Friday, March 12, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Have you ever looked around and wondered why we have so many more cancer patients, children allergies, diabetics, obese children and adults etc...?  I mean, I can't even bring in homemade cookies to my Sunday School class because so many kids have food allergies.  That was never the case 20 years ago!  I have come to realize that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!

American Diet

First, let's look at the average American diet.  One-third of Americans get their daily caloric intake from junk foods. Over 7% of our calories are from soft drinks (Natural News) and up to 10% for children and teenagers (NY Times 2/15/10). Americans eat 19% MORE sugar than we did in 1970.  Men are consuming 187 more calories each day and women 335 calories more than we did 25 years ago (Dr. Mercola).  All of these statistics make you realize why 30% of Americans are OBESE and that's not even counting the percentage that are just OVERWEIGHT

These statistics are astonishing, but more than that, we aren't just consuming table sugar like we did 25 years ago.  We are now consuming a whooping 141 pounds of sugar per person per year, and 63 pounds of that is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). If you look on the back of every label in your home you will see HFCS in almost every packaged item.  I even discovered it in my canned tomatoes!!!


The biggest problem with HFCS is the fact that it is 20% sweeter than regular table sugar.  Sugar is addictive, but HFCS is even MORE addictive because it is a processed fructose.  Fructose is a derivative of sucrose and is related to health problems because of its similarity to alcohol within the human digestive tract.  The majority of fructose is converted into FAT instead of being digested.  Fructose is also related to metabolic syndrome.

Table sugar is 50% sucrose and 50% fructose, while HFCS is 42% sucrose and 55% fructose!

Since fructose occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and honey it is healthy and fine to consume it in its natural state; however, even natural fructose needs to be LIMITED and consumed in MODERATION! The health benefits of fruits and vegetables outweighs the negative metabolic affect of the fructose; however, HFCS has NO health benefits, therefore, it has nothing to outweigh the metabolic affects on your digestive tract. 

Fructose is also one of the main ingredients in AGAVE NECTAR.  We have heard so many ads saying how healthy agave nectar is and how "natural" it is.  Well, I hate to break the bad news, but agave nectar is NOT NATURAL, even if you buy the organic brands.  To get agave nectar they PROCESS the sap from the agave plant which kills all of the healthy benefits of the agave plant. Not to mention, agave nectar is extremely high in fructose.  Although this is the case, I do still consume agave nectar because it tastes so great in my teas, oatmeal, and recipes, but I do so in moderation!


HFCS should be cut out of your diets completely if you ever want to lose weight and stop craving all of those granola bars, cereals, canned tomatoes, sauces, and MORE!  Natural FRUCTOSE should be limited, so don't go thinking that an all fruit diet is healthy! The best fruits to eat are all berries, Granny Smith Apples, apricots, nectarines, cantaloupes and peaches.  

So what is the best way to CUT FAT off your body and get that summer body you have always WANTED????? Limit natural fructose AND cut HFCS out of your diet COMPLETELY.  Pair that with a 3 day a week or more workout routine and you will be BEACH READY in no time!


Jessica said...

a couple of things that I do to limit HFCS: 1. I often make my salad dressing. 2. instead of a granola bar, opt for z-bars (kid clif bars) 30% calcium for us chikadees too! 3. I simply don't buy many pre-made foods and check every single package that comes into my home

Yaya's Dream said...

Great suggestions Jess! I do the same thing! I have shared a few of my homemade dressing recipes on facebook. If anyone is interested in any of them just let me know and I will send you the recipes. I also check ALL of my food labels before I purchase anything! Yes, there are a few all natural, organic bars out there that you can buy, but you can always make your OWN granola bars too (and you don't even have to use granola, you can substitute anything you like)!!!!

shauna said...

Great post!
Larabars are raw bars with nuts and dates. They sell them at CVS and Whole Foods.

The Whole Foods agave nectar does not have HFCS. I limit HFCS by reading labels, making meals from scratch, eliminating soda from my diet, and shopping at Whole Foods. Yes, Whole Foods may be costly, but aren't medical bills costly if you don't watch what you eat?

Yaya's Dream said...

I have not had a larabar, but I have seen them! I will have to check them out.

Agave nectar DOES NOT have HFCS in it; however, it is made from an agave plant which is a fruit, which in essence has a high concentration of natural fructose. Agave nectar is also processed to get it into nectar. With all that being said though, I will still consume agave nectar because I love the taste, but I will do so in moderation!

Buyers beware: Whole Foods DOES have some products that have MSG, HFCS, and other dangerous chemicals, so no matter what READ THE INGREDIENTS ON EVERYTHING!!!!