I don’t have any crafts, decorating ideas, or pictures for you today. I am quite upset about something that most people aren’t aware of. Something in our food that is slowly killing us…contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
It’s in almost every food, condiment and drink we consume. We are eating it in huge quantities and most of us don’t even know what it is. Since it was introduced into our diets nearly 40 years ago, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Do you know what this awful secret ingredient is? It is called high fructose corn syrup.
Forty years ago, the food industry discovered a way to sweeten foods at significantly less cost to them: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Over the years HFCS has replaced natural sugars in most of the foods we consume.
Go open up your cupboards and your refrigerator. Start reading labels and look to see how many products you have with HFCS. Here are some of the other names that are used for HFCS: Fructose Corn Syrup; Fructose-Glucose Syrup; glucose Fructose Syrup; and Fructose Corn Syrup Solids.
It is likely that you will find it in your soft drinks, cereals, breads, ketchup, mayonnaise, juice, yogurt and so on. Foods that are supposedly healthy have HFCS.
Why is it so bad? Research shows us that it causes a greater weight gain than regular sugar, especially in the abdomen. Princeton University did a study using rats. Some were given HFCS while another group was given a very high fat diet (no HFCS). ALL of the rats consuming HFCS became obese while only some of the rats consuming the high fat diet became obese.
HFCS slows down the secretion of leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you when you are full and to stop eating. This means your cravings are never quite satisfied, leaving you wanting more and more.
Natural sugars are processed in the pancreas which helps us to regulate insulin. HFCS bypasses the pancreas and goes straight to the liver. This confuses the body and leads to insulin resistance. It can also cause liver damage in high doses or long term.
OK, so now you are thinking…everything in moderation, right? I don’t think a small amount of HFCS would hurt you. But, look at the foods in your kitchen again. Look how MANY of them have HFCS! Do you drink soda? The second ingredient (after carbonated water) is almost always HFCS. It is almost impossible to eat it in moderation! By moderation I mean, perhaps one can of soda if HFCS doesn’t exist in any of your other foods. The average person consumes 60 lbs of HFCS per year!
Scary right? Well it gets worse! While cancer cells will feed on sugar and thrive…HFCS causes the cells to multiply. I’m not saying that it will cause cancer…there is no evidence of that. But who wants to eat something that can make cancer stronger?
Other research has shown levels of mercury in HFCS. I’m sure you have already heard the dangers of consuming mercury!
Now that I am aware of this, I am on the warpath. I am reading labels and avoiding the HFCS. I do not want my family to consume this substance any longer!
Here is a great resource for keeping track of the ingredients in just about any food product: Label Watch
And, here are some links with more information on HFCS:
Thank you for posting this very important subject matter. I, too, am on the same warpath; have been for 2 years now. It took a year for me to completely rid HFCS from my own diet and another year for me to convince the rest of my family. My teenage sons are on board but they still have soda whenever they're out and I'm not around. We're working on that!
Since I changed my eating habits 5 years ago and lost weight, I read labels all the time. I don't buy anything that has hfcs or hydrogenated fat. It's always better to buy whole foods and make everything yourself, but too many people rely on prepackaged foods these days. It's always jaw dropping to me to see what some folks think is food and will put into their bodies. Yikes! Hope you are having a great day. Tammy
I hope that by changing eating habits now my sons will prefer the healthy foods. They usually eat whatever is in front of them and they love fruits and vegetables. I did pretty well keeping the hydrogenated oils out of our diet until my last pregnancy. My last little guy was transverse which caused a lot of discomfort. I didn't feel like cooking so we ate a lot of prepackaged foods. I didn't even know about HFCS! The scary thing is looking at something like whole wheat bread and finding HFCS and partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients!I applaud those of you who have changed your diets! It's not an easy thing to do, but well worth it!
I am certain I read this post…I thought I commented but I guess not…or it never went through. Well all your homework here is so true. I learned a lot of it when I was in boot camp…everything has fructose in it. So bad for you. My younger son love all sugar related things…I keep very little in the house anymore as he will eat it. My kids both love fruits and veggies and keep plenty of them.