Hard and Fasts part II- Corn Syrup

For my next installation of Rules To Eat By, I am proud to present….Cooooorn Syrup!!!

If you Google High Fructose Corn Syrup, the first link that comes up is for a website called “Sweet Surprise”. This website is a desperate attempt being made by the Corn Syrup council to save face for their food-type product in light of tremendous quantities of evidence questioning the safety of HFCS ingestion.

The catch phrase splattered all over the site is “corn syrup is fine in moderation, just like sugar!”

No. Your body recognizes real sugar and fruit fructose. It knows how to break it down and use it for energy. HFCS is shunted to the liver, where the liver proceeds to wrap up the HFCS moleules in a lipid layer (read” lipid= fat) in order to prevent its absorbtion. Kind of like when you shove all your junk into the closet when company comes over, so that it appears you are not a total slob! This produces Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Syndrome (non-alcoholic because it’s usually alcoholics who have fatty livers due to the liver trying to protect itself and the body from harm. This is why alcoholics have big bellies…that and also due to the grains in alcohol. Check this out!)

Problem is, it’s presence is surpassing sugar in food products! That bottle of “Maple” syrup in a plastic container you pick up at Ralphs is the farthest thing from real maple syrup that comes from a tree. It’s artificial maple flavoring in corn syrup. Soda contains more HFCS than sugar. In your Heinz ketchup…HFCS. In your tomato sauce, candy bar, fruit juice, breakfast cereal, INFANT FORMULA (!), protein drink, vitamins, tortillas, bread…foods you wouldn’t even expect to have corn syrup…there it is! So how are we supposed to have it “in moderation”? Infant formula? Here is the link to an article by Dr. Sears for Parenting Magazine.

If you watch the advertising videos on Sweet Surprise, there is a common theme; the person speaking out about corn syrup had no information to back up their claims. Well, too bad for them, because I do…or rather Dr.Mercola has already done the work for me here.

They call corn syrup natural? Really? You be the judge, here is how it’s manufactured (does “manufactured” sound natural?):

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is produced by processing corn starch to yield glucose, and then processing the glucose to produce a high percentage of fructose. It all sounds rather simple–white cornstarch is turned into crystal clear syrup. However, the process is actually very complicated. Three different enzymes are needed to break down cornstarch, which is composed of chains of glucose molecules of almost infinite length, into the simple sugars glucose and fructose.

First, cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. Alpha-amylase is industrially produced by a bacterium, usually Bacillus sp. It is purified and then shipped to HFCS manufacturers.

Next, an enzyme called glucoamylase breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose. Unlike alpha-amylase, glucoamylase is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat where one would likely see little balls of Aspergillus floating on the top.

The third enzyme, glucose-isomerase, is very expensive. It converts glucose to a mixture of about 42 percent fructose and 50-52 percent glucose with some other sugars mixed in. While alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are added directly to the slurry, pricey glucose-isomerase is packed into columns and the sugar mixture is then passed over it. Inexpensive alpha-amylase and glucoamylase are used only once, glucose-isomerase is reused until it loses most of its activity.

There are two more steps involved. First is a liquid chromatography step that takes the mixture to 90 percent fructose. Finally, this is back-blended with the original mixture to yield a final concentration of about 55 percent fructose–what the industry calls high fructose corn syrup.

DO NOT ingest corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup.

Corn syrup is an epidemic! Read the ingredients on every bit of packaged product you buy!

Also, read Michael Pollan’s books. All of them. Especially The Omnivores Dilemma.

Hard and Fasts…

Rules, people. Rules.

I am going to create a series of posts about DO NOT’s. Let’s just say I have a few. These are rules for people who want to be genuinely healthy, inside and out. For people who really understand food is not just this thing we do, but rather is who and what we are. You know that old adage “You are what you eat”? It’s true.

What ever you ingest, your body has to deal with it. If you eat an orange, your body is happy. It says “Fiber, you go over here. Vitamin C, you are very important, you go here, here, aaaaannnnnd here. Ooohh, look at all that potassium!”.

Now think about what your body would say about a Big Mac: “Yay lunch! My owner takes such good care of me! Okay, what have we got here? Alright, I can make out some protein and fat. Here’s the bread! I see Enriched bleached wheat flour. Well, can’t do much with that. Yuck, synthetic vitamins! I’ll just tuck those away over here and deal with those later. High fructose corn syrup, Okay, I can pull some fructose calories and use those for energy. Whats that? We’re already dealing with over 1000 calories in the whole meal? Start packing all this away as fat, people! Our owner won’t need all this today! Okay, micronutrients, what have we got? Ammonium chloride. Diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides. Sodium steryol 2 lactylate. Artificial color. partially hydrogenated soybean, corn, canola, and/or cottonseed oils. Fungal enzymes?!? Calcium disodium EDTA. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed! Oh jeez, here comes the soda! Why does my owner keeps doing this to me? I just want to keep my owner happy. What’s that? He just got a call from his doctor saying he is hypertensive and pre diabetic? Oh no, now he is mad at me and thinks he can’t trust me and that I am this uncontrollable thing!”

(Don’t believe me? Just go here. Have some fun looking at Big Mac Buns. While you are at it, check out the fat free vinaigrette dressing. It has propylene glycol alginate. Just Google some of those words, and then guess if any of that is found in a carrot, an avocado, lettuce, or Rudys Organic Whole Wheat Buns…)

So can we guess what today’s DO NOT is?

DO NOT EAT FAST FOOD.

Forget it exists. Drive by these joints and be glad you have chosen to respect your vehicle (your body, not the car, silly!). IT ISN’T FOOD!

It is chemically laden intentionally addictive JUNK. Go home and spend 15 minutes making your own burger if you really want one.

I am living proof that you can live with out fast food. In 10 years, I have had bites of a Subway veggie sub 3 times. It has been at least 14 years since I have had Mc Donalds (Mc Death as I like to call it), Burger King (Booger Fling), Carls Jr, Taco Bell (Toxic Hell), Wendys, Arbys, the list goes on and on…wait! 7 years ago I had a Bean burrito from El Pollo Loco. At least they admit their chicken meat is crazy!

Listen, it’s just a choice. A choice to see clearly and choose yourself. And if you make the choice to not eat fast food, in three years, when you are on that road trip with your kid to their new collage, and you drive longer than you thought, and are crazy hungry, you can pull into an El Pollo Loco and order the bean burrito, or go to Arby’s and get the least offensive thing, and eat it. Because your body CAN deal with the occasional surprise.