Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eliminate Fructose and Never Judge a Food by Its Package

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By now, you have watched the video about fructose (or at least you read my blog posts about it).  You are probably as horrified as I am about the weight gain, high blood pressure, and metabolic disorders fructose causes.  You have decided, like me, to eliminate it from your diet and your family's diet.

So where to begin?

Food manufacturers put corn syrup in everything! 

In fact, Americans are consuming more fructose than ever before.  Look at the increase in the past century.

Companies put corn syrup in everything to make low-quality food taste better.  During the low-fat craze of the 1980s, companies started adding fructose when they removed the fat.  Fructose also plays a trick on our tongues: it hides the sodium that is added to food to increase the shelf-life.

What are the easiest ways to remove fructose from your diet?

1.  Stop drinking pop and "sports" drinks.
At, you can find a great list of studies which show the dangers of pop and "sports" drinks.  The site also has resources for how to break your soda habit.

Also, if you drink 1 pop a day, you can lose 15 lbs. in a year by giving up pop.

2.  Stop drinking juice.
Juice is fruit that has been stripped of fiber, leaving only the sugar and a little flavoring.  It works the same way as pop, adding pounds of fat to children and adults.

3.  Don't eat processed food.
Most processed food has fructose (corn syrup or sugar) added to it, along with fat to preserve the food.  Eat fresh foods and decipher the ingredients on packaging.  This is what I mean.

I scanned a box of cereal bars that I bought
a few months ago.
I got them for my husband's breakfasts-on-the-go
and for snacks for him.
First thoughts:
  • On the package, they look great.  They are "Low Fat" fruit and grain bars.
  • They are "Made with Whole Grain & Real Fruit Fruit Filling."
  • The whole strawberries and whole wheat on the package look really healthy, right?
Let's look at the ingredients.
  • The first two ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.  Then, comes water, strawberry puree concentrate, and sugar. 
  • Why are there three different types of fructose in the filling? Because by law, food manufacturers have to list ingredients in greatest-to-least order.  There is more high fructose corn syrup than any other ingredient.  They use different types of fructose to move the strawberry puree up higher in the ingredient list, even though there is more fructose than anything else.
  • The same goes for the ingredents in the "cereal" part.  It also has three different kinds of fructose.
  • DO THE MATH.  Divide the sugars by the "fruit and grain" bar size . 
12g / 37g = .324

The "wholesome" "low fat" "Fruit & Grain Bar" is 32.4% sugars! 

I am embarrassed that I bought this to give my husband a "healthy" breakfast!

I'm certainly NOT buying these again for anyone in my family.

I hope this little bit of education helps you, too!

  • Watch the whole video about fructose here. 
  • The slides are from Dr. Lustig's presentation.  You can find all of them here.
  • Tomorrow is Follow Friday!
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