We have all read, seen or listened to some variation of Hansel & Gretel from the Brothers Grimm. A witch lives in a deep forest luring children with an edible house and sweet treats hoping to fatten them up for her cannibalistic urges. The children turn the tables as befits fairy tale heroes and get out alive.
I’m watching TV and I see a commercial where a couple is in the park and the girl offers the guy a taste of her Popsicle. It’s a red Popsicle—a nutrient free snack of frozen artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup. He is hesitant.
Though the commercial said “It’s OK in moderation,” most Americans do NOT ingest a moderate amount of high fructose corn syrup. This sweetener is used in so many refined products, it’s actually difficult to find processed foods that don’t contain it. Take a look at breads, sauces, hot dogs, candy, crackers, frozen dinners, pizza, juice, and soda to see how prevalent it is.
Fructose, commonly called fruit sugar, is a simple sugar found in honey, tree fruits, berries, and melons. But don’t be fooled into thinking fructose on a label means you are eating fruit sugar. Pure crystalline fructose comes from two sources: corn or sucrose (table sugar). Corn starch is processed to release fructose. Sucrose (table sugar) is enzymatically hydrolyzed to separate into glucose and fructose. Crystalline fructose is pure fructose from one of these two sources.