Toxin Alert: Not-So-Sweet Treats

By Meghan Rabbitt

Turns out high-fructose corn syrup can mess with more than just your waistline. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Health found this widely used sweetener often contains traces of mercury, a toxic metal that interferes with the brain and nervous system and causes a host of health problems, particularly for children and pregnant women. Unfortunately, the sweet stuff is so prevalent—turning up in most sodas and scores of packaged goods—that the average American consumes an estimated 12 teaspoons of it every day. Read labels carefully before you toss anything into your cart.