Friday, November 4, 2011

Dirty Words

There are four dirty words that Nic mentioned in one of her first blog posts that are really having quite an impact on me lately... high fructose corn syrup. I've seen the ads that say "high fructose corn syrup is made from corn and as healthy as natural sugar" and then there's the other side of the battle about how awful the stuff is for you. I'm not jumping in that debate, because honestly, I don't really care. I've learned how harmful the effects of the ridiculous amount of sugar that's been put into just about everything we eat is, so it doesn't really matter to me if HFCS is the same as sugar. Sugar is not really my body's friend - whether that's granulated sugar, HFCS, corn syrup, Splenda, etc.

My roommate had fruit snacks that were made with real fruit juice... with 14 grams of sugar in a tiny .5 oz package! A coworker had a single-serving cup of fruit with over 20 grams of sugar in it! The "healthy" ice cream bar a friend was eating had a whopping 30 grams of sugar. How is that healthy?! And now I've learned to look not only at the grams of sugar listed on the nutrition facts, but to also scope out the ingredient list for these sneaky little devils, it just gets me more frustrated than ever. Why do we put this stuff in everything??

Here are some things I've found recently that have HFCS in them that I would never have given a second thought to before this journey: Nyquil/Robitussin/Delsym (only the liquid kind, but of course that's the only cold medicine that actually knocks me out), Land O Lakes fat-free half & half, Pepperidge Farms' line of 100% whole grain bread, Ritz crackers, sweet pickle relish and most jarred pickles, all varieties of Miracle Whip, Campbell's vegetable soup (the microwave cup kind), etc.

Obviously, HFCS is found in a lot more foods than these. But I didn't expect it to be in most of these! I have never before read the label to my cold medicine. I had to run to the store this morning to find a truly sugar-free half & half I could put in my coffee at work. These things sneak up on me and I'm realizing like never before how much sugar and sugar-substitutes I have really been consuming. It almost makes me sick to think about. No wonder I was getting sick all the time. No wonder I craved sugar on a daily - if not hourly - basis. Have you found these hidden sugars in any other surprising foods?

When I first downloaded the e-book and told Nicole I was going to try not eating sugar for awhile, I thought it would be easy. I had no idea how many varieties of sugar are out there or the extreme amount that is in most of my normal "healthy foods." I'm learning a lot of foods aren't nearly as healthy as I once thought they were. And I'm not surprised that although I was losing weight on WW, I wasn't really getting much healthier. In fact, after a year on WW, I was getting physically sick and spending a lot more money on doctor (and even Emergency Room) visits with stomach issues.

I'm anxious to see after several weeks of diligently sticking to this plan if and how that changes. I know I was feeling like a new person after my first sugar-free week. And yes, I've made mistakes and I've eaten sugar along the way - some intentional and some not. But I'm back on track and I'm committing to see this through. I will be posting my stats - weight, measurements, photo, etc. - sometime this weekend in hopes that will be another thing to keep me accountable to this. But for now, it's back to work now that my really sugar-free coffee is kicking in! Happy Friday, friends!

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