How Sweet is this Green? - Our Daily Green

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Sweet is this Green?

One of the biggest concerns Our Daily Green has about processed foods is that our nation now consumes food stuff that didn't even exist 100 years ago. Our foods have been manipulated and fortified and turned into something that may not even resemble the original food. One of the biggest culprits in our diet is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

The corn industry will try to counter that HFCS is natural and contains just the same amount of calories as sugar. Calories, sure, but natural, no. Sugars are naturally a balance between glucose and fructose. HFCS is lab modified to contain 55-85% fructose (hence the name HIGH fructose), which tastes sweeter and can be used more sparingly. The body processes glucose and fructose completely differently. Glucose is processed via the brain but fructose will go straight through the liver, bypassing the brain entirely. In the documentary SuperSize Me, after 30 days of consuming soda with HFCS, Morgan Spurlock's liver was functiong as if he were an alcoholic.

One of the more disappointing stories Our Daily Green read lately is how the "healthy" fast food chain, Subway, uses HFCS in their fresh baked bread. I've included a link to a petition to request removal of this ingredient from their bread.  According to The Truth About Your Food,

... you're probably not in the habit of ordering a la carte bread loaves at Subway, but there’s a good chance you've eaten at least a few sandwiches built on this bread. The good news is that Subway actually delivers on the nine-grain promise. The bad news: Eight of those nine grains appear in miniscule amounts. If you look at a Subway ingredient statement, you'll find every grain except wheat listed at the bottom of the list, just beneath the qualifier "contains 2% or less." In fact, the primary ingredient in this bread is plain old white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup plays a more prominent role than any single whole grain. Essentially this is a white-wheat hybrid with trace amounts of other whole grains like oats, barley, and rye.

Diet sweetener substitutes are not a better alternative and present their own slew of medical issues. The best advice for healthy eating is to limit sugar to no more than 150 calories, daily. Read labels and make wise choices. Honey is also an excellent substitute and locally produced honey may help fight seasonal allergies.

Lastly, practice the art of saying sweet things. If you have to eat your words, they will taste all that much better & be healthy for you!