The no-corn-syrup diet

If you’ve read The Omnivore’s Dilemma or anything else by Michael Pollen, then you are aware of just how ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is. Every can of Coke, dollop of Heinz Ketchup and Fig Newton is full of the stuff. It’s hard to avoid, but it’s also pretty easy to identify on a long list of ingredients. It’s usually towards the beginning.

Pollen’s piece “Unhappy Meals” in the New York Times Magazine identifies how very different America is for eating processed foods, and how it is affecting our health. In this essay refers to “food” as anything that is whole and unprocessed and claims that we should “eat food, not too much, and mostly vegetables.” I think this statement can be easily visualized in the following Venn diagram:

Venn Diagram
Edible products

So all of you detox, Atkins and South Beach dieters, I have a new one for you: the No-Corn-Syrup Dietâ„¢. It’s extremely simple and will have a dramatic impact on your ability to consume things that are processed and bad for you. Here’s how it works:

  1. Read the ingredients of everything you plan to eat. If it contains high-fructose corn syrup, don’t eat it

If these things don’t have a list of ingredients, then you’re either eating “food” or you’re in a foreign country. In either case, you’re probably ok. If you’re unsure about whether the restaurant you’re eating at uses HFCS, ask. Tell them you have an allergy and you’ll either need to find a new restaurant or be pleasantly surprised that some places still cook with “food.”

And the best part about this diet? I won’t charge you a cent for it. It’s yours absolutely free. You can take the money you would have spent on a diet book and invest it into the “food” you’re going to eat, because unfortunately it’s going to cost you more than the processed stuff. But you’ll be happier, and healthier. Sometimes it’s good to invest in your body.

58 thoughts on “The no-corn-syrup diet

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  3. I accidently found this page looking for corn syrups by other names to add to my corn syrup education. I gave up. I can go to the super market and find them better than the detours I get on the Internet by googling it.
    However; I like this post, but most of all the comments. I learned a lot more today and thank all of you.
    I’m see ad’s on sparkling water that we can make our own soda’s. I’m going to do some research more in this area.
    Every thing in the body has to be turn to glucose in order for it to be utilized, including foods. We asumed to much. It take to much hormones to break foods down to glucose in so much we ruin our health in doing so. And, take in too much high fructose in all/any form.
    I will share this link on my blog if that’s ok…if not write me pat

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