Substitute for Corn Syrup

85% of US corn is genetically modified

Finding a substitute for corn syrup might not sound to difficult but elliminating it from your diet might be harder than you think! It is used in such a wide variety of food products that it's almost impossible to avoid completely. It is used in cookies, crackers, catsups, cereals, dressings, sauces, flavored yogurts, ice cream, preserved meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soups, beers, soda, and many others.

So, what is corn syrup? Kind of a long, complicated story but here goes..

Corn Syrup is commercial glucose made from chemically pruified conrstarch with every removed except for the starch. Now remember that before it was cornstarch it was corn and that 85% of corn grown in the US is genetically modified. This should leave a bad taste in your mouth already! Then when you look at the fact that aside from feeding animals, the single largest industrial use of American corn is the production of corn sweetners you must ask why?

Very simple answer, it's cheap! In fact, much, much cheaper than even refined sugar.

Then we have genetically modified corn syrup converted to high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. To make HFCS the corn syrup goes through another process called enzyme conversion. (If you want to know the details, Click here) This makes the corn syrup much sweeter so high fructose corn syrup is usually what your eating or drinking even though you may not realize it.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Health Problems

  • Risk of Weight Gain & Obesity - The list of studies that show HFCS to cause increased weight gain over other forms of sweeteners is very long. A recent on done by Princeton University found that rats that were fed HFCS gained fat 300% more quickly than those fed an equal (or slightly larger) dose of fruit-derived sugar. You can read more about it here.
  • Increased Risk of Developing Type-2 Diabetes - Over the years, consumption of high-fructose corn syrup can lead to a huge increase in the likelihood of developing diabetes. (More on that here) The worst part about it is how easily this life-long condition can be avoided in most cases. Excessive amounts of soda, energy drinks and junk food simply aren’t worth losing a foot or going blind or harming your children.
  • HFCS & Liver Damage - Like anything else you eat or drink, HFCS is processed by your liver, gallbladder and kidneys. And it’s especially destructive to your liver. When combined with a sedentary lifestyle, permanent liver scarring can occur. Click for liver info

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  • Mercury Exposure from HFCS - Even if you were already aware of previously mentioned risks associated with corn syrup, there’s a good chance that you didn’t know it also often loaded with alarmingly high levls of mercury. Article on mercury.
  • Hypertension and Elevated “Bad” Cholesterol Levels - High-fructose doesn’t just make your body fat. It makes your heart fat too. There is a strong link between the irresponsible consumption of high fructose corn syrup and elevated triglyceride and HDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Substitute for Corn Syrup

As you can guess it's pretty hard to avoid this sweetner but if you're looking for a corn syrup substitute here's some alternative ideas...

  • Local raw Honey
  • Maple Syrup or maple sugar
  • Agave nectar (beware, this is very high in fructose also)
  • Barley malt and brown rice syrups - mild, natural syrups made from barley shoots or rice and cooked in water to a syrup.
  • Date Sugar - is the most natural, least refined sweetener and has the same nutrient values as dried dates but is only half as sweet as sugar.
  • Sorghum molasses - is concentrated sorghum juice, a grain related to millet.

Substitute for Corn Syrup in Recipes

If you have a recipe that calls for corn syrup you can improvise and make your own simple syrup!

Homemade "Corn" Syrup Recipe

2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch salt


Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.

Uncover and simmer, stirring often, until it reaches the soft ball stage.

Cool and store in a covered container at room temperature.Your syrup should keep for about 2 months.

Makes about 2 cups.

But don't forget large amounts of any type of added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — can be linked to health problems such as weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which can boost a heart attack risk.

If you have your own substitute for corn syrup or any related content please post below!

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