Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our blessing and our curse: Part 2

I'll be honest, the reason for these last two posts on sugar and high fructose corn syrup is simply for the fact that I was curious.  I thought, "surely they can't be as bad for you as so many people make them out to be."  Particularly HFCS.  I mean it's made from corn, how bad can it really be?  Besides that, the government has come out on several occasion and said that it's "fine in moderation."

Sure, all things are fine in moderation, right?  The problem is, you can't really do moderation when it comes to HFCS.  Not if you eat the standard american diet.  HFCS is in almost everything.  I did an experiment, just to see for myself, I went to my local grocery store and just started reading labels.  Corn syrup or HFCS really is in almost everything.  I was only able to find one loaf of bread that did NOT contain HFCS.  Everything from soda, to pasta sauce, to peanut butter, to crackers, to sweets, to condiments.  It was really amazing! 

So the question still remains, is it really as bad for you as everyone makes it out to be?  Yes, yes it is.  Why?  Well, it silently increases our risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.  The alarming rise in diseases related to poor lifestyle habits has been mirrored by an equally dramatic increase in fructose consumption, namely HFCS.

I could rattle off a whole bunch of health concerns here, believe me, there are a LOT, but I am just going to send you over to this article from Life Extension blog as I believe they explain it much better then me and are much more eloquent.

Basically, the bottom line for me is this, we stay away from it in our home.  We pretty much stay away from sugar in general in our home.  I'll use a bit of it here and there in my baking but I cut it out as much as possible and look for sugar alternatives.  I use agave in place of sugar a lot more often these days.  And you know what?  It works just fine!  

I'm kind of developing a whole "stick it to the man" mentality these days.  And honestly if the government is going to be shoving this stuff down our throats and putting it in everything, I say NO WAY!!  I am willing to spend a few extra dollars to buy something with quality ingredients over a quick processed mess laden with HFCS. 

If you want to watch yet another great documentary all about this, go watch King Corn.  We really quite liked that one.  It's about two guys who move to Iowa (I think it's Iowa, I can't remember now) and buy up one acre of farm land to so how corn gets from the field into everything else.  It's pretty interesting actually.  Go check it out!