Knowledge can be tricky. With it comes the pressure and responsibility to act. Some people may find it easier not to know. Last week I mentioned a product that seemed to have my children’s best interest in mind. I trusted that it was a healthy product. I learned that it’s important to do some research and that the impressions offered by a product or company could be misleading. In sharing this kind of information, the intention is not to scare or cause worry, but to encourage you to be an informed consumer.
One more product for which I would like to share some basic information is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It is found in many products; and again, in some surprising places ~ everywhere from sugary foods like soda and cookies to tomato sauce and salad dressings. HFCS can be found in baked chips, bread, jelly, chocolate milk, ketchup, pizza sauce, cereal, barbeque sauce and more. There is much debate and ongoing research about the harm or lack of harm of this product.
According to a Prevention article at nbcnews.com, HFCS was developed in the 1960s and has been used extensively in consumer products since the late 1970s. “That’s when an increase in the price of sugar helped make less expensive corn sweeteners more attractive to manufacturers,” said Helen H. Jensen, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University. Soon after the use of HFCS began, obesity became a problem throughout the United States. Dr. Mark Hyman states that we are consuming HFCS and sugar in massive quantities never before experienced in human history. (Huffington Post)
In 1700, the average person consumed about four pounds of sugar per year.
In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
In 2009, more than 50 percent Americans consume a half pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year (wholevegan.com).
Imagine about 36, five pound bags of sugar lined up on a counter. Now imagine one person eating all that sugar in a year. This is about the same as consuming a quarter to a half pound of sugar each day or drinking four 12-ounce cans of soda a day. (ezinearticles.com)
Excess sugar consumption depresses our body’s immunity. HFCS is called a “super sugar” because it is sweeter than regular cane sugar. The processing is different, therefore the purity and the ability of our body to absorb the final product are in question. Dr. Hyman reports that even when used in moderation, HFCS is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more.
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Please be aware of what you consume. Make healthy choices.
“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” ~ Adelle Davis