Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
So the multi-national food conglomerates and their advertising firms want you to believe that High Fructose Corn Syrup is natural because it “comes from corn”, and is fine “in moderation”?
Well, let’s take a closer look at how it’s made so you can make an educated decision!
Converting corn starch into corn syrup
- Corn starch is converted into ordinary corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis. In this process, the wet starch is mixed with a weak solution of hydrochloric acid and is heated under pressure. The hydrochloric acid and heat break down the starch molecules and convert them into a sugar. The hydrolysis can be interrupted at different key points to produce corn syrups of varying sweetness. The longer the process is allowed to proceed, the sweeter the resulti?g syrup.
- This syrup is then filtered or otherwise clarified to remove any objectionable flavor or color. It is further refined and evaporated to reduce the amount of water.
- To produce a corn syrup powder, also called corn syrup solids, the liquid corn syrup is passed through a drum or spray dryer to remove 97% of the water. This produces a crystalline corn syrup powder.
Converting corn syrup into high fructose corn syrup
- Ordinary corn syrup contains dextrose sugar which is about three-quarters as sweet as the sucrose sugar in cane or beet sugar. In many sweetener applications this is an advantage because it does not overpower the other flavors in the food. However, in some applications, such as soft drinks, a sweeter taste is desired. To improve the sweetness of ordinary corn syrup, it undergoes a further process called enzyme conversion. In this process, the dextrose sugars in the syrup are converted into sweeter fructose sugars by the action of an enzyme in a series of steps under carefully controlled temperatures, pressures, and acidity. This produces a high fructose corn syrup with a 42% fructose content. It is used in canned fruits and condiments.
- To produce corn syrups with a fructose level above 50%, the 42% fructose syrup is passed through a series of fractionation columns, which separate and hold the fructose content. The separated portion is about 80-90% fructose and is flushed from the columns with deionized water. A portion of this is retained and sold for use in “light” foods where only a small amount of liquid sweetener is needed. The remainder is blended with other 42% fructose syrup to produce a 55% fructose syrup, which is used in soft drinks, ice cream, and frozen desserts.
- Powdered high fructose corn syrups can be produced by evaporating the water from the syrup and then encapsulating the powder grains to prevent them from reabsorbing moisture. Pure fructose crystals may be obtained by further processing the 80-90% fructose syrup. It is used in cake mixes and other food products where a highly concentrated, dry sweetener is desired.
Today, corn syrups are an “important part” of many products. In 1996, there were 28 corn-refining plants in the United States that processed a total of about 72 billion lbs (33 billion kg) of corn. Of that amount, about 25 billion lbs (11.4 billion kg) were converted into corn syrups and other corn sweeteners. These corn-based products supplied more than 55% of the nutritive sweetener market in the United States.
Fifty-five percent! And this is something the Corn Refiners Association seems proud of. Americans currently consume about 25% of their total calories from sugar, and about half of that in the form of fructose. So, what’s so bad about that you say? Here’s a little lesson about precisely how dangerous it really is.
Leptin: the reason why obesity and obesity related deaths are on the rise
- To sum up a complex process very simply, the hormones your fat cells produce impact how much you eat and how much fat you burn.
- One of these hormones is leptin, and leptin sends signals that reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage. That is, if your cells are communicating properly and can “hear” this message.
- If you are eating a diet that is high in sugar — this is the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body — as the sugar gets metabolized in fat cells, fat releases surges in leptin.
- Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to the leptin (just as your body can become resistant to insulin).
- When you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.
- Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome (a group of symptoms including diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease) and more.
Leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety (feeling satisfied), simply isn’t working. And it’s all because of massive surge in sugar intake spearheaded by the yearly conversion of over 25,000,000,000 (twenty-five billion) pounds of corn into corn syrup. Corn syrup is now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of. In fact, the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in the U.S. diet increased by a whopping 10,673% (that’s more than 100x) between 1970 and 2005, according to a report by the USDA.
(And, by the way, this is just part of the High Fructose Corn Syrup story. There’s a lot more to come…)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Replace calorie-dense foods with more nutritious calorie-dilute foods.
