Thursday, January 22, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

This months local Le Leche League meeting was on the topic of nutrition and weaning. We spoke a lot about High Fructose Corn Syrup and the new commercials that plug it. The commercials end by saying HFCS is safe when used in moderation. Of course I've known for quite sometime that our family should avoid HFCS. We've avoided some obvious ones but mostly we've been focusing elsewhere. I feel strongly inclined to list for you as proof that we are not gluttonous pigs... but this post is about HFCS, so I'll attempt to stay on target. The following information provided caught my attention. You can find the whole article The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup on the Weston A Price Foundation site.

"Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. This may be one of the reasons Americans continue to get fatter. Fructose raises serum triglycerides significantly. As a left-handed sugar, fructose digestion is very low. For complete internal conversion of fructose into glucose and acetates, it must rob ATP energy stores from the liver."

This is one of the points brought up that really caught my attention. As a female struggling to control Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome through natural diet and exercise; it seems that HFCS is completely sabotaging my efforts. PCOS creates insulin resistance, though there is reasonable argument that insulin resistance creates PCOS. Either way, further distorting insulin production just seems like an invitation to join the ever growing obese population.

So am I going to jump on the no HFCS and throw everything I have out? I wish I could say yes... but I thought my first step would be to find our hidden HFCS. We cook a lot from scratch so I wasn't sure how much I would find. I can safely say that we do not fall into the realm of true moderation.

I found it first in my coffee creamer. Then in some graham crackers, yogurt covered raisins, granola and cereal bars and a can of pasta. Of course in the waffles, cold cereal and pancake syrup. I was surprised to find it in our bread and pretzels even!
These were just items I would reach for over the last 2 1/2 days while going about our normal existence. And we ran out of ice cream on Monday - you know that's not a clean food!

So I've switched back to milk in my coffee. We're cutting out some of the starchy snacks - which aren't such a great idea anyway. And once I'm back home again I'll return to making our waffles and pancakes from scratch. I will need some help finding a good sandwich bread without HFCS. I just am not able to make a sandwich bread from scratch that we enjoy as much... maybe that's why? And so that leaves us with our poor little pretzels, to be budgeted into the HFCS tally.

Poor little tainted pretzels...

1 comment:

The Happy Housewife said...

Yes, it is everywhere. I try to make most of our food from scratch, but I just don't have time to make my own pasta and such! I try to read labels at the store too. It is so hard to find products without it!