Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best Please Eat Food That Is Good For You


This rabbit is worn out from eating healthy all day, just like you ought to be

Good nutrition is vital and good nutrition is very important to me, but I don’t know anything about good nutrition. What I know of good nutrition I only know as disparate pieces of information that people have told me—for example, that almonds are good for me and iceberg lettuce is nutritionally zero so I should eat arugula or spinach (which is very good for you) instead—but I have no cohesive nutrition rules. My brain, in relation to nutrition, is like a rulebook for Solitaire (the only card game that I can pretend to understand) that doesn’t explain the game but tells you individual pieces of data like: “A red three can go under a black four.” or “A black Jack cannot go under a red ten no matter how many times you try to put it there.” or “Spades and clubs are different kinds of cards from each other.” You get enough of those rules together, you have a game of cards happening—similarly, I put enough of my pieces of nutritional information together, I have a healthy lifestyle. I mean, I’d have a healthy lifestyle.

Anyway, last year I learned the most important nutrition rule there is. That rule is “High Fructose Corn Syrup is Very Bad for You.” The rule sums up all my knowledge on the matter—if something has high fructose corn syrup in it, do not eat it. It is as bad for you as anything could possibly be. You should never eat anything with high fructose corn syrup in it ever. Ever. Oh, also I know that high fructose is something that is used instead of sugar to sweeten things and give them calories. Also, it is often used when something needs to be sticky.

For a while I only didn’t eat foods with high fructose corn syrup in them if people told me they had high fructose corn syrup in them. This started with Nature Valley Granola Bars. You’d think a granola bar would be good for you, right? Nope, not if it is a Nature Valley Granola Bar, these are bars of granola held together by high fructose corn syrup and they are very, very bad for you because they have high fructose corn syrup in them. And if you ask someone knowledgeable, you’ll find out that a NutriGrain bar is also really really bad for you because the filling is pure high fructose corn syrup, and that’s the worst thing something could possibly be. Another thing with high fructose corn syrup in it is soda, and that is why it is so bad to drink soda all the time. When I was told that soda had high fructose corn syrup in it I was real proud of myself because I already had enjoyed a super-limited soda-drinking lifestyle because of an earlier nutrition rule I had received, “Don’t drink a lot of soda. “ Now I had a more complete rule to operate from “Don’t drink a lot of soda because it has high fructose corn syrup in it” so now I drink even less soda than before and when I drink a soda I know that I’m doing something very wrong and I feel very bad about it.

However, in the past couple of weeks I’ve begun checking on my own if foods have high fructose corn syrup in them or not. Don’t know why I’ve started doing this, it just sort of happened. Just trying to be healthy and nutritional, I guess. Here’s some things that I’ve learned:

  • Gatorade: it’s first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup! I used to drink this while competing! I can’t believe it. You should not drink Gatorade EVER. Especially when trying to win a medal. How I ever made it to State I just don’t understand.
  • Pure American Zero-Calorie Flavored Water: No high fructose corn syrup. This is like a generic version of vitamin water that they have at Walgreens and it is perfectly fine to drink if you want a water that tastes like bad lemonade.
  • Mott’s Apple Sauce: DON’T EAT THIS! It has high fructose corn syrup in it! Can you believe that? And that’s why I never really liked it anyway, it was too sweet! (Because of that high fructose corn syrup!)
  • Mott’s Natural Apple Sauce: DO EAT THIS! It is just made of apples and water and has no high fructose corn syrup in it. However, it does taste kind of soapy, so don’t eat too much of it . . . although I’m willing to accept the possibility that this isn’t the sauce’s fault and that my bowl just hadn’t been rinsed enough after its washing.
  • Oreos: Oreos are perfectly fine for you, eat as many as you like, they are made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.
  • Dots, Charlston Chews, and Cadbury Mini-Eggs: Might as well put a little butter on them and serve them on your dinner plate along side a nice little salmon and some steamed carrots because they don’t have high fructose corn syrup in them, either.
  • Raw Almonds: No high fructose corn syrup in them either. Hey, listen. I’ve been reading packages.
  • Mexican Coke: the reason that people go for it and why trendy places will sell it to you at a premium is that it’s made with sugar, not the high fructose corn syrup. Sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup soda is catching on, that’s why Pepsi is releasing “Pepsi-Cola Throwback” soon—that’s Pepsi with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.

At the same time, here are certain foods that I am not willing to check for high fructose corn syrup content because I need them and am not ready to eliminate them from my diet, and if you tell me that they contain high fructose corn syrup I will not consider you a nutritional savior but a big jerk that ruined a part of my life:

  • Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
  • Cheez-It Crackers
  • McDonalds Bar-B-Q sauce for my Chicken McNuggets (but I bet I could guess pretty accurately why it tastes so sweet and delicious)
  • Otter Pops (actually, I could probably live without these)
  • Chocolate Pudding Snack Packs
  • Cheese from a Can
  • Flipsides Pretzel Crackers
  • French fries
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Tacos
  • You might think that this is a list that I’m making to be funny, but it’s a real list.
  • Okay, maybe "Tacos" was a stretch.

