with that. Ah, and then there's hummus- a great snack that everyone should know about.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:41 am UTC

Unless it's labeled "100% Organic" it's still allowed to have HFCS in it. It can simply be labeled "Organic" or "made with Organic ingredients" and still have HFCS in it; just not if it says "100% Organic". And there's no regulation of the word "natural" or the phrase "all-natural" so that means nothing.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:53 am UTC

I'm reading food labels pretty carefully. I've eaten it without realizing a couple of times, but it's only been two weeks. Unfortunately, the week before Lent, I bought a jar of grape jelly that turned out to have HFCS in it. Ah well, it'll keep (if my boyfriend doesn't eat the whole thing :P ). He's offered to eat all my leftover HFCS-containing food, and I may let him. The only stuff I'm intentionally eating is that yogurt, just because I don't want to waste it.

I managed to get a good haul of HFCS-free stuff from Costco- protien bars, cereal, salad, bread, and hamburger. I don't use condiments often anyway, so a cheeseburger on whole grain bread is perfectly good to me.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

One way to start liking more veggies is to vary how you cook them. Start by steaming them in a small amount of water in the microwave, then try sauteing in olive oil. Roasting with a bit of oil and salt is also great, Try to see if the problem is flavor or texture-do you want more crunch or more mush? Use red or yellow peppers instead of green if you're not into bitter tastes.
Almost any veg will taste better if it's cooked in bacon fat-you only need one or two strips to get enough to do the trick.
It's great that you're trying stuff-you never know what you'll like until you do.
There is also the use of cheese sauce in moderation, and odds and ends in fried rice or other stir-fry.
If you can get to a farmer's market in the summer try the really fresh stuff, it can taste like a completely different product. Especially tomatoes.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Delalyra » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:27 am UTC

Since it's almost Saint Patrick's day, corned beef does wonderful things to plain old cabbage or brussels sprouts. I bet even a little of it, boiled with the cabbage, would work.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:41 am UTC

Well, except for a brief sinus infection, I've noticed that cutting out HFCS has led to higher energy and clearer skin. I think I'll keep this up as much as possible after Lent as well... Now, off to have a nice pear before bed :)

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:51 am UTC

There is no confection in this world I would choose over a perfectly ripe peach.

Too bad most summers go by without me ever finding one here.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby pooteeweet » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:54 am UTC

cerbie wrote:On a side note, I've started picking up Sobe drinks, since most of them have actual sugar, and taste decent.


Um... I'm pretty sure Sobe is packed with HFCS. It really pisses me off when products like that are marketed as healthy, wholesome alternatives when they're really just as bad for you as any stereotypical junk food.

Kendo bunny brought up non-yucky sodas (probably still not that good for you, but not quite as awful as most). Has anybody tried GuS? Short for Grown-up Soda. I like it a lot. I've only tried the Lime-cranberry and the Cola flavors so far. It's a drier, less syrupy soda and I would assume they use sugar instead of HFCS.

All that said, although I've never been a huge fan of soda, I occasionally can't stop myself from buying a 2-liter of Mountain Dew. It's disgusting but I acquired a taste for it during all-night study sessions.

Has anybody here tried using Agave Nectar as a sweetener? I saw it in the bulk section at the Co-op the other day. Never heard of it before but apparently it's a popular substitute. Not sure if there are health benefits to using that instead of cane.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby poxic » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:14 am UTC

Agave nectar is sometimes used by strict vegetarians (vegans) who are concerned about non-vegan products used in the manufacture of many white and brown sugars. (They won't use honey, since it's made by bees, which are animals.) I have no idea how it tastes or how sweet it is.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:50 am UTC

Agave nectar is popular with people allergic to honey, too. It's a slightly thinner consistency than a light amber honey, and the flavor reminds me of Snapple Rain (the blue agave Elements drink, way back when Elements launched) except the agave flavor is significantly less pronounced. I think it makes a good honey alternative, though it's not quite as sweet. Good if you like to keep a variety of sweeteners around (say a couple types of honey, refined sugar, turbinado/demerara/raw sugar, and so forth) too, it has a unique flavor.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby cerbie » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:00 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Agave nectar is popular with people allergic to honey, too. It's a slightly thinner consistency than a light amber honey, and the flavor reminds me of Snapple Rain (the blue agave Elements drink, way back when Elements launched) except the agave flavor is significantly less pronounced. I think it makes a good honey alternative, though it's not quite as sweet. Good if you like to keep a variety of sweeteners around (say a couple types of honey, refined sugar, turbinado/demerara/raw sugar, and so forth) too, it has a unique flavor.
You can get darker agave nectar, that actually tastes like agave, and is significantly darker in color than most honey. I'm guilty of the variety of sweeteners thing.

