Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Still Think High-Fructose Corn Syrup is "Safe"?

I Like my corn fresh, hot and slathered with buttery Earth Balance and doused with a little salt and pepper. I like it yellow, white, bicolor and bumpy. I like it in a husk, ready for shucking out on the deck. I liked it popped, and I like it ground into cornmeal for awesome corn sticks and corn bread. I don't like it sweetening my breakfast cereal, my catsup, my soda, my candy, my cookies, my ice tea or my bread. I don't like it in my salad dressing. And now that I understand that high-fructose corn syrup is a chemically altered corn derivative that delivers intense, shelf-stable sweetness to nearly every commercial food product available in American grocery stores, I am outraged.
Just this past week a story emerged from the Endocrine Society's San Diego conference:

On Friday Reuters posted a story titled "Too much fructose could raise your blood pressure." They say:

The more fructose (subjects') diet included, the more likely they were to have high blood pressure. Of course, that could have been influenced by a variety of factors, such as obesity and disease, or getting too much of other sugars, salt or alcohol.

But even when adjusting for all these factors, the odds of having high blood pressure increased in those whose fructose intake was above average. For the most severe form -- stage 2 hypertension -- the odds were 77 percent higher.

"Given the new findings, people might want to think twice about what they throw into their shopping carts," said Dr. Michel Chonchol of the University of Colorado Denver, who worked on the study.

"In the grocery store, you see food without high-fructose corn syrup," he said, adding that it would make sense to reduce fructose intake by choosing those products and avoiding the ones containing added sugars.

"There is no question that fructose itself appears to have effects that other sugars don't have," said Chonchol. The exact mechanisms are unclear, although several have been proposed, he added."

I am so tired of the corn producers and their ad blitz hard-selling their chemically modified corn product and mocking those of us concerned about the effects of HFCS on our health (not posting a link here but sweetsurprise dot com is one of their propaganda sites).

Read your labels and run the other way when you see "high fructose corn syrup" as an ingredient whenever you can. As a vegan I already have limited commercially mainstream products, and some of those have HFCS, such as Oreos, so sometimes I buckle under and have some. What have I learned? That stuff ALWAYS tastes like more. It wakens that sleeping monster that recovery folks call "a phenomenon of craving" that can trigger overeating, even dangerous high-volume bingeing. I shared this with a vegan friend who asked why I don't eat Newman's O's instead of Oreos. Oh yeah! No HFCS, no animal fats. All good!

The Scientific American provides another source of important corn facts and the pervasiveness of corn in the production cycle of most meats, "That burger you're eating is mostly corn." I love corn, but I'd prefer it hadn't passed through a cow, chicken or fish first.

To show that HFCS concern has gone mainstream, I watched NBC's Today Show for a little while this morning, and Lester Holt did a segment on BBQ options, including along with the regular meaty wieners and burgers, Tofu Pups and Amy's Texas Veggie Burgers. He then pointed out that Hunt's makes a catsup now that "doesn't contain fructose." Yay! You can watch it here. By the way, Heinz Organic is HFCS-free, too.

Happy Independence Day! Today I'm striving for many forms of independence, including freedom from HFCS. All the best to you with yours.

Glad I'm a vegan! Live and Learn. Let me know what you think.