Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hello Goo, how do you do?

So when I started this blog I was all fired up and ready to go crazy with all the gruesome facts about Gluten and Dairy. Instead, I decided to take a step back and approach this in the same way I started to change my eating. Baby steps, baby steps...

First things first: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! 

Because there's now commercials advertising HFCS and products state in bold "No High Fructose Corn Syrup" on the side of their packaging as a selling point; I think it safe to say that most of us out there are aware that HFCS isn't something you should be downing on the regular. And in my opinion, it's one of the easier changes you can make in your life. 

FACTS: What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 42% fructose and is HFCS 42. Some of the 42% fructose is then purified to 90% fructose, HFCS 90. To make HFCS 55, the HFCS 90 is mixed with HFCS 42 in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS 55.

Yeah, makes no sense to me either. Here's how I think about HFCS and honestly it breaks my heart, HFCS is like a gummy bear. (I love gummy bears) But what I do not love is thinking about how my body is working so hard to break down all that gummy goodness. The process of making HFCS is exactly that, a process. It's a processed food, not simple, not pure. That alone is enough for me to say sayonara to the goo. And don't you think gummy bears and fat and cellulite all carry a striking resemblance? hmmmm

Test the theory: eat a regular gummy bear and then an organic one and see the difference in how they break down while you chew.

HFCS is in a lot of products that people consume everyday, sometimes without even knowing it. But the reason that HFCS was invented is the same reason that people are still buying it in products today and using mass quantities of it: ITS CHEAP! Many people I'm sure understand that it's probably not the best thing for you, but they can't beat the screaming "Buy 2, get 2 Free" soda deal at the store. So to you people, more facts: 

The body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream. The end result is that our bodies are essentially tricked into wanting to eat more and at the same time, we are storing more fat.

Studies have shown a link between HFCS and diabetes, obesity, cancer, and adhd. In the current study, Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D., conducted chemical tests among 11 different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS. He found 'astonishingly high' levels of reactive carbonyls in those beverages. These undesirable and highly-reactive compounds associated with "unbound" fructose and glucose molecules are believed to cause tissue damage, says Ho, a professor of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar, whose fructose and glucose components are "bound" and chemically stable, the researcher notes.

Google this stuff, I swear you read enough of it and that soda sale will mean nothing to you. 

In closing my rant, I want to talk about my biggest beef with HFCS. It's in everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Most of us know that non diet sodas and candy contains HFCS, but what you may not know is that it is in simple things like ketchup and bread, and also in several so called "diet" foods like yoplait light and skinny cow ice cream. Kinda kills the whole diet aspect. Seriously, you might as well eat a gummy bear!

So when on your next shopping trip, I beg you, READ THE LABELS! Just because a product says "all natural" does not mean that it will not contain HFCS because the FDA is still unsure what that label entails. Research and educate yourself and remember you and your families health is priceless. 
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