Tag Archives: food

High Fructose Corn Syrup: What’s the Deal, Yo?

At first I avoided it at all costs.  I heard high fructose corn syrup messes with your metabolism, creates chemical imbalances, makes you gain weight and yada yada yada. Enter ads sponsored by the Corn Refiner’s Association (people who make high fructose corn syrup):

So now that you’ve commercially educated yourself, what is high fructose corn syrup, anyway? According to the Mayo Clinic, HFCS is a sweetener and preservative made from corn. It’s like sugar, but chemically changed into another kind of sugar. And it’s in so many of our foods because it makes food last longer and is relatively cheap.

But is High Fructose Corn Syrup bad for you?

The Corn Refiner’s Association sponsored site says that HFCS has the same chemical content as sugar and that it gets broken down in the body similar to the way sugar would. And in legit studies at different universities, HFCS was shown to not wreak havoc on your metabolism or spike your blood glucose levels. What a sweet surprise, indeed.

But just yesterday, the LA Times published a study on high fructose corn syrup from Duke University. Move aside alcohol! Apparently High Fructose Corn Syrup has a similar effect on our livers! That’s right – you can stop worrying about weight gain and metabolism. Higher amounts of HFCS are now linked to liver scarring (which can lead to liver cancer) and liver inflammation. Oh, and did I mention lower levels of good cholesterol, as well?

And the Washington Post published an article about finding mercury in foods that contain HFCS. Thermometers are old news. We should probably just stick mercury in our food, right?

Americans don’t care. On average, 10% of our caloric intake over the last decade was made up of yup, you guessed it – high fructose corn syrup. Yummy (see visual below):

Basically, it’s chemically altered (like pretty much everything else we eat anyway). And even though the FDA says it qualifies as “natural”, don’t get carried away. You can clearly have HFCS in moderation – the Mayo Clinic said so! Since I try to eat healthy, I just eat less sugar in general. That includes both HFCS and normal sugar.

Food for thought: High Fructose Corn Syrup is cheap and therefore used more widely by food companies because of corn subsidies from the U.S. government. Hm.

Easy, Delicious Recipes I Need to Make ASAP

I’m a college student. There are many connotations one can take from this declaration. Namely, that I have no money and live off of Ramen noodles. It’s somewhat true – my bank account is unimpressive. So I wanted to find recipes that will be manageable, delicious (worth all that time slaving away in my kitchen) and won’t cost me an arm and a leg… or this semester’s textbooks. And for anyone who’s been through the current higher education system, we all know that they are practically equivalents.

So check out these cheap, quick, easy, HEALTHY recipes:

Salad – Tuna Salad

Take the recipe above and do what you will with it. I know I did! Everyone always has a can of tuna somewhere in their abode. Get yours out of hibernation, cut up cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, or whatever veggies you have that still go with tuna. Add your standard olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, etc. Mix it all together, maybe throw some cheese on top, and DEFINITELY eat with some pita bread/whole wheat wraps/crackers.

Pasta – Florentine Ravioli

Don’t be fooled – you can do this with whatever pasta product you have laying around at home – penne, linguine, rotini, ravioli… seriously. ANYTHING PASTA will work well with this recipe. Try whole wheat for a healthy kick. Basically, all you have to do is 1) Boil the pasta 2) Saute frozen spinach with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, etc. 3) Mix ’em together. Gosh I love simplicity.

Dessert – Apple Cobbler (using Cake Mix)

Yes, I linked to their homemade recipe, but really, I don’t want to make theirs. I don’t have 60 minutes just to make freakin’ dessert – it’s optional! So here’s what you can do to get the same delicious results. Slice the apples pretty thin, sprinkle cinnamon over them, and then buy some white cake mix. Follow those directions, spread it on top, and bake it at 350 degrees until its nice and golden brown. My roomie made this a few weeks ago, and I swear that if heaven somehow landed in my mouth, that’s what it would’ve tasted like. And of course, no apple dessert is complete without vanilla ice cream!

Sandwich – Grilled Veggie Mozzarella Panini

It sounds fancy, but it’s not in the slightest. You literally can’t go wrong. In my version, I’m just going to take whatever vegetables I have lying around, slice ’em, coat ’em with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper (which every respectable college student should own). Stick it between two slices of bread with shredded mozzarella, spray with cooking spray, and broil for 7-8 minutes. You never knew what that Broil setting was for, did you? Ha, neither did I.