Sunday, September 11, 2011

Corn sugar? Really?

High fructose corn syrup. HFCS. And apparently, corn sugar. Sugar derived from corn. Really, really highly processed corn. Corn that isn't even something you'd want to eat in its natural state. It's corn specifically designed for making "sugar."

And, well, I have my suspicions that it's not especially good for you. I know, I know, everything in moderation. And I agree with that. Except, when the thing you're talking about is an ingredient in just about everything, it's pretty hard to be "moderate." I think most people have no idea how much HFCS they're actually consuming. I know I didn't. Even once I became aware of these things and started checking labels, there were a whole lot of products I didn't check because, why would I? Why would they have HFCS? Like, Italian salad dressing. I mean, come on, it's not sweet. But sure enough, it was there. (Same with ranch, and thousand island, and I'm sure plenty of others) Oatmeal. Something you'd think is healthy enough, but the instant kind had HFCS. Great!

So over years I've been cutting these things out. And it's been good. But over the summer I decided to make a serious push and cut all of the high fructose corn syrup out of our diet, for our overall health, but also in an attempt to see if it improved Ansel's behavior. Ansel has always been a... spirited child. He is loud, and active, and opinionated, and lacks self control. Sometimes I can see that he wants so badly to be restrained, but he just can't seem to do it. So in order to give him every chance I can, the HFCS had to go. (I'll touch more on this tomorrow.)

What have I learned? I need to make all my own desserts. And salad dressings. I need to do a lot more shopping at the natural food store. And to check labels! Once I was on "allergen" alert and militantly checking every.single.label I realized just how many bizarre things are in foods you would expect to be pretty to the point.

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