Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Baby Step #3: DON'T BUY ME!!!
OK, I'm not a doctor, a chemist, or a nutritionist. But it's finally common knowledge: high-fructose corn syrup IS BAD FOR YOU. Sure it comes from corn. (So does the ethanol that you put in your gas tank.) But the process it passes through turns it into a chemical.
In a nutshell, in laymen's terms, as I understand it: Your body doesn't biologically, physiologically recognize HFCS as a food, though it tastes sweet and contains calories. So unlike that slightly lesser evil, common table sugar or sucrose, HFCS doesn't trigger your brain's satiation response. One of the MANY reasons a person can drink three soda pops in an hour, but could never down 47 teaspoons of sugar in an hour!
So, in short, this baby step to a healthier family invovles throwing out any box, jar, or bag in your home that lists HFCS, high-fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, or anything similar. When in doubt, google. You can find good lists of how this chemical is creatively named to hide in your food.
Even many health-food store foods contain HFCS. Notorious for HFCS:
-Jelly, jam, preserves and the like. Look for one made with only fruit juice concentrate as the sweetener. Or make my Rose-Hip Jam!
-Yogurt, especially the single-serve cups. Most folks don't binge on entire cartons of yogurt, so why pay extra for the portion-controlled cups? Buy a nice, big plain organic tub of it. (I noticed recently that at our grocery store, you can get organic for about the same price as regular now!) Add your own fruit, vanilla, honey, or whatever.
-Cereal bars, granola bars, and other pre-packaged junk. The problem with these snacks, in addition to the possibility of tons of HFCS in the cheaper brands, is that they take the place of the healthier snacks you and your kids should be eating when you're hungry throughout the day.
By simply saying "no" to HFCS, you'll save a lot of money and a lot of health. You'll make losing weight and keeping it off easier. And you'll be forced to expand your diet to fill in the gaps.
A winning strategy all around!
Baby Step #4: DON'T BUY ME EITHER!!!
"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière