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Sunday, July 08, 2007

H.S. High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Everywhere

Hey folks,

Myself and my Wife have been checking out this company. Jones Soda. I have to admit that I really only tried one flavor, and it was pretty good. I have my favorite brand of course, when I’m not drinking coffee. But she really likes the product. One really cool thing is you can have your own picture put on their bottles. I am not endorsing nor advertising them. If you want to check them out, go for it. I am simply telling you how I came to the topic this week.

On their website, they talk about high-fructose corn syrup, and the fact that it is not good for you. They link to the Seattle Times - Is high-fructose corn syrup making us fat? It's a sticky subject By Karen Gaudette Seattle Times staff reporter

High-fructose corn syrup is on the ingredient list of products from corn flakes and ketchup to cough syrup and bread. It's popular because it makes foods sweet, keeps them moist and helps them last.

Actually folks, you would be surprised at what products it is in. Like juices, candies, baked goods, including breads, cookies, syrups, yogurts, soups, ketchup, breakfast cereals, and pasta sauces. After I read this yesterday, my Wife and I went to the local grocer. We DID find it in nearly everything. Here is an interesting statistic.

In 1966 per capita consumption of high fructose corn syrup was zero – in 2001 that rose to 62.6 pounds per person per year.

You, as I found out, will be hard pressed to find products that do NOT contain HFCS. Back to the article.

Manufacturers, particularly beverage makers, like the syrup for its versatility as a sweetener and preservative and its affordability compared with sugar from cane or beets. And despite the critical eye it's received in recent years, many public health officials — Washington state's included — say there have yet to be any studies that clearly indicate this syrup is worse for your health than other types of sugars.

"I think it's still a question mark, and I think it probably has more to do with consumer demand, that some people are interested in having a product that's less refined," said Kelly Morrow, an assistant professor of nutrition and a registered dietician at Kenmore's Bastyr University. "The thing is, it's sugar, and there's never been a time in history that we've eaten as much sugar as we do now."

Some nutrition advocates have railed against high-fructose corn syrup, linking its ubiquity to the nation's obesity epidemic and the rise of type 2 diabetes among adults and children. Find a processed food that doesn't contain it, they challenge, noting that its lower price in turn lowers the cost of many foods we should be eating in moderation.

This is true. Look for yourself the next trip to the store. The products that do NOT contain HFCS are A LOT cheaper. In some cases by half.

Judy Simon, a clinic dietician with the University of Washington Medical Center, said she encourages her patients to avoid the syrup and has noticed that those with digestion problems tend to do better with less in their diet.

Seattle's Jones Soda Co. and PCC Natural Markets are shunning the syrup. This month, Jones began selling sodas sweetened with cane sugar. PCC has nearly eliminated packaged foods containing the syrup from its shelves, instead offering products sweetened with alternatives including agave.

It goes on to say this.

The syrup began appearing in a multitude of foods in the early 1980s at a savings to manufacturers because it took less to sweeten a product. Between then and now, Americans went from consuming less than a pound of high-fructose corn syrup per person per year in 1970 to 42 pounds in 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

The nation's obesity rate has soared along nearly the same trajectory. And those who warn against consuming too much of the syrup began connecting these occurrences over the past five years, as public health officials declared obesity an epidemic and began searching for answers. Researchers have said that fructose may contribute to obesity by failing to trigger the body's internal switch that it's full.

Of course HFCS has it’s defenders.

The Corn Refiners Association, an industry trade group, counters that the syrup's name is a misnomer given its similar composition to table sugar, and that though the United States is the main consumer of high-fructose corn syrup, obesity rates are rising around the world in places where beet and cane sugar remains the added sweetener of choice. Ultimately, weight gain comes down to taking in more calories than we use, the group says.

And take in more we have. Our consumption of caloric sweeteners of all kinds grew from about 85 pounds per person per year in 1970 to 102 pounds per person in 2005.

That is scary. Of course, as with any diet, burning more than you take in IS the truth to losing or moderating weight. But if this is as bad as they say, then why not watch our use of it. At least STUDY it more.

You know, I’m a lucky, and proud Papa. By the way, next week is my Son Joshua’s 2nd birthday. {Smile} But I am lucky. All he really every wants to eat is fruit and cheese. He LOVES fruit and cheese. Grapes and Extra Sharp Cheddar seem to be his favorites. He will eat candy if we give it to him. Some anyway, but he cannot get enough fruit.

I have always been one to watch what I eat, well, from about my 20's. I quit smoking and went from my normal life weight of about 160 to 230 in about four months. I switched to diet soda, starting cutting out all the junk food, and starting eating a lot, and I mean A LOT of chicken. I also starting going to the gym at that time. I’m now between 215 and 220, but I have NEVER been in better shape in my life. {Muscle weighs more than fat}

But I never heard, no make that, I never cared, what HFCS was. I never knew that is contributed to massive weight gain.

Our kids nowadays have many things against them. From the computer, video games, to the good old fashion TV, we are watching our youth explode. Let’s not give them more things to deal with. Let’s investigate HFCS a little more and make sure that we are watching, and know, what THEY are eating.

Here is another suggestion for you. I know I will be doing this with Joshua. Teach them how to use the power of their imagination. I know I will be using one of my Grandmother’s favorite phrases. “Go outside and play.”
Peter

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