The gist? High fructose corn syrup is “fine in moderation.”
Considering that high fructose corn syrup is in so many products, consuming it “in moderation” requires some serious learning and consistent effort. I’m not sure if it’s even possible for me to eliminate it from our diet. But I can reduce our intake. Our pantry and fridge probably hold WAY more HFCS than I realize. But I’m learning. Reading labels. Comparing products. Changing products. Changing brands. One product at a time. This is one job I don’t think I will EVER “finish.”
Seriously. And who paid for those commercials? Who thinks we are all stupid? Who thinks there is not an answer to the question:
“What do THEY say about high fructose corn syrup?”
There are many people who would NOT be reduced to dumbfounded babbling if they were asked about high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup in general. Like THIS mom. And THIS guy:
“In the past, fructose was considered beneficial to diabetics because it is absorbed only 40 percent as quickly as glucose and causes only a modest rise in blood sugar.5 However, research on other hormonal factors suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.” (click here to read his entire article)
I believe that sugar is bad for me. I believe that high fructose corn syrup is worse. I used to consume many more foods made with high fructose corn syrup than I do now, but not intentionally. I was completely uninformed. Then I began learning more about it. Now, I’m taking active steps to minimize the amount of high fructose corn syrup in my diet, and my family’s diet. Whenever I have a food alternative which does not contain HFCS, I choose it. It’s usually more expensive. But the last thing PinkGirl needs is a CapriSun.
Water is first, but when we do give her juice, it’s Juicy Juice. We put One Carb Ketchup on her Oscar Mayer hot dog, tucked in her Snuggles hot dog bun. FavoriteSon’s PB&J is made with Smart Balance peanut butter and Smucker’s Sugar Free preserves, on Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat bread. (Not all Nature’s Own breads are free from HFCS, check the labels.) Little changes move us a little closer to that “in moderation” goal. I’m sure we all still consume a lot of HFCS, but we’re working on it. PinkGirl had cotton candy at a Magic game Friday night and I didn’t freak out. FavoriteSon had a Gatorade after football practice a few days ago. No freaking out. He prefers Smart Water anyway. FavoriteSon is starting to make his own food choices, so we’ll have to wait and see how much of all this is is sinking in.
(I’ve only listed a few of our HFCS Free family favorites, we’ve found more. But we’re always on the lookout, so if you know of any products which are HFCS FREE, please share!)
So, I’m learning. I’m making changes. I’m NOT, however, belittling anyone for consuming HFCS or giving it their kids. Ask me what I think about high fructose corn syrup and I’ll talk, but I will not initiate the conversation by saying to you:
“Wow. You don’t care what the kids eat, huh?”
Who is that obnoxious?
Learning about HFCS Works for Me. I’m not going to stop. And I’m not going to babble like an idiot if someone asks me what “they” say about HFCS. I may not know everything about it, but I know more today than I did a few months ago. Changing the contents of my grocery cart Works for Me too. I just need to remember to bring my reading glasses to the grocery store with me. So, Corn Refiners Association? Sell it walking. I’m learning here.
I spent some time yesterday researching and learning more about HFCS. In all my previous reading and learning, I had not heard about the documentary, “King Corn” Very informative. And not boring.
A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 1
A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 2
A Conversation with “King Corn” Filmmaker Part 3
And this series by Peter Jennings “How to Get Fat Without Even Trying” provides a lot of food for thought as well.