FDA Says "No" to Corn Sugar, A Win for Real Food

This past Wednesday there was a great victory in the world of real food and nutrition labeling: the FDA denied the Corn Refiner's Association's request to rename high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar" on food labels. The application for a name change was submitted in 2010 due to the bad press that high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, has received in recent years. HFCS is a highly processed sweetener made from corn. The reason it is so predominant in the food supply is that government subsidies (your taxes dollars) encourages the overproduction of corn, making it prevalent and cheap at the market place. This corn is then used to feed livestock that are not designed to eat it and altered to be made into various "ingredients" found in processed food. Oh, and it's GMO to boot. No matter what your thoughts are on the safety of high fructose corn syrup (I never eat the stuff), this goes beyond its safety. The larger issue I see here is the consumer's right to know what is in the food they are eating. Ultimately, the name change was designed to confuse and deceive consumers by labeling the offensive ingredient as something that seems much more wholesome. If the name change had gone through, unaware consumers would have essentially had some of their power taken away in the market place. In a world where food and nutrition are often far more confusing that they should be, the last thing we need is a move such as this one.

Beyond that, it's still true that too much sugar in any form is a problem and processed foods should be limited. Stick to fresh, whole foods and you will be much better off.

How do you feel about the attempt to relabel HFCS as "corn sugar?" Sound off in the comments below.

NNMC: Toss the Junk: Skip Soda

Quitting soda is one of the quickest ways to improve your diet and your health. First off, they are basically sugar-water with a few chemicals thrown in and have no redeeming qualities at all. Second, your body doesn't register liquid calories as well as food calories, so it's not going to fill you up the way an equivalent amount of food would. Third, they push out other healthful beverages in your diet like water and tea. To add insult to injury, they are most often sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup which is highly processed and made from GMO corn.  Also, while diet sodas may be calorie-free, they still are in no way healthy and, in my opinion, are just as dangerous as their full-calorie counterparts. Bottom line: the soda has got to go.

However, getting rid of soda is easier said than done. Many people find themselves gripped by these beverages, especially the caffeinated ones. At one time, I myself was hooked on Diet Coke. It's lack of calories was seductive and it kept me awake at a time in my life when I was getting far too little sleep. I know how it feels, but I want to tell you that you can do it. And, trust me, once you make it to the other side, you'll be so glad you did.

Here is a quick recipe for you that may help if you're trying to get off soda, but are craving something a little more interesting than water. The key is to make sure you get 100% cranberry juice, not cranberry juice cocktail. Pure cranberry juice is low in sugar and calories but just a little bit really packs a tart punch.

Guilt-Free Cranberry Drink

Ingredients

2 tablespoons 100% cranberry juice

8 oz water

Lemon slices

Directions

1. Mix cranberry juice and water in a glass.

2. Add lemon slices to taste.