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Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013

Trying Not To Be “Corny” About What I Eat.

A fewcorn-syrup weeks back… my friend Diana Limongi challenged me to go two days without high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and I said yes without hesitation. I clearly did this thinking it would be no problem… I have been eating healthy and reading labels so it should be no sweat.

Ok… so I am writing to tell you that I was wrong.

High fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of sugar in processed foods in the USA. In fact, the average American eats an astounding 41.5 lbs of high fructose corn syrup per year.[1]American subsidies and tariffs have resulted in corn being a much more economical sweetener than sugar–a trend that is not seen in other parts of the world. Now that high fructose corn syrup is being added to an increasing variety of foods (breads, cereals, soft drinks, and condiments); some people are looking for ways to avoid it. [Source: Wiki-How]

I started my challenge on Labor Day Weekend, so that pretty much means I could not have Ketchup or BBQ sauce on any of the meats that were prepared for me. I almost wanted to wait until today to start… but then it would not be a challenge, so I had to instead make chicken breasts with a dry rub of seasonings instead.  I was happy to see since I  no longer drink sugary drinks so this challenge  did not affect me the way it may have affected me the way it has other people taking this challenge. I have been really trying to eat more whole foods but if I had to do this with how I used to eat… I would have gone nuts as almost everything I ate had HFCS, safe to say “CORN” was my favorite food. (ok, that was “corny”)… I will stop now.

My biggest question was… “I wonder, it is made from corn… does that make it “natural” or healthier than sugar?”

It is made from corn, a natural  grain, makes sense right? High fructose corn syrup has no artificial, synthetic ingredients or color additives. That means it meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements giving all companies a green light to use of the term “natural.”

From everything I read, the body absorbs HFCS the same way that table sugar is absorbed. There seems to be no difference in calories so it leads me to believe that these are nutritional “twins” so to speak.

My determination is that although it has slightly lower levels of Fructose (45% to table sugars 50%), HFCS is still a BIG NO NO for me…

The most difficult part of this challenge was not having ketchup with my food this weekend.  I did find out (the day after) that HUNTS Ketchup has a HFCS FREE version that I have since bought and like. This ketchup brand switch will be a permanent change to my diet.

Thanks Diana for helping me learn a little bit more about my self and what I am putting in my body.

 

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro

Cultivando Cultura since 1997…
 
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Trying Not To Be “Corny” About What I Eat.