terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Sugar September 26, 2007

Filed under: food, preservatives — terra @ 12:43 pm

Which is better, high fructose corn syrup or sugar? The Good Human provides a good breakdown of the difference.

Essentially, high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) is a manufactured product. Several corn syrups undergo a process to increase their fructose. It’s a lot less expensive than sugar, and lasts longer.

In soda, it has been found that by using HFCS instead of pure sugar it can make the soda 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds. According to one study, carbonyl compounds are elevated in people with diabetes and are blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage.

Sugar is a natural product, derived from cane sugar. It is fresher, hence the shorter shelf life. It has not been altered to the extent of HFCS. Sugar is also processed differently by our bodies. It’s not necessarily better, because it stimulates the liver to release more fat into the bloodstream.

So what’s the answer? It would be best to avoid both hfcs and sugar whenever possible. I prefer a natural product, so I avoid HFCS as much as I can in favor of sugar.


Surprise! Food coloring and preservatives are bad for kids September 8, 2007

Filed under: food, preservatives — terra @ 12:14 pm

A new study in Britain has found that food coloring and preservatives can increase hyperactivity, including ADHD in kids age 3-9, and also have adverse effects on the general population.

Children tested showed significant differences in their behavior based on whether their fruit drink had added colorings and preservatives, versus those drinks that were more natural. The additive-laden drinks increased hyperactivity.

“It supports what dietitians have known for a long time, that feeding children on diets largely consisting of heavily processed foods which may also be high in fat, salt or sugar is not optimal for health.”


Let’s try to eat fresh, natural foods that are healthy and taste good!


The Pronounceable Diet August 14, 2007

Filed under: food, preservatives — terra @ 5:34 pm

foodI try to follow what I call the Pronounceable Diet. That means that I try not to eat anything I can’t easily pronounce, specifically, things like TBHQ (tert-Butylhydroquinone), acesulfame potassium, cochineal, mono or diglyceride, etc. The purpose is to avoid un-natural chemicals in what I eat.

Do you even know what’s in those things without looking them up? Were you aware that cochineal is a red coloring that’s made from insects? Did you know that mono and diglycerides can be made of animal products? Bad news for vegetarians. There are so many preservatives and chemicals in today’s food, it’s no wonder we have the health problems we do. (foreign food is excluded from The Pronounceable Diet)

Instead, I try to eat fresh food. I make nearly everything myself, and I read every label and try to buy things with fewer than 10 ingredients to get the least processed food I can. Not only does the Pronounceable Diet have fewer preservatives, fresh food tastes much better! Next time you’re grocery shopping, check out the labels. It’s not a pleasant surprise.

Also, don’t eat things with numbers, like red #40. If there’s a number sign, it shouldn’t be eaten.

(The picture is from The Onion)