It's easy to lose weight while consuming a plant-based or vegan diet (provided you eliminate the oils) because the fiber content of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will fill your stomach without the consumption of many calories. It takes 3,000 calories of meat to fill your stomach, while it takes only 200 calories of vegetables.
Don't rely on willpower.
The best way to stick with a plan of dietary excellence is to sanitize your house and office -- get rid of the bad foods and stock up on good foods. If your choices for a sweet treat are melons, apples, and pineapples, you'll choose one of those. If the choice is between fruit and cookies, and you're like me, you'll probably at least some of the time, choose the cookies!
Most people will find it difficult to achieve and maintain optimal weight and body composition without exercise. It's common for people losing weight to plateau at some point, and the scale does not start to move down again until they start moving!
It takes 90 days for people to feel satiety on a low-fat, law-salt, low-sugar diet. Your cravings for bad foods will go away once you stop consuming them regularly.
If you fall off the wagon, start again!
It's common for people who want to stop smoking to try several times before they succeed. Friends and family encourage them to keep trying, since we all know that smoking is a terrible habit. Yet when people revert back to old eating habits for awhile, they often consider themselves failures and stop trying.
Dietary excellence will not only help you to achieve ideal weight, but will also help you to reduce your risk of disease, and improve your length and quality of life! Keep trying until you get it right!
Reduce the amount of animal protein in your diet
Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University has been conducting research on the effects of diet on health for decades. According to his findings, which you can read more about in his best-selling book, The China Study, animal protein is a powerful cancer promoter.
In laboratory experiments conducted at Cornell University, lab rats were given aflatoxin, a known cancer-causing agent and then fed diets with varying amounts of animal protein. Researchers concluded that the development of foci (clusters of cells that grow into tumors) was dependent on the amount of animal protein in the diet -- at 20% of calories from animal protein, all of the animals developed foci. At 5% animal protein, none of them did. When animals with foci development were fed a lower protein diet, foci development was reduced sharply. The researchers had, literally, found a way to "switch on" and "switch off" cancer.
Later, in extensive populations studies in China, Dr. Campbell's researchers found that the influence of animal protein on the development of cancer and other diseases in humans was significant. The percentage of animal protein in the diet was highly predictive of cancer rates, and even accounted for differences in health outcomes among family members.
Achieve and maintain ideal body weight and body composition.
People who are overweight not only have a higher risk of developing degenerative diseases, but are a high risk of dying from them as well. Additionally, carrying extra body fat causes increased production of hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which contribute to significantly increased risk of breast, prostate and other cancers.
Women should strive for a body composition of about 20% body fat, while men should keep body fat at around 17%.
Eliminate dairy products
The consumption of cow's milk products has been linked to juvenile diabetes, chronic infections, constipation, asthma and allergies in children; and breast and prostate cancer in adults. Remember cow's milk is for cows!
Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes!
Plant foods a rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and other nutrients that are essential for health, and which offer protective effects from degenerative disease. The healthiest people on the planet eat the most plant foods, and the least amount of animal foods daily!
The human body was designed to move! Exercise helps you maintain optimal weight and body composition, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to keep hormone levels in check, assists in building strong bones, elevates your mood and stimulates your immune system.
Strive to spend 45-60 minutes per day in your target heart zone, and include aerobic and strength training, as well as flexibility exercise like yoga in your daily routine.
Havah has been spending plenty of time in the bathroom the past two week. I decided that March 1st would be the beginning of a potty experiment. She has done so well! She's not entirely out of the woods, but is doing a great job. She comes to me and tell me "change diaper". She's not wearing a diaper, so I know it's time to go sit on the potty. :) We haven't mastered outings or naps, but when we're home she's golden!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- Almonds washed
- Almonds soaked
- Almonds into juicer with the blank screen - this didn't work so well because I didn't feel like getting a total work out to press them through the juicer. SO...
- Almond in the food processor to break them up
- Almonds back to the juicer (this made more mess, but did make for less work)
- Almonds back to the food processor where I added Celtic Sea Salt and raw honey
- Almonds to the blender to try to cream them up