High Fructose Corn Syrup: The Skinny on the Sweet Stuff
What makes a soft drink sweet? Sugar, right? Well, actually what makes most soft drinks so deliciously sweet, isn't sugar. It's high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a processed sugar substitute made from corn. Corn is cheaper than sugar and HFCS acts as a preservative, so it's been widely adopted into our food stream. It was invented in the 1960's, with extensive use beginning in the late 1970's due to the rise in sugar prices. In the late 1970's, we also began to see the dramatic rise in U.S. obesity rates, but we can't blame this on HFCS. Many aspects of our food supply were changing, including an increase in fast food and portion sizes.
One of the concerns with high fructose corn syrup is that we do not know its long term health effects, if any. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled that high fructose corn syrup is safe. However, they've also say that many other foods are safe, such as fast food and potato chips.
So, as a consumer, you have to draw your own conclusions. What we do know is that natural food ingredients and whole foods (like fruits and vegetables) are healthier when compared to processed foods.
Organic Sugar Cane
Steaz products are sweetened with organic sugar cane, which undergoes less processing than refined (or table) sugar. It hangs on to some of the nutritional value found in the sugar cane stalk, in particular, riboflavin (also known as Vitamin B2). Steaz uses what is called "first press" cane juice because it's the highest quality cane sugar for sweetness and flavor.
Whether it's high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar, these added sweeteners should be consumed with awareness and limitation. Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet. According to the American Heart Association, high intakes of added sugars are implicated in numerous poor health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Steaz products are generally lower in sugar than their mass market competitors. In fact, our best selling drinks are our newer "lightly" sweetened options. Our new Zero Calorie line, which is naturally sweetened with the leaves of the stevia plant, is already proving to be a big hit too.
Creating A Healthier World
Part of our mission at Steaz is to help create a healthier world. We recognize it may seem strange that we are talking about the health concerns of sugar when our products do contain sugar! But,
ignoring that fact and not doing what we can to educate you about what you are consuming goes against our mission.
Steaz is psyched about the steps we're taking to offer you, not only a great tasting alternative to traditional soda but one that's better for you ...and keeps getting better. Check out our next post to find out what else we've been up to on the sugar front.