Not a lot can get my dander up but one thing that gets me a little irritated is advertising. Not advertising in general but misleading advertising. I see this a lot with food and I partly blame advertising for the pathetic state of health we see due to horrible nutrition. Not too long ago I wrote a blog called “Healthy is a Big, Fat Lie” that talks about how people don’t really know what “healthy” is because they have been “educated” about health and nutrition through commercials and daytime TV.
So what’s got me riled up this time? High Fructose Corn Syrup. There’s a commercial on TV now, maybe you’ve seen it, basically saying that High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS is exactly the same as natural sugar. That’s not exactly true. Yes, from a molecular viewpoint, your body cannot distinguish between the fructose in an orange and the fructose in HFCS. Here’s the difference – solubility.
Do you remember back in junior high school science class when you learned about liquids, solids, colloids, suspensions, and solutions? Let’s talk about solutions. There’s a little science experiment that is conducted in classrooms all over the world where sugar is gradually added to water and dissolved. As the concentration of sugar increases, you reach what is called the “saturation point” and no additional sugar can be added without it falling out of the solution.
The “advantage” that HFCS has over sugar is that you can add more sweetness (and calories) to a food by using HFCS than you can with sugar. Since people tend to love the taste of sweetness, this is an advantage in food formulation. However, this is a disadvantage in Nutrition. This is of particular concern with beverages. Many sodas, juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even flavored milks have HFCS added so that you can drink liquid calories. Since the beverage manufacturer can add more sweetness in the form of HFCS than it can with pure cane sugar, your drinks will have more calories than if they were made with sugar instead.
Since we’re on the topic of sugary beverages, I need to talk about Sierra Mist’s advertising campaign that says “The soda Nature would drink if Nature drank soda”. Talk about spin! I’m offended by the use of the words “Nature” and “soda” in the same sentence. Dear Sierra Mist, Nature wouldn’t drink soda because the earth and its living inhabitants have an average composition of about 85% water – not 85% soda! Sierra Mist and Coke are promoting products that are made with sugar instead of HFCS – small victory.
Sugar, in the form of white cane sugar crystals and HFCS, consists of pure calories. There are no vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, enzymes or other healthy nutrients in them. Compare this to natural sweeteners such as raw honey or maple syrup which bring with them a variety of other nutrients. You might consider adding one of these all-natural sweeteners to your tea or coffee instead of sugar or an artificial sweetener.
I guess this blog would not be complete without a short discussion on artificial sweeteners. If you think that I am going to tell you to choose artificial sweeteners over sugar or HFCS, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Here’s the thing… your body knows exactly what to do with sugar and even HFCS – use it right away as energy or store it (on your thighs for example) for later. Your body has absolutely no use for the synthetic chemicals that comprise artificial sweeteners. In fact, your body gets tricked by them and starts biological processes that are initiated by the sensation of eating something sweet – and then it gets confused because it can’t find the sugar. At the same time, what it does find is a chemical that doesn’t exist in nature and therefore it considers it toxic and it works to break it down and excrete it. This process distracts both the liver and the immune system from carrying out their normal functions that occur in the natural world. That’s not healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming healthier through holistic nutrition, I invite you to check out my Holistic NUtrition Program at www.EatLikeaHorse.net