But on the other hand, some foods I wouldn’t mind if I found out they had high fructose corn syrup in them. Like ice cream, because I want my ice cream to be made with good old fashioned healthy sugar. This is sort of like finding out if your milkshake is going to come from a machine that already mixed it all up or actually be made from a few scoops of ice cream and some real milk—the information might keep you from having a milkshake, but at least you won’t be having a bad milkshake. Bad milkshake is worse than no milkshake in most instances. Also, what if humus had high fructose corn syrup in it? That would be so funny! Then what would white people eat or bring to parties? They'd have to go back to salsa.

DANG IT! Dang it, dang it, dang it. Crap. Sorry. I just got up from my computer for a minute and while I was at the fridge I couldn’t help it, I checked my bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. Yup. Ingredient numero uno: High fructose corn syrup. Hard to believe my chocolate syrup is as bad for me as a bottle of Gatorade. Listen, I can’t throw this bottle out, I have to at least finish it. Here’s a new rule: until I find out another way to make my chocolate milk in the morning and top my occasional ice cream with chocolate using the same bottle, the occasional ingestion of high fructose corn syrup is permissible, but be careful about it.

15 comments:

M said...

impressive. sounds like very soon you will be ready to learn about the dangers of "partially hydrogenated oils" (AKA trans fats).

Brig said...

Oh no! What's a trans fat?

(I know you can't get them at KFC anymore.)

Anonymous said...

Brig,

It's not high-fructose corn syrup that's bad. Bad is drinking any kind of high-sugar beverage. Sucrose-containing Coke is no better than HFCS-containing Coke. The problem seems to be that the body's satiety mechansims don't respond to fluids as well as to solids. So if you drink 250 calories you feel less full than if you eat 250 calories of solid food. HFCS in stuff like Hersey's syrup or even in granola bars is no big problem for anyone's health. But it's best not to drink sugar-filled beverages of any kind (except maybe one glass of OJ a day).

Dad

PS Sucrose is a fructose-glucose combination. It is split into fructose and glucose by the intestines before it enters your blood stream.

Side of Jeffrey said...

I HATE you high fructose corn syrum, unless I am using you to make fake blood...or is that kero-syrup? I just checked my Mountain Dew I am drinking - and yep, it has HFCS in it. Not only that, but its making me sterile. Did you know THAT????

Brig said...

That's my Dad, always using science to prove scientific things. Figures.

Casey said...

Brigham,

I think you owe it to yourself, and to the Corn Refiner's Association to visit http://www.sweetsurprise.com

I recently heard a commercial from them about how HFCS has been getting a bad rap. If the people who make the HFCS say it's getting a bad rap, then we owe to them to check out their scientific studies and comments, including one by a Dr. Nestle (for real).

Mitch said...

I just checked the Ginger Beer I'm having for breakfast, and it looks pretty healthy. (Main ingredient: Water. Second: Sugar) I think you'd be safer if you came to the UK.

bug girl said...

The HFCS-sugar conspiracy is a great little subject to study...I heard about it from my brother and it has ceased to amaze me. Here are two fun places to read about it:

http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.php/2006/01/24/tariffs_and_subsidies_the_literal_cost_o

and

http://www.michaelpollan.com/article.php?id=52

bug girl said...

Whoops, the whole url didn't post for the Accidental Hedonist, but scroll down till you come to Tariffs and Subsidies - The Literal Cost of High Fructose Corn Syrup, or search for it.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

When in doubt, order and consume large quantities of Dr. Pepper made with genuine cane sugar at the oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant in existence.

http://www.dublindrpepper.com/
(yes, they ship direct to your door)

Savor the primeness of the extra-healthy sweetness. Served ice-ice cold it is one of the most delicious items in existence. Pairs well with montreal-seasoned filet mignon.

Scrumpestuous D said...

The cool kids are also avoiding gluten and (this is new to me) yeast.

Oh, and everyone should be eating a bunch of spirulina. What's spirulina, you say? Well, it certainly isn't people.

Oh, and don't forget to detox regularly.

Cindy said...

I still eat high fructose corn syrup. And McDonald's cheeseburgers. By not eating high fructose corn syrup, you are not supporting the corn farmers of America.

Anonymous said...

Actually, i think I remember seeing HFCS listed on tubs of hummus at the bodega. Perhaps it isn't too much of a stretch to suggest that bodegas carry the highest ratio of HFCS-containing foods to HFCS-lacking foods of any other places on earth. HFCS and cigarillos.

I wouldn't give up your hersheys syrup for anything. maybe just eat more spinach.

-scj

Anonymous said...

Nesquik chocolate syrup contains sugar & no HFCS. If you ever come to the point where you insist on being hysterical about it.