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Buyers Beware HFCS May Soon Be A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Raw (unrefined, unbleached) sugar, bought at t...

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High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as an ingredient in almost every food you consume. For years it has slowly crept into our food supply. Now there is a lot of controversy over its effects on health.  Oh yes, we are all human guinea pigs!

58% of consumers are concerned about the link of high fructose corn syrup with diabetes, heart disease, obesity…It’s no wonder the Corn Refiners Association (The BIG GUYS behind HFCS: Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Tate and Lyle) petitioned the FDA to rename HFCS, “corn sugar”. See the Big Battle, consumerist.com/2011/04/big-sugar-sues-big-corn-over-corn-sugar-ad-campaign-for-hfcs.html

Now I’m not a fan of excess sugar in my food but I’d take real sugar cane over high fructose corn syrup any day. I suggest keeping sugar to a minimum by selecting fresh or frozen produce, but with this issue, I side with the sugar companies that are spending the big bucks to prevent the association of sugar with HFCS or its alias “corn sugar”. Huh, maybe they know something we don’t.

Even for those of us who believe HFCS may be harmful, unless you do a “kitchen” makeover, you have no control over what cheap products companies decide to use as ingredients for their products.  

This is a quick list of how to shop differently and make better food choices:

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup

http://cleanerplateclub.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/take-the-high-fructose-corn-syrup-challenge/

http://parentingtips365.com/2010/01/19/how-to-remove-high-fructose-corn-syrup-from-your-diet/

So for all my label readers’ out there, if you are shopping one day and you see an item that does not contain HFCS, check again for the “Wolf in sheep’s clothing–corn sugar” just to make sure you are not fooled by the Corn Refiners Association.

 

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Nutrition Optimization (NO) small changes BIG BENEFITS

Last week I talked about nutrition optimization. By nutrition optimization I mean using foods that have more nutrients and limiting foods that have fewer nutrients. You can also eat healthier by substituting foods that contain additives/dyes/preservatives/sweeteners etc…for the same foods that just do not contain these ingredients.

For example: If you are hungry and you eat a salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, broccoli and carrots and you dress it with Russian dressing you can optimize the nutrition of this salad by adding turkey (protein, B6, niacin and selenium) and avocado (carotenoids, vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium). Switch the dressing from one that is likely to contain corn syrup, sodium Benzoate, calcium disodium Edta (to Preserve Freshness), and a sulfiting agent to olive oil, lemon juice and natural herbs.

The substitute salad with turkey and avocado has staying power. Yes you add calories and natural fat but your body is being nourished with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other health boosting nutrients. This is the key to avoiding both hunger and foraging for food within the hour. You will be more satisfied and full by eating more healthy foods.

This philosophy can be used with foods that you may not consider as healthy. Have you ever noticed that when you pour a bag of chips into a bowl it’s easy to go through the entire bowl and even the whole bag? Why? Chips alone are not filling.

Try this nacho recipe and let me know how it works.

Follow portion sizes listed on the labels. Select a healthier tortilla chip option (ingredients: corn, oil. Sea salt); add salsa and an ounce of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, top with 2% Greek yogurt (Oikos, Fage, or Chobani). This yogurt is perfect to substitute for sour cream because if you were blind fold you may not be able to tell the difference.

Aside from calories and a little fat, is this more satisfying? Compared with the chips alone, did you feel as ready to go back for as many helping as you did for the chips alone? Here are the nutritional benefits you get:

Salsa: vitamin’s A, B6, C, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, quercetin, fiber

Cheese: calcium, phosphorous, selenium, protein

Yogurt: protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, live active probiotic cultures—Chobani has five active cultures!

Not only are you optimizing the nutrition value you get from a snack, you take a thoughtless moment of grabbing a handful of chips and create a more meaningful experience: the aroma of food, the taste of more than just chips, and a higher fullness factor!

 

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