OT: HFCS and all, Rain and Moon were the best!
pooteeweet wrote:
cerbie wrote:On a side note, I've started picking up Sobe drinks, since most of them have actual sugar, and taste decent.
Um... I'm pretty sure Sobe is packed with HFCS.
Nope. Almost all are now sugar, with outliers using sucralose or aspartame.
It really pisses me off when products like that are marketed as healthy, wholesome alternatives when they're really just as bad for you as any stereotypical junk food.
Sure. On the other hand, anyone who, today, is willing to believe such marketing, deserves to be fooled. You can certainly make sugar water, potato chips, etc., healthier than they typically are or have been, but they are still junk food. Anyone who trusts food company marketing alone has chugged the kool-aid.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

pooteeweet wrote:Has anybody here tried using Agave Nectar as a sweetener? I saw it in the bulk section at the Co-op the other day. Never heard of it before but apparently it's a popular substitute. Not sure if there are health benefits to using that instead of cane.

Yes, I've tried it in tea and in mixed drinks. It's supposed to be 30% sweeter than clover honey by volume, but I can't say I've ever gotten that impression from a taste. It is very comparable to honey in viscosity and color, with a cleaner, simpler taste. I haven't seen the darker variety cerbie mentions.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby pooteeweet » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:37 am UTC

Hmm... I bet it makes a great substitute for simple syrup to mix tequila drinks with.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:55 am UTC

I just tried Jones Green Apple soda yesterday, which actually has nearly twice the amount of sugar of regular soda. All I can is blech. I felt nauseous for hours. Maybe I'm getting past my uber-sweet cravings.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:17 am UTC

pooteeweet wrote:Hmm... I bet it makes a great substitute for simple syrup to mix tequila drinks with.

That's actually the first context in which I remember it coming up in conversation, and it is quite handy for that purpose.
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby cerbie » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:05 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
pooteeweet wrote:Has anybody here tried using Agave Nectar as a sweetener? I saw it in the bulk section at the Co-op the other day. Never heard of it before but apparently it's a popular substitute. Not sure if there are health benefits to using that instead of cane.

Yes, I've tried it in tea and in mixed drinks. It's supposed to be 30% sweeter than clover honey by volume, but I can't say I've ever gotten that impression from a taste. It is very comparable to honey in viscosity and color, with a cleaner, simpler taste. I haven't seen the darker variety cerbie mentions.
Maybe check your local health food stores. I decided to look while I was at one around here today, and they had Mudhava's, "light," "amber" (what I was referring to), and "raw" (haven't tried it, but it has similar depth of color to clover honey).
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Rinsaikeru » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:51 pm UTC

I might be late to the game here--but I saw my first Pro-HFCS ad yesterday and was very weirded out.

http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/08/pro ... up-tv-ads/
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:32 pm UTC

Well, since giving it up- with actually moving around less because I had an accident right after Lent began, then got sick- I haven't lost any weight, but I've lost an inch off my waist, and three off my hips.

So yeah... in the future, I'll eat a little bit occasionally, but I'm going to keep avoiding foods that obviously contain it.

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby ameretrifle » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:26 am UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:I might be late to the game here--but I saw my first Pro-HFCS ad yesterday and was very weirded out.

http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/08/pro ... up-tv-ads/
I know! They always have this moment where person B says something along the lines of "What did you hear about it?" and person A says "Uh, well..." It's supposed to give the message "No one really knows why HFCS is bad, you just heard it somewhere and are repeating it like a mindless parrot!! Shame on you!!", but I always get the impression that the Corn Mafia just drove up offscreen with a knife against the throat of someone very dear to person A.

Person B: "...You heard that it's just as natural as sugar, and it's made from corn, and therefore cannot be bad?"
Person A: "Uh... right! Right. Ah ha ha, everything's normal now, Oh god let Sara go she's all I have left!"
Person B: *smiles* "Just as long as we're clear."

...But that's probably just me :D

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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:05 pm UTC

I particularly like how "...and it's fine in moderation!" is supposed to make me feel better. You know what else is "fine in moderation"? Poison!
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Re: My new HFCS-free life

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:47 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:You know what else is "fine in moderation"? Poison!

Image


...nah, even a moderately-small image is too much.


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