High fructose corn syrup.
I have been reading a number of articles lately that have linked rises in obesity and diabetes since the early 80s to the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Although I am not a scientist, I am a natural foods person, and although not everything I eat is 100% natural, I am trying to get to the point where almost everything is natural and organic. There are some things I haven’t yet been able to give up (my Fiber One Chocolate Oat granola bars for example), but for the most part, I have been doing a good job. I eat whole grains, organic fruits and vegetables, local beer, etc. (that last one is a HUGE sacrifice, let me tell you).
And now, I have a new enemy. And its funny the things that have HFCS: Orowheat whole wheat English muffins. Seriously. How can that be? Fortunately, my store brand English muffins (still whole wheat) are HFCS free.
I’ve read that a teaspoon of HFCS is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar – and I’m not sure if that’s true. And to be honest, I don’t care. I know the logic behind the use of HFCS in the US (high importation costs for sugar, and low costs for corn). I know that it’s cheaper to use HFCS. I know that the shelf-life is lengthened. I also don’t care. Have you had a Coca-cola made with sugar since the early 80s (when Coke & Pepsi both switched)? There’s definitely a difference. And even in my ketchup – I bought organic Heinz last time, and it’s better. HFCS may not be the real culprit – that may be in the exponential increase in sugar intake (all sugar, regardless of how it’s made) – but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.
And, because there is some family history of diabetes in both my & the architect’s families, it seems logical to eliminate something that has been shown in some studies to cause diabetes. Also, healthy living is dependent on healthy eating and exercise, and my goal is to lose weight, but to be healthy; weight loss is actually just one component of that goal, as is the reduction of chemicals in my house and in my food.
I know that not everyone who is overweight is unfit, and not everyone who is overweight can just eat less and move more and lose weight. However, I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to eat BETTER, and more movement is just good all around.
So – if you’re interested in more information about HFCS and why I think it’s icky, here are some links:
If you’re interested in the other side (why HFCS is no problem at all and doesn’t pose a health risk) go here:
The State News (editorial written by someone from the Corn Refiners Assn – maybe not 100% unbiased)
And many others that I’m sure you can find with Google.
If you’re interested in scary news completely unrelated to HFCS (I think):
And if all you really wanted was a hot pair of boots that will fit over your calves, check these out: