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Is High-fructose Corn Syrup Mad Science? – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Aka: HFCS.  Is the Devil, Right?

I’m a huge opponent of high-fructose corn syrup otherwise known as HFCS.  That said, I will do my best to remain neutral and explain why.  This topic is not black and white.  There are many shades of gray.

A Little Chemistry

Our body uses glucose and Fructose (monosaccharides) as its energy sources and both are “simple sugars”.  The most important monosaccharide is glucose because it is already at the state where the body’s enzymes can initiate metabolism and doesn’t need to be processed further.  Most other more complex sugars and carbohydrates need to be processed in order to be turned into glucose by the body.  Glucose is also our “blood” sugar.  The body’s pancreas produces insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood as well as the energy regulating hormone leptin. Not so with fructose.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables.  It is also added to foods and beverages to sweeten them.  The problem lies in the metabolic pathway fructose has in the body.  Fructose is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain as is glucose and tends to be treated more like fat in the body than sugar.  Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and is more fat-producing than glucose.  More importantly, fructose does not cause insulin to be released or leptin to be produced.

Because Fructose isn’t the body’s primary energy source it builds up in the body and is stored in the liver as triglycerides (fat) while the body’s insulin response is only to the glucose.

chemistry

Chemistry

The History Of HFCS vs Sucrose

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a fructose-glucose liquid alternative sweetener to sucrose (table sugar), and was first introduced to the food and beverage industry for mass use in the 1970s.  HFCS is not meaningfully different in composition or metabolism from other fructose-glucose sweeteners like sucrose, honey, and fruit juice concentrates.

Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  There are basically two types of commonly used HFCS, HFCS-42 and HFCS-55.  42 is only 42% fructose and 55 is 55% fructose.

Food formulators quickly moved to HFCS as a replacement for sucrose, and its use grew between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Its sweetness is comparable with that of sucrose, it has improved stability and functionality, and is much easier to use because it is already a liquid.

Even though the use of HFCS today is roughly equal to sucrose use in the United States, the world’s preferred sweetener is sucrose: greater than 90% of the  sweetener used worldwide is sucrose.

Table Sugar

Sucrose

The Good

HFCS is less expensive to produce than sucrose.  Sucrose comes from countries that are somewhat unstable and the basic crop price can fluctuate wildly.  When sugarcane is processed into sucrose it is a solid gradual that must be dissolved in water to the proper concentration before it can be used.  HFCS is produced as a liquid, ready to use and is more easily transported.

Even though the product is called High-Fructose corn syrup, it has only slightly more (55%) or slightly less (42%) fructose than does sucrose which has 50% fructose.  The Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to change the name simply to “corn sugar”.  So far they have been denied.

The Bad And Ugly

I’m not going to hit you with a bunch of numbers.  All I need to say is that obesity in America is at an all time high.

Why

As I see it there are many reasons why, pick a few of these.

  • Food is easier to get
  • It is “cool” to over eat, there are even eating contests
  • Serving sizes are much larger
  • Everything has sugar or sweetener in it
  • Prepared or fast-food is now more common and easy to get when time is short
  • There are many more places to get food than ever before
  • Deserts, candy and sweet foods that were once considered a treat are now readily available at any time.
  • There are many more “snack” foods flooding the market
  • School children are NOT required to exercise for the most part
  • TV and Computers have taken over play time where playing outside and physical games once dominated
  • The general public is not sufficiently educated as related to nutrition and diet

Conclusions and Recommendations from the Farm

For the first time in modern history the average life expectancy has dropped in the US.  The reasons given mostly revolved around obesity and heart disease.  

My research has lead me to conclude that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse for us than ordinary table sugar.   The problem is that we are consuming many times the sugar than is healthy.

The chart above shows that in 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours.  We are now eating roughly 100 pounds of sugar apiece each year.

Since you are reading my rants on the Fat Farm you are doing the best thing you can to improve your health. Educate yourself.  As always don’t believe a thing I say.  Research, trust but verify.  Put in the time and do the work.  Ask questions. – jughandle

 

CNN Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

More about SUGAR

As we’ve discussed before, sugar is the bane of our existence.  Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it.  Since almost everything either has sugar in it or breaks down in our body (carbohydrates) to form sugar, we should avoid excess sugar intake when ever we can.  I am providing the following information about sugar as a FYI blog.  This information comes from Prevention.com and a recent article written by Mandy Oaklander called “10 Sneaky Names for Sugar“.  All of the following images are from the same article.  If you only read one, read the first one.  It is enlightening. – jughandle

 

1. Sucrose

What’s the anatomy of a sugar? Let’s start with table sugar, one of the most common. The scientific name is sucrose: That’s half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). You might also know it by “cane sugar,” which is 100% sucrose.

Here’s the bad news. While glucose can be metabolized by all your organs, fructose is metabolized almost solely by your liver, writes Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, in his forthcoming book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In other words, fructose taxes your liver. And it’s in every caloric sweetener, from white sugar, to cane sugar, to beet sugar, to agave nectar. It also pops up on food labels by itself.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

2. Evaporated Cane Juice

Sounds healthier, right? Don’t believe the babble. Evaporated cane juice is little more than a dressed-up name for straight-up sugar.

In October 2009, the FDA issued a guidance statement about the term. “FDA’s current policy is that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice,” the guidance says. But in reality, evaporated cane juice isn’t even a liquid.

The FDA recommendations aren’t binding. Still, the yogurt company Chobani is under legal fire for its simultaneous use of “evaporated cane juice” and its claim of “no sugar added” products, reports Food Navigator. The lawsuit, brought by a California woman, accuses the company of violating federal law.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

3. Agave Nectar

Another “health” food favorite, agave nectar is touted as a natural sugar and is widely used in natural baked goods. But agave nectar is higher in fructose than cane sugar. In fact, says Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, agave is 85% fructose. “Agave’s probably one of the worst,” Dr. Weil says. Not only is it not healthier for you, but it also doesn’t even contain more antioxidants or minerals than other types.  However, it does have a lower glycemic load than other sweeteners, so it causes a less drastic spike in blood sugar. And the stuff is so sweet that you’ll probably use less of it.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

4. Fruit Juice Concentrate

No matter how healthy your juice looks, chances are good that added fruit juice concentrate is in there. Check labels of juice, flavored yogurt and any other processed food for grape, apple or any other kind of fruit juice concentrate: It’s all too often there. Also look for it in snack bars, applesauce, and other fruity edibles. Concentrate is formed when the water is removed from fruit juice. What’s left? We’ll give you one guess. Yup, sugar.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

5. 100% Fruit Juice

But what about an organic, natural, no-sugar-added, 100% fruit juice? No concentrate, no problems, right? Sorry to ruin your breakfast, but you might as well go ahead and skip this OJ and have a Snickers.

Whole fruit is good for you, says Dr. Lustig, because it contains lots of fiber. In juice form, which is devoid of fiber, sugar’s sugar—even if you juice it yourself, straight from fresh fruit. “It’s all the same,” Lustig writes of sugar’s many names and forms in his forthcoming book, Fat Chance. “The vehicle is irrelevant; it’s the payload that matters.” By this definition, your 100% orange juice is worse for you than soda: The former contains 5.8 teaspoons of sugar per cup, while soda contains 5.4.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Study after study has shown that high fructose corn syrup, made from processed (and usually genetically modified) cornstarch, is technically no different from sucrose. But some research shows that HFCS generates a higher blood fructose level, which could have negative metabolic consequences. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In 2010, corn refiners petitioned the FDA for permission to start calling HFCS “corn sugar.” They were turned down.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

7. The -Oses

Watch out for anything –ose, lest you sugar overdose. You’ve met sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but did you know galactose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose? They’re all sugars—some of which occur naturally but can be processed in a lab, too—that can be added to processed foods. Eater beware.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

8. Blackstrap Molasses

If you were alive in the 1880s, then congratulations! Not only are you at least 132 years old, but you remember when blackstrap molasses was the No. 1 sweetener in the United States. This natural sweetener is sugar too, but, like most things in the olden days, it was better for you. This viscous syrup contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. And just one tablespoon of molasses has about 4 times the iron as a 3-ounce white chicken breast, according to the American Diatetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Check out the other antioxidant-rich sugars, including maple syrup, here.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

9. Organic Brown Rice Syrup

With a name like that, you’ve got to deserve your health halo, right? Not according to a recent Dartmouth College study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Brown rice sugar is shilled to the natural food market as a “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it still sugar, but it may also be contaminated with arsenic. The study found high levels of arsenic, which is linked to cancer and chronic diseases, in processed foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. We’re talking energy bars, cereal bars, and even baby formula. (To protect yourself, you’ll want to take a look at our list of 10 Ways to Avoid Arsenic In Your Food.)

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

10. …and so many more

Barley malt, golden syrup, diastatic malt, diastase, treacle, panocha, sorghum syrup—we couldn’t get to all of you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not lurking in our processed foods, too.

Besides scouring ingredients lists, the key to monitoring your sugar is determining just how much each serving contains. How? Check the nutrition label for total grams of sugar, and divide that by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.) That’s how many teaspoons of sugar are really in your cookie, your ketchup, and your no-sugar-added fruit juice.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated January 10, 2018

Sugar

I’ve touched on sugar, mostly brown sugar,  in the past “Pantry 101 – Baking and Spices 6-12”  but we got a question from Debbie in California asking what is the difference between  cane sugar, corn sugar, and beet sugar, so we’ll go into depth to answer that question here.

Sugar

Wikipedia defines sugar as:

Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucroselactose, and fructose,[1] characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugars refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols,[2] while in its singular form, sugar normally refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined (or free sugar) form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucosefructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Currently, Brazil has the highest per capita production of sugar.[3] 

Cane Sugar

C&H’s web site says this about cane sugar:

“How Cane Sugar is Better (or, Why cane sugar can't be beet)

Not all sugars are created equal. Lots of us have been brought up thinking that all sugars are—well—pretty much the same, and that the kind of sugar we use won’t make much difference. Even today, most people don’t know that some grocery stores carry two different kinds of sugar: cane sugar and beet sugar. Pure Cane Sugar, the kind C&H uses exclusively, is refined from sugarcane plants. The first cultivated sugar crop, sugarcane is grown above ground, nurtured in fresh tropical breezes under warm sunshine. Beet sugar, found in some store brands and in other makers that often don’t specify the source, is extracted from beets grown underground as a root crop. Cane sugar contains trace minerals that are different from those in beet sugar, and it’s these minerals that many experts say make cane sugar preferable to use. As professional bakers have long noticed, cane sugar has a low melting-point, absorbs fewer extraneous and undesirable odors, blends easily and is less likely to foam up. And that can be very important when you’re caramelizing a syrup, making a delicate glaze, baking a delicious meringue, or simmering your family’s favorite jam recipe.”

Brands

Domino Sugar, Dixie Crystal and C&H are all cane sugar and say so on the label
Holly Sugar, which acquired Spreckles, is beet sugar

Beet Sugar

Chemically identical to cane sugar 99.05 percent.  But that .05 percent makes a big difference when cooking.  Beets are harvested in the fall and are usually grown much further from the processing plant than sugar cane, requiring a higher transportation cost.  Beets are a root vegetable and more processing is required to clean them and separate the greens.  Also important to note is that beets are a rotational crop while sugar cane is a mono crop.  Rotational crops require 4 times as much land to grow as mono crops.  To learn more about how beets are turned into sugar go here.  For all practical purposes the only difference between beet and cane sugar may be how they react to heat.

Corn Sugar

Corn sugar aka corn syrup.  Yes, just like the corn syrup in your pantry.  Now, the difference is that corn syrup has no fructose as opposed to cane sugar or beet sugar.  Table sugar, composed of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, is from sugar beets or sugar cane.    For a lot of reasons I won’t get into now, but can be found in the movie “King Corn“, corn syrup is much cheaper to produce than cane or beet sugar, but it doesn’t taste the same. In step the scientists to “fix” that problem.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Scientists found a way to chemically alter corn syrup to create a cheap liquid sugar by adding fructose, hence the name high fructose corn syrup.  The corn syrup is high in fructose relative to other corn syrup, not to sugar.  HFCS-55 has a similar fructose ratio to honey and is composed of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose and is used in soft drinks.  There is also a HFCS-45, which is less sweet than sugar and HFCS-55 and is used in many baked goods, jams, jellies, and cereals. HFCS-45 contains 45 percent fructose and 55 percent glucose.  It is widely believed that because HFCS has been chemically altered that the body doesn’t react to it in the same way as sugar, but that has yet to be proven.

Conclusion

Many believe that caramel made with beet sugar will crystallize and never form caramel where cane sugar works well. Cane sugar on a creme brulee caramelizes while beet sugar burns.  Some cooks believe that making boiled icing with beet sugar is a mess.  If the package of sugar doesn’t say cane, it’s beet.  Some brands mix the two.

 

Happy baking and keep on Farming you Fat Farmers- Jughandle

Sugar Destroyer – Gymnema sylvestre

Better known as just Gymnema, this natural herb has been a treatment for diabetes for 2000 years.  It is widely known and used in Asia and the far East and has just recently been introduced to Europe and the United States.  The active parts of this herb are gymnemic acids.

Uses

Keep in mind that much like most herbal remedies, modern science has done relatively little research on its properties and effects.  That is not to say that gymnema isn’t a powerful natural drug and should be used with restraint and caution.

That said, Gymnema which means “sugar destroyer” has been used to treat, diabetes, high cholesterol, stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, liver disease, not to mention obesity and “sweet tooth”.

For Weight Loss

Gymnema lowers the desire for sweets.  Some say this is done by blocking the sugar or sweet receptors in the tongue.  This effect lasts for about 2 hours after ingesting Gymnema.  Studies have confirmed that people given Gymnema have less desire to “snack” than those who haven’t, under the same conditions.

Is a strong Antioxidant

Gymnema researchers in India where it has been used for centuries, have found that it has strong antioxidant properties

Other possible benefits

How Gymnema Works

Theories have it that Gymnema suppresses the blood glucose level by inhibiting glucose uptake in the intestines.  For weight  loss it is believed that Gymnema reduces the body’s craving for sweets which in turn lowers caloric intake.

Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects of Gymnema are low when taken as recommended.  When taken in large doses Gymnema can cause hypoglycemia in people prone to that.  Always tell your doctor everything that you are taking because Gymnema can interact with prescription antidepressants, other herbal products like St. John’s wort and salicylates like white willow and aspirin by enhancing the blood sugar-lowering effects of Gymnema.  Some stimulants like ephedra may reduce the effectiveness of Gymnema.
I am blogging about Gymnema because I found it offered in combination with Matcha Green Tea at one of my tea sources.  Neither I nor the Fat Farm are recommending that anyone use this herb.  I am only offering this information to benefit both you and I.  I have not used either Matcha or Gymnema yet. – Jughandle

 

12 foods that are bad for the planet

Do you think you are green?  Thinking about trying to be green?  It is a nice concept but how many of us are really willing to do what is necessary to turn this planet around?  Here are a few of the major problems we face that MUST be dealt with immediately to even save the planet let alone turn it “green” again.

 

Farmers, I didn’t start this blog site to get all warm and fuzzy and tree hugging, but damn, I’m turning up some serious problems that are starting to worry me.  Let me know if I’m going over the deep end or if I haven’t even begun to see the tip of the iceberg yet. – Jughandle

 

1. Rice 

Rice is the major calorie source for half of the world’s population, but growing rice accounts for one-third of the planet’s annual freshwater use, according to Oxfam. Luckily, a new farming method known as System of Rice Intensification has been developed that enables farmers to produce up to 50 percent more rice with less water. Oxfam is working to get rice-producing countries to convert 25 percent of their rice cultivation to SRI by 2025.

via 12 foods that are bad for the planet: Rice | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

 

2.  Genetically modified foods

As with human health risks, it’s unlikely that all the potential environmental harms of genetically modified foods have been identified, but here are some of the main concerns about GMOs.

  • Lower level of biodiversity: By making a crop resistant to a certain pest, the food sources for other animals could be removed. Also, the addition of foreign genes to plants could be toxic and endanger the animals that consume the plant.
  • Spread of altered genes: Novel genes placed in crops won’t necessarily stay in designated agricultural fields. The genes can easily spread via pollen and share their altered genes with non-genetically modified plants.
  • Creation of new diseases: Some GM foods are modified using bacteria and viruses, which means they could adapt and create new diseases.

3.  Sugar

More than 145 millions tons of sugar are produced in 121 countries each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and production on such a scale takes its toll on the Earth. Sugar may be responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop, according to a 2004 WWF “Sugar and the Environment” report, due to its habitat destruction, its intensive use of water and pesticides, and the polluted wastewater discharged during the production process.

Thousands of acres of the Florida Everglades have been compromised after years of sugar cane farming — subtropical forests became lifeless marshland after excessive fertilizer runoff and irrigation drainage. Waters around the Great Barrier Reef are also suffering due to the large quantities of pesticides and sediment from sugar farms.

 

4.  Meat

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American substituted one meal of chicken with vegetarian food, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads. Here are some of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization’s findings on meat and the environment:

  • 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock — more than from transportation.
  • 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon was cleared to pasture cattle.
  • The world’s largest source of water pollution is the livestock sector.
  • Livestock are responsible for a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus in U.S. freshwater resources.
  • Livestock account for about 20 percent of land animals, and the 30 percent of Earth’s land they occupy was once inhabited by wildlife.

 

5.  Fast food

Fast food is hurting more than just our waistlines. A typical fast-food meal often comes with overly packaged food, straws and plasticware, and an assortment of individually wrapped condiments. According to Californians Against Waste, less than 35 percent of fast-food waste is diverted from landfills even though most of it is recyclable paper and cardboard. So it’s no surprise that litter characterization studies have identified fast-food restaurants as the primary source of urban litter.

But it’s not just the packaging that’s a problem.  A recent Hong Kong study found that a fast-food restaurant making four hamburgers emits the same amount of volatile organic compounds as driving a car 1,000 miles. If you calculate the carbon footprint of a cheeseburger, you’re in for a real shock: The greenhouse gas emissions arising each year from the production and consumption of cheeseburgers is roughly the amount emitted by 6.5 million to 19.6 million SUVs.

 

6.  Foods that contain palm oil

Palm oil is found in an estimated 10 percent of U.S. groceries — it’s in chips, crackers, candy, margarine, cereals and canned goods. About 40 millions tons of palm oil, which is considered the cheapest cooking oil in the world, is produced each year, and 85 percent of it comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. In these countries, 30 square miles of forests are felled daily, and palm oil plantations account for the highest rates of deforestation in the world. When the rain forests disappear, so does almost all of the wildlife, including orangutans, tigers, bears and other endangered species.

 

7.  Packaged and processed food

The majority of the food you’ll find in the grocery store is processed and packaged, which is bad news for the planet.  Processed food contains multiple chemicals and often involves energy-intensive production processes. Plus, all that packaging typically ends up in a landfill, where plastic poisons the environment and can take thousands of years to break down. In fact, in 2006 the U.S. generated 14 million tons of plastic through packages and containers alone, according to the EPA. Unfortunately, even those eco-friendly packaged items made from cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. The solution? Buy local, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and buy foods like rice, oats and pasta from the bulk bins.

 

8.  Many non-organic foods

Organic produce is grown without pesticides, which keeps chemicals from entering the water supply and helps prevent soil erosion. Organic farming also uses fewer resources than traditional farming. According to a study by The Rodale Institute, organic farming practices use 30 percent less energy and water than regular growing.  In fact, a study by David Pimentel, a professor at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, found that growing corn and soybeans organically produced the same yields as conventional farming and used 33 percent less fuel. However, not all produce needs to be bought organic.

 

9.  Some seafood

Fishery analysts at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization report that 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully or overly exploited, depleted or in a state of collapse.  Fish like bluefin tuna and Atlantic salmon are severely overfished, and environmental groups are working to get them endangered species status. The overfishing of a particular species doesn’t damage that population alone — it can have serious effects further up the food chain and decrease biodiversity. Check out the Environmental Defense Fund’s seafood eco-ratings to determine what fish is safe for both you and our oceans.

 

10.  White bread

It’s well known that whole grain and wheat breads are more nutritious than white bread, but brown breads are also less harmful to the environment.  Wheat flour must be refined and go through a series of alteration processes to make white bread, but whole wheat flour spends less time in production.  Any ingredient that requires extensive refining requires more energy and resources and has a greater impact on the planet.

 

11.  High-fructose corn syrup foods

High-fructose corn syrup is one of the most environmentally damaging ingredients for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, corn is grown as a monoculture, meaning the land is used solely for corn and not rotated, which depletes soil nutrients, contributes to erosion and requires more pesticides and fertilizer.  The use of such chemicals contributes to problems like the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of the ocean where nothing can live because the water is starved of oxygen, and atrazine, a common herbicide used on corn crops, has been shown to turn male frogs into hermaphrodites. Milling and chemically altering corn to produce high-fructose corn syrup is also an energy-intensive practice.

 

12.  Much non-local food

Many people eat local for the freshness or to support the community, but the most widely touted benefit of local food is that it reduces fossil fuel consumption.  According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the average fresh food items on your dinner table travel 1,500 miles to get there.  Although there’s disagreement over whether “food miles” are the best measure of a food’s carbon footprint, buying food at your local farmers market is one way to guarantee that your food hasn’t traveled too far to get to your plate.

A Reversal on Carbs

Article from the LA Times:

A reversal on carbs

Fat was once the devil. Now more nutritionists are pointing accusingly at sugar and refined grains.

By Marni Jameson, Special to the Los Angeles Times

December 20, 2010

Most people can count calories. Many have a clue about where fat lurks in their diets. However, fewer give carbohydrates much thought, or know why they should.

But a growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America’s ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

“Fat is not the problem,” says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases.”

It’s a confusing message. For years we’ve been fed the line that eating fat would make us fat and lead to chronic illnesses. “Dietary fat used to be public enemy No. 1,” says Dr. Edward Saltzman, associate professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University. “Now a growing and convincing body of science is pointing the finger at carbs, especially those containing refined flour and sugar.”

Americans, on average, eat 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, accounting for about 55% of their caloric intake. The most conservative recommendations say they should eat half that amount. Consumption of carbohydrates has increased over the years with the help of a 30-year-old, government-mandated message to cut fat.

And the nation’s levels of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease have risen. “The country’s big low-fat message backfired,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “The overemphasis on reducing fat caused the consumption of carbohydrates and sugar in our diets to soar. That shift may be linked to the biggest health problems in America today.”

To understand what’s behind the upheaval takes some basic understanding of food and metabolism.

All carbohydrates (a category including sugars) convert to sugar in the blood, and the more refined the carbs are, the quicker the conversion goes. When you eat a glazed doughnut or a serving of mashed potatoes, it turns into blood sugar very quickly. To manage the blood sugar, the pancreas produces insulin, which moves sugar into cells, where it’s stored as fuel in the form of glycogen.

If you have a perfectly healthy metabolism, the system works beautifully, says Dr. Stephen Phinney, a nutritional biochemist and an emeritus professor of UC Davis who has studied carbohydrates for 30 years. “However, over time, as our bodies get tired of processing high loads of carbs, which evolution didn’t prepare us for … how the body responds to insulin can change,” he says.

When cells become more resistant to those insulin instructions, the pancreas needs to make more insulin to push the same amount of glucose into cells. As people become insulin resistant, carbs become a bigger challenge for the body. When the pancreas gets exhausted and can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the glucose in the blood, diabetes develops.

The first sign of insulin resistance is a condition called metabolic syndrome — a red flag that diabetes, and possibly heart disease, is just around the corner. People are said to have the syndrome when they have three or more of the following: high blood triglycerides (more than 150 mg); high blood pressure (over 135/85); central obesity (a waist circumference in men of more than 40 inches and in women, more than 35 inches); low HDL cholesterol (under 40 in men, under 50 in women); or elevated fasting glucose.

About one-fourth of adults has three or more of these symptoms.

“Put these people on a low-carb diet and they’ll not only lose weight, which always helps these conditions, but their blood levels will improve,” Phinney says. In a 12-week study published in 2008, Phinney and his colleagues put 40 overweight or obese men and women with metabolic syndrome on a 1,500-calorie diet. Half went on a low-fat, high-carb diet. The others went on a low-carb, high-fat diet. The low-fat group consumed 12 grams of saturated fat a day out of a total of 40 grams of fat, while the low-carb group ate 36 grams of saturated fat a day — three times more — out of a total of 100 grams of fat.

Despite all the extra saturated fat the low-carb group was getting, at the end of the 12 weeks, levels of triglycerides (which are risk factors for heart disease) had dropped by 50% in this group. Levels of good HDL cholesterol increased by 15%.

In the low-fat, high-carb group, triglycerides dropped only 20% and there was no change in HDL.

The take-home message from this study and others like it is that — contrary to what many expect — dietary fat intake is not directly related to blood fat. Rather, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet appears to be a potent contributor.

“The good news,” adds Willett, “is that based on what we know, almost everyone can avoid Type 2 diabetes. Avoiding unhealthy carbohydrates is an important part of that solution.” For those who are newly diagnosed, he adds, a low-carb diet can take the load off the pancreas before it gets too damaged and improve the condition — reducing or averting the need for insulin or other diabetes meds.

Americans can also blame high-carb diets for why the population has gotten fatter over the last 30 years, says Phinney, who is co-author of “The New Atkins for a New You” (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

“Carbohydrates are a metabolic bully,” Phinney says. “They cut in front of fat as a fuel source and insist on being burned first. What isn’t burned gets stored as fat, and doesn’t come out of storage as long as carbs are available. And in the average American diet, they always are.”

Here’s how Phinney explains it: When you cut carbs, your body first uses available glycogen as fuel. When that’s gone, the body turns to fat and the pancreas gets a break. Blood sugar stabilizes, insulin levels drop, fat burns. That’s why the diet works for diabetics and for weight loss.

When the body switches to burning fat instead of glycogen, it goes into a process called nutritional ketosis. If a person eats 50 or fewer grams of carbs, his body will go there, Phinney says. (Nutritional ketosis isn’t to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that can occur in diabetics.)

Beyond the fat-burning effects of ketosis, people lose weight on low-carb diets because fat and protein increase satisfaction and reduce appetite. On the flip side, simple carbs cause an insulin surge, which triggers a blood sugar drop, which makes you hungry again.

“At my obesity clinic, my default diet for treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome is a low-carb diet,” says Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University Medical Center, and co-author of the new Atkins book. “If you take carbohydrates away, all these things get better.”

Though the movement to cap carbs is growing, not all nutritional scientists have fully embraced it. Dr. Ronald Krauss, senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and founder and past chair of the American Heart Assn.’s Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, says that while he fundamentally agrees with those advocating fewer dietary carbs, he doesn’t like to demonize one food group.

That said, he adds, those who eat too many calories tend to overconsume carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates and sugars. “It can be extremely valuable to limit carbohydrate intake and substitute protein and fat. I am glad to see so many people in the medical community getting on board. But in general I don’t recommend extreme dietary measures for promoting health.”

Joanne Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota and a member of the advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is less inclined to support the movement. The committee, she says, “looked at carbohydrates and health outcomes and did not find a relationship between carbohydrate intake and increased disease risk.”

Most Americans need to reduce calories and increase activity, Slavin adds. Cutting down on carbs as a calorie source is a good strategy, “but making a hit list of carbohydrate-containing foods is shortsighted and doomed to fail, similar to the low-fat rules that started in the 1980s.”

As nutrition scientists try to find the ideal for the future, others look to history and evolution for answers. One way to put our diet in perspective is to imagine the face of a clock with 24 hours on it. Each hour represents 100,000 years that humans have been on the Earth.

On this clock, the advent of agriculture and refined grains would have appeared at about 11:54 p.m. (23 hours and 54 minutes into the day). Before that, humans were hunters and gatherers, eating animals and plants off the land. Agriculture allowed for the mass production of crops such as wheat and corn, and refineries transformed whole grains into refined flour and created processed sugar.

Some, like Phinney, would argue that we haven’t evolved to adapt to a diet of refined foods and mass agriculture — and that maybe we shouldn’t try.

health@latimes.com

 

 

 

 

Pantry 101-General Goods & Condiments 27-33

General goods & Condiments
1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins
11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking
39. Mango Chutney

27) ketchup

Ketchup (also spelled catsup or catchup), also known as tomato ketchup, tomato sauce, red sauce, Tommy sauce, Tommy K, or dead horse, is a condiment, usually made from tomatoes. The ingredients in a typical modern ketchup are tomato concentrate, spirit vinegar, corn syrup or other sugar, salt, spice and herb extracts (including celery), spice and garlic powder. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, onion, and other vegetables may be included.
Ketchup started as a general term for sauce, typically made of mushrooms or fish brine with herbs and spices. Some popular early main ingredients included blueberry, anchovy, oyster, lobster, walnut, kidney bean, cucumber, cranberry, lemon, celery and grape.
Ketchup is often used with chips (French fries), hamburgers, sandwiches and grilled or fried meat. Ketchup is also used as a base for various sauces.

Unfortuately most of today’s Ketchup, Catsup, has High Fructose Corn syrup in it. We have found that Heinz now has an “Organic” version that is HFC free. Make you own and you can control the contents. Ella Ween Myer’s is very good.

28) mustard
Wikipedia says it best:

The Romans probably developed the prepared mustards we know today. They mixed unfermented grape juice, known as “must,” with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make “burning must”, mustum ardens—hence “must ard”.

Varieties
Mustard, yellow
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 70 kcal 280 kJ
Carbohydrates 8 g
– Sugars 3 g
– Dietary fiber 3 g
Fat 3 g
Protein 4 g
Sodium 1120 mg 75%
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

There are many varieties of mustard which come in a wide range of strengths and flavors. The basic taste and “heat” of the mustard is largely determined by seed type, preparation and ingredients.[1][3] Black seeded mustard is generally regarded as the hottest type. Preparation also plays a key role in the final outcome of the mustard. Mustard, in its powdered form, lacks any potency and needs to be fixed; it is the production of allyl isothiocyanate from the reaction of myrosinase and sinigrin during soaking that causes gustatory heat to emerge. One of the factors that determines the strength of a prepared mustard is the temperature of the water, vinegar, or other liquid mixed with the ground seeds: hotter liquids are more hostile to the strength-producing compounds. Thus, hot mustard is made with cold water, while using hot water results in milder mustard (other factors remaining the same).
The pungency of mustard is always reduced by heating, not just at the time of preparation; if added to a dish during cooking much of the effect of the mustard is lost.
Locations renowned for their mustard include Dijon (medium strength) and Meaux in France; Norwich (very hot) and Tewkesbury, famed for its variety, in the United Kingdom; and Düsseldorf (hot) and Bavaria in Germany. There are variations in the subsidiary spices and in the preparation of the mustard seeds. The husks may be ground with the seeds, or winnowed away after the initial crushing; “whole-grain mustard” retains some unground or partially ground mustard seeds. Bavarian “sweet mustard” contains very little acid, substituting copious amounts of sugar for preservation. Sometimes prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite, sometimes it is aged. Irish mustard is a wholegrain type blended with whiskey and/or honey.
Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under the auspices of the European Union; thus, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs, most Dijon mustard is manufactured outside of Dijon.

Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic “green” juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.

Mustards from Dijon today generally contain both white wine and burgundy wine; most mustards marketed as Dijon style contain one or both of these wines.
Yellow mustard

A bottle of yellow mustard.

Yellow mustard is the most commonly used mustard in the United States and Canada, where it is sometimes referred to simply as “mustard”; in the rest of the world, it is often called American mustard. This is a very mild mustard colored bright yellow by the inclusion of turmeric. It was introduced in 1904 by George T. French as “cream salad mustard”. This mustard is closely associated with hot dogs, deli sandwiches, and hamburgers. Along with its use on various sandwiches, yellow mustard is a key ingredient in many potato salads, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings. Yellow mustard is often rubbed on barbecue meat prior to applying a dry rub, to form a crust, called bark, on the meat.
Wholegrain mustard

In wholegrain mustard, the seeds are not ground, but mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved by using different blends of mustard seed species. Some variations have additives such as sun-dried tomato mustard and chili mustard.
Honey mustard

This honey mustard has added peppers and spices.

Honey mustard, as the name suggests, is a blend of mustard and honey, usually 1:1. It is most often used as a topping for sandwiches and as a dip for chicken strips, french fries, onion rings, and other finger foods. It can also be used combined with vinegar and/or olive oil to make a salad dressing. The most basic honey mustard is a mixture of equal amounts of honey and mustard; however, most varieties include other ingredients to modify the flavor and texture. Combinations of English mustard with honey or demerara sugar are popularly used in British cuisine to coat grilled lamb cutlets or pork chops. Peppers and spices are sometimes added to give honey mustard a distinct hot and spicy taste.
English and French mustards
The two most common varieties of mustard in Europe are English and French mustard. The English variety is typically bright yellow in appearance, but much hotter than American mustard, akin to a Wasabi like sensation and is used sparingly. In the UK, the brand Colman’s is almost synonymous with mustard itself. The French variety is typically darker in color and contains more vinegar, giving a milder taste.
Irish mustard

Irish mustard is a blend of wholegrain mustard with honey and/or Irish whiskey.
Chinese mustard

Chinese mustard is a commonly served condiment in Chinese cuisine, and in Chinese American cuisine it is available (along with soy sauce and duck sauce) in small clear plastic packages when ordering Chinese take-out food. A similar form of mustard is also served in Korean cuisine, particularly with the buckwheat noodle dish called naengmyeon. In Japanese cuisine, a similar type of mustard is called karashi, and is served with oden, natto and other dishes. Chinese mustard is basically mustard powder and water. It is very strong compared to other types of mustard. In Bangladeshi cuisine, a similar type of mustard is used, although it is mostly consumed in Chittagong province.
Horseradish mustard

Horseradish mustard contains horseradish as well as mustard. The horseradish adds a sour flavour plus additional heat. Horseradish mustard is generally available as either mild or hotter than English mustard.
Culinary uses

Mustard is often used at the table as a condiment on meat. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades and barbecue sauce. It can also be used as a base for salad dressing when combined with vinegar and/or olive oil. Mustard is a popular accompaniment to hot dogs, pretzels, and Bratwurst.

Dry mustard, typically sold in tins, is used in cooking and can be mixed with water to become prepared mustard.

Prepared mustard is generally sold at retail in glass jars or plastic bottles although in Europe it is often marketed in metal, squeezable tubes. Some types of prepared mustard stored for a long time may separate, causing mustard water, which can be corrected by stirring or shaking. If stored for a long time unrefrigerated mustard acquires a bitter taste. Refrigeration greatly prolongs shelf life.

29) salad dressings
Salad dressings are anything that you dress a salad with. You can buy store bought anything, but watch out for the ingredients and calories. We usually make our own. Darlene likes a nice French or Thousand Island, I usually like an Italian or Oil & Vinegar. Here are a couple of good dressing recipes that are better than store bought:

French:
Ingredients

1 oil, we use olive or corn oil
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor; blend until well mixed. You can vary the amount of each ingredient or add some different ones to taste.

Thousand Island

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 garlic clove (omit for a milder flavor)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon sweet pickles chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar
3-4 teaspoons sugar to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste

30) soy sauce
Soy sauce is a staple condiment and ingredient throughout all of Asia. Produced for thousands of years, soy sauce is a salty, brown liquid made from fermented soy beans mixed with some type of roasted grain (wheat, barley, or rice are common), injected with a special yeast mold, and liberally flavored with salt. After being left to age for several months, the mixture is strained and bottled. The sauce’s consistency can range from very thin to very thick. Flavors, too, vary by type and have very subtle differences. Light soy sauce from Japan has a thinner consistency and a saltier flavor than the darker varieties. It is preferred when a darker sauce will ruin the appearance of a dish, or when a lighter flavor is sought, especially when serving seafood. Dark soy sauce is used throughout Asia and is a bit richer and thicker than the lighter varieties. It tends to have a chocolate brown color, and a pungent, rather than overly salty, flavor. Mushroom soy sauce is a dark soy sauce from China which adds straw mushroom essence to the sauce’s brew. It has a deep, rich flavor and can be used in place of other types of soy sauce in most recipes. It is especially nice as a table condiment where its unusual flavor can come through. Tamari is a deeply colored Japanese soy sauce which has a rich texture and intense flavor. It can be used anywhere regular soy sauce is called for, and is especially good to use as a table condiment and dipping sauce. Wheat-free varieties of soy sauce are available in some markets. Remember soy sauce is very salty, so adjust you salt accordingly.

31) hot pepper sauce
OMG – where do we start? I think of hot pepper sauce or just pepper sauce as the bottles of peppers with vinegar in them that you use on greens. This should include hot sauce too, which, to me are the red and brown sauces. This is a book in itself so I will just give my opinion. I have no fewer than 50 pepper sauces and hot sauces in my fridge or pantry and any given time. But except for special occasions I use probably three or 4. Tobassco in all forms is great. I use the original on most drinks or dishes that call for heat. If I want smoke, I use the chipolte type. If I want a milder heat but need the flavor I always go for either Crystal, or Louisiana Hot sauce.

32) Worcestershire sauce
This could be my favorite sauce. Lea & Perrins is the original sauce and it is still the best. Unfortuately it is made with HFCS so I have been looking for alternatives. French’s makes a no HFCS sauce with sugar instead, but for some reason it isn’t as good. I even made my own. It was ok, but something was missing. I noticed on the ingredients of the Lea & Perrins that the only thing I didn’t use in mine was tamarind. Not really knowing what tamarind was I did a little research and bingo, I found some tamarind bean pods at Harry’s. They are hard on the outside and easy to crack. Inside they are really sticky and paste like. That was the flavor I was missing. My Worcestershire is now almost as good but it costs $10 a bottle.

33) barbecue sauce
Here again is a topic for great debate. The best sauce I personally have ever put in my mouth is Brent Naugher’s home made sauce. It is a perfect blend of hot and spice and tomato. It tastes sweet sometimes and salty others, it is just thick enough and I get some every Christmas. I’m sorry for you that don’t. The best store bought I’ve had is William’s Brothers. You can get it at Sam’s in large bottles or Kroger in small. It is close, but no cigar, to Brent’s. Try making your own, its fun and your tastes are different than anyone elses.

Bye,

Jughandle

 

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