I do try to bring balance to my work as nutritional therapist but sometimes I feel that we take two steps forward and three steps back.
I love food and certainly I buy certain products that are not all natural from time to time but increasingly it has become difficult at times to identify what is toxic and what is not. Especially when allegedly trusted names in the food industry are using ingredients that have been shown to be harmful.
If you read my health posts you will know that I am not keen on anything that has been industrically produced, especially as for most of us, the shelves are filled with fresh and natural produce that we can cook from scratch.
However, big food manufacturers persist in adding harmful ingredients into our food chain for the sake of profits, and when they find one avenue blocked they invent another name for the ingredient to by-pass the so called guardians of our health such as the FDA.
As an adult I am careful about what food I put in my mouth, but what is criminal is the brazen lack lof concern for the children of our nations. From chocolate flavoured breakfast cereal to addictive snacks, food manufacturers blatently put profits over health.
It is not my intention to be a scaremonger about all foods, but a multi-billion pound food industry is playing fast and loose with our health, and with obesity rates rising dramatically across our western nations, it is time that we think more carefully about what we eat.
High fructose corn syrup is an additive which the body reacts to in the same way that it would several spoonfuls of sugar. It does not distinguish between sugar that is naturally in foods and artificial sweeteners and this results in more and more fat being stored. Particularly when it is touted as ‘diet’ food and ‘sugar free’. Frankly you would be better off putting a teaspoon of real sugar or a spoon of honey on your natural cereal, than eating this industrialised rubbish.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Instead of removing this cheap, harmful ingredient, US manufacturers have just changed its name on packaging to conceal it within their products.
They succeeded in changing the name of a form of HFCS called HFCS-90 to fructose or fructose syrup.
The toxic ingredient now called fructose, or fructose syrup, contains even higher concentrations of harmful HFCS, making it more of a health risk than regular HFCS. Regular HFCS (HFCS-42 or HFCS-55) contains either 42 or 55 percent fructose, while HFCS-90 contains 90 percent.
And here is another post on the subject.
Packaging may “legally” say “no high fructose corn syrup” but HFCS will be hidden in the ingredients list under the name fructose.
Over the past 30 years high fructose corn syrup has replaced sugar as the sweetener in soft drinks. In Japan it represents approx 25% of the sweeteners and in the EU it is hardly used at all. Because of subsidies and tariffs it is approx half the price of sugar in the USA, though the real cost of producing it is probably similar to sugar.
It was once thought of as been a better alternative to sugar. Recent studies, however, have shown it to be far more detrimental to health than ordinary sugar. In fact HFCS has now become somewhat of a dirty word, and it is likely that it will be gradually phased out as consumer resistance becomes greater. (Similar to hydrogenated fats and trans fats)
It is a syrup and consequently no use as a table top sweetener. However in the food industry it has a multitude of uses and advantages over other sweeteners.
1. It is a very economic sweetener, about half the price of sugar.
2. It tastes just like sugar.
3. It browns when heated and can provide color in baked foods.
4. It feeds yeast and assists with baking and rising of bread.
5. It thickens and stabilizes processed food.
6. It prolongs shelf life.
For the consumer, none. For the producer of sodas, processed foods etc it is cheaper than sugar.
If you have any of these products in your storecupboard and your family eat every day rather than just occasionally, you are consuming a cheap and nasty sweetener that is not supposed to be there.. but instead it has been re-christened.
Any fruit juice that is not made from 100% concentrate. This includes some top brands such as Capri-sun and Tropicana. This includes fruity sodas.
Buy 100% concentrate and dilute with water if you would like to have a lighter mix. Add sparkling water to the concentrate to make a soda.
Breakfast cereals that are touted as healthy such as Special K and Kellogs Raisin Bran contain this sweetener.
Buy cereal from health food shops and check the labels.. If in doubt ask an assistant.
Other everyday foods that we are told are healthy – ‘fruit’ yogurt, jams, nutritional power bars, bread, cakes and biscuits.
Check the labels even though you need a magnifying glass for some of them and try to eat sparingly rather than daily. Or make from scratch.
Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to comment and to share. Sally