The topic of nutrition can be the most over-complicated, confusing, and potentially expensive aspect in beginning to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
Fats are bad; wait just kidding they are really good for you! But not all of them…oh, and not too many either..actually wait, a high-fat diet is what you need to lose body fat
Don’t eat any carbs past 3 pm unless you want to increase body weight. But since you have a morning workout so have sweet potatoes at 8 pm with dinner so you are fueled; no exceptions
Did you drink enough water today? But if you had any coffee, sun exposure, or exercise, you need to drink much more. Don’t forget about the salty food you ate, more water, please!
That is just the tip of the iceberg without going into additional supplementation, GMO/Organic, food allergies, paleo, gluten free, or the boatload of things that fall under the umbrella of general nutrition.
But there is one very important culprit I want to talk about today that ANYONE can understand and be aware of. It lingers in many more “foods” than you might even be aware of. Waiting to wreak havoc on your internal organs and systems, it is a ruthless bully to not only your health and fitness, but your longevity, mind, mood, and overall well-being. This dangerous maniac I’m talking about, is…
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is bad, like super very extra bad. If you didn’t know that already, then stick with me here; and if you did know that, then it is even more important to follow along so you can help make your friends or children aware too. plus, it’s one hell of a conversation starter;
Hey there, that Twinkie looks awfully delicious; too bad it’s going to kill you faster and going to make you have sad poopies and you’re still going to be hungry after and probably keep stuffing your face with crappy foods…
I guess that’s why nobody likes talking to me at family parties.
HFCS is present in many processed beverages, cereals, shelf-stable foods, and even ‘healthy’ foods. Its composition is different than naturally occurring cane sugar, even though the body attempts to process them the same way. Our ability to break down nutrients might just see it as sugar, but we get a blind-sided sucker punch to our internal organs that can lead to some pretty large issues.
Obesity rates have skyrocketed since its addition into the “Standard American Diet”. Diabetes, cancer, dementia, leaky gut, tooth rot, gut rot, liver failure, GI tract inflammation… the list is nearly endless on the DANGERS associated with HFCS consumption (on top of other white lab-coat cocktail food ingredients).
The FDA recently allowed the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to be changed to – “Natural Sweetener”, “Isolated Fructose”, or “Fructose” – misleading consumers to make ill-informed decisions that can still negatively impact their health.
“Well, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) argue that they have simply changed a form of HFCS called HFCS-90 (90% pure fructose) to be called fructose or fructose syrup. Manufacturers argue that fructose isn’t as bad because fructose makes up the sugar content in fruits. The “regular” termed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains about 42-55 percent fructose. Unfortunately, this HFCS-90 that is now being dumped into products has more fructose than what was normally being used, making it a bigger health risk than regular HFCS. This is where things get evil. Products such as General Mills’ Vanilla Chex are using HFCS-90 and claim it to be free of high fructose and high fructose corn syrup
. But, they will have HFCS hidden under fructose in the ingredient list.” – Lakanto Team
But by just looking at the front of the box, it is very easy to assume that you are making a wholesome decision and grabbing something beneficial.
Those terms like Natural Sweetener, Natural Flavors, Fresh Ingredients, Fat-Free, or Real ____ actually have no regulation as to what they really are composed of. Hell, for all you know that ‘Natural Sweetener’ can be a combination of Holy Water, Unicorn Tears, and the right pinky toe of Ray Charles…basically, it is left to the imagination what those mysterious ingredients may actually be.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
But by just looking at the front of the box, it is very easy to assume that you are making a wholesome decision and grabbing something beneficial. So, here are some recommendations to try for your next grocery store trip to help ward off this Fruct-ing enemy:
- Don’t just read the front of the box, be sure to check the INGREDIENTS LIST located on the back or side of the package.
- More often than not, the fewer ingredients on the list, the better quality the food will be
- A good rule of thumb; if you can’t easily pronounce it, or have never heard it, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it either
- Whenever possible, create a game-plan for alternatives. A great example is replacing prepackaged instant oatmeal. Here are the ingredients for a brand of “Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal”
Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Dehydrated Apples (treated with Sodium Sulfite to promote color retention), Cinnamon, Salt, Calcium Carbonate (a source of Calcium), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Oat Flour (Whole), Ferric Phosphate (a source of Iron), Niacinamide*, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)*, Riboflavin*, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Mononitrate*, Folic Acid*. * One of the B Vitamins.
I don’t know about you, but there is a lot more than Apples, Cinnamon, and Rolled Oats in this ‘heart-healthy’ breakfast. Try to buy a large container of steel cut/rolled oats, use real apples, cinnamon, and a dash of honey if you desire some sweetness; and cut the crap from your cabinets!
Wishing You Great Health and Vitality!