Fructose is Poison

I often dispense nutritional advice that I know is sound, yet fail to follow myself.  Do as I say, not as I do.  But this time I’m changing my food habits permanently.  Let me explain.

I still generally eat better than most people around me (especially my coworkers and roommates (SICK)), but there are enough times when cooking for one seems unappealing and I slip and either eat whatever limited sweets I keep in the pantry, or go out to eat and grab something easy.  My diet at home is almost strictly vegetarian, not for any moral or allergenic reasons or anything, but mostly because it’s cheaper and I’m a lazy cook.  It’s even rarer that I’ll have red meat at home, usually it’s fish or chicken.  I mostly follow the rule of thumb that says to shop around the edges of the grocery store – where the fresh fruits/vegetables/dairy/etc. are  generally located – and stay away from the center aisles where everything is boxed and loaded with preservatives.

Anyway, I’m sure everyone’s heard how High Fructose Corn Syrup is ruining our food supply and making us obese, but without ever digging too deep into things, I just bought the Corn Refiners Association argument (check out the FUD they’re spreading) that it’s no different from having sugar in food.  It kind of makes sense, and is easily forgotten about by reminding yourself to take everything in moderation and not worry so much.

But take a closer look at the science and it’s pretty clear that fructose really is to blame.  I know it’s long, but take the time to watch this lecture:

I think the reason it resonates with me so strongly is that it appeals to my rationally geared brain, showing the biochemistry behind what is happening with fructose, and backing it up with medical studies that pound the point home.  Whereas half of the books I’ve read promoting vegetarianism and movies like “Super Size Me” and “Food, Inc.” are more focused on connecting with the audience emotionally (Note: I’ve never actually seen “Food, Inc.”, but that’s just what I perceive it to be like), this lecture spelled out everything I wanted to know and kept me engaged, without the need for fancy production values.

I’ll be honest, before watching the lecture I spent too much time trying to balance the mythical “calories in vs. calories out” equation, I didn’t know that fructose was processed by the body much differently from glucose, and I generally (falsely) assumed that “low-fat” products were better.  It’s not every day that I come across something that genuinely makes me rethink the way I live my life.  I hope I’m not the only one who just got a healthy dose of sense knocked into them.

Also, obese people offend my eyes.  So… let’s have less of that.

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