In the beginning

>> Monday, June 23, 2008

High fructose corn syrup. It's seemingly EVERYWHERE. It's never really bothered me until recently. I assumed that it was no biggie because it IS fructose (ok, it isn't just fructose, but fructose is typically the part that gets everyone all riled) and isn't fructose in fruit? Good enough for me! But recently, I've started to pay attention to all of the different foods that high fructose corn syrup is in, and I've started educating myself on the stuff.

Rather than reinvent the wheel (I'll save that for a future post - LOL), here's a website with several articles that talk about HFCS - and they're not all bashing the stuff either: http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/highfructose.html . Clearly, the jury is still out on whether HFCS is evil or not, but there are unknowns and potential problems with all of that fructose consumption that make me ill at ease. This quote (after reading about how fructose is processed in your body differently than glucose) resonated with me:

"One of the issues is the ease with which you can consume this stuff," says Carol Porter, director of nutrition and food services at UC San Francisco. "It's not that fructose itself is so bad, but they put it in so much food that you consume so much of it without knowing it."

So, we're making the leap. This processed food eating family is giving up HFCS! We'll all still get it other places - the kids have processed snacks with HFCS at school and friend's houses, and we'll still eat out at restaurants - but not at home. At the very least, our diets should improve as we discover healthier substitutes for the many, many items that have HFCS in our current food repretoire.

This isn't going to be easy, though! I have taken on some BIG food challenges before - giving up soy, dairy, wheat, egg, and a few other little things so that I could continue to breastfeed my children as they outgrew food allergies - but those were different. I could see an end to it. I mean, I wasn't going to breastfeed them forever, you know? This is pretty much a forever change for us, which makes it a bigger mental hurdle for me.

Plus, I hate to admit it, but we are processed food junkies. I'm pretty good about making our meals from scratch (well, at least dinner), but snacks and lunch are more often than not some prepared meal from a box or bag. It's just so easy! I hope to find processed foods without HFCS, but I also hope to find healthy, tasty recipes that we can make at home to replace some of our processed food. I hope that our diet will ultimately be healthier for these changes.

So, join us on our journey! I don't think that this is going to be easy for us - especially for this self proclaimed sugar junkie.

4 comments:

Dani June 23, 2008 at 10:02 AM  

Good Luck! It is everywhere. It's is even in non-dairy creamer. For some reason, I supposed other stuff would be in it, but not that. It is insidious. I try to reduce our intake of it too, it is not easy. I look forward to reading your blog.

tortiemilo2 June 23, 2008 at 10:09 AM  

Good luck Cathy! I'm trying to cut back, but doubtful I'll be able to totally eliminate it. I can't wait to hear how it goes (and get some good tips!)
Susan

Amy June 23, 2008 at 1:44 PM  

As a long time consumer of mostly "alternative" brands of foods (natural, organic, etc), I find that HFCS is almost never included in the foods we buy. The more you venture into the natural foods sections, the easier it is to avoid HFCS without having to even read labels. The trade-off is generally price, but there are many upsides to avoiding mainstream brands (healthier ingredients, smaller independent companies), so that is a price we have chosen to pay. Good luck on your quest!

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