Learn to read labels: Not in the habit? Get in it now. Be a savvy food consumer. By law, food manufacturers must disclose what’s in (processed) food. But can you decipher it? Check for ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, and be on the look out for the new “corn sugar.” Also, although it’s not HFCS, if the first ingredient is sugar, put it back on the shelf. Do you really need the extra sugar? I bet your abs or butt don’t. And that goes for “organic sugar” too. Just because it’s organic doesn’t make it healthy from a necessary consumption standpoint. Sugar raises your insulin levels (period) and to be svelte, better cut back, or my strategy, consume it only as low GI fruit or wine in small amounts.
Go Caveman: The diet without HFCS is pretty simple. Eat as our ancestors did—as close to the natural source as possible. Abundant fresh fruits, vegetables, small amounts of lean protein (fish, poultry, grass fed beef), all types of legumes, and a moderate amount of healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. But tons of fresh produce.
“But Liz,” you say, “You’re killin’ me and my food joy. What about carbs like rice, potatoes, bread, dairy, tacos, etc.?” Forget ’em—Monday to Friday at the very least. And if you must indulge over the weekend, opt for those without the HFCS. Want more energy, better skin, a naturally lean bod with minimum exercise maintenance, and immune system? Keep it natural. When you’re dejunking your fridge and pantry, ask yourself, is this as close to its natural state as possible? If not, think twice before putting it in your system. Try to associate pleasure with eating these natural foods and pain with all the HFCS processed crap. You can retrain your palate and brain, my friends.
Chau Soda: No, this is not homage to my all-time favorite Argentine rock band, Soda Stereo (one of their best albums I may add). Need I even go there about sodas? Here in Chile, a country of Coke (soft drink) addicts, I commonly see babies with coke in their bottles. Scary.
The first ingredient with virtually all the high-test version like Coke or Pepsi is HFCS. And don’t think you’re off the hook with the diet version, since when is sucralose good for you? Also, HFCS lurks in sports drinks like Gatorade and supposed juices, which many times are fake and made from concentrate. Just kick the habit cold turkey.
If you’re a soda junkie, I feel your pain. Here’s a tip. Try Emergen-C. They come in at least 12 different flavors and are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Add it to your Klean Kanteen with some ice and 400cc of water. Sip away.
Steer Clear of Fast Food: It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and some say it tastes good (until your shift your taste buds). There’s also a ton of HFCS hidden in many of the food items (bread, the milkshakes, ice cream, ketchup, mayo, etc.), the meat is corn-fed industrial beef, and the fries are probably deep-fried in hydrogenated fat (trans fat, another dirty word).
Did you know that your burger and fries combined are 3-4 times as many calories as you should eat in a day? And then you’re hungry 2 hours later. If you want to do your health one big favor, don’t even go near the McD’s, BK, KFC, or for all you in Chile, Domino’s and Doggy’s for completos. If you must eat on the go, opt for the grilled chicken salad without dressing and croutons. Or pack a lunch or have a Greens Plus bar in your car.