We are a strange breed. Nowhere does that strangeness become
more apparent than our interaction with industrialized food and
beverages. We appear to have exchanged plentiful and cheap for
healthful. Maybe the word "we" is unfair. Certainly, I have done
that. Especially in the high fructose corn syrup arena.
From the Lifehacker:
Glucose is a simple sugar that your body likes. Your cells use
it as a primary source of energy, so when you consume
glucose, it's actually helpful.
In most cases, fructose is bad for you because of how it's
processed by the body. Fructose can only be metabolized by
the liver, which is not a good thing. This means a greater
number of calories—about three times more than glucose—
are going through liver processes and that results in a much
higher production of VLDL (the bad cholesterol mentioned
earlier) and fat. It also results in a higher production of uric
acid and a lot of other things you don't want, which is
believed to lead to fun stuff like hypertension and high
Nonetheless, the past 40 years brought us a low-fat craze.
Fresh food can still taste good without a higher fat content,
but processing low-fat food makes it taste like crap.
Companies understand this, and so they add a bunch of
sugar (and often salt) to fix that problem. This process
essentially exchanges fat your body can actually use for
fructose-produced fat that it cannot.
For a variety of reasons (kids ragging on me, advancing age,
clothes not fitting the way they used to, etc.) I've set the goal of
weighing 185 by my 60th birthday. Sheer observation leads one
to the belief that fad diets do not work. I am hopeful that paying
attention to what and how much one eats will work. After giving
up about 500 daily calories of high fructose laden Coca-Cola
for Lent (for the second time), I have for the most part avoided
drinking it, or any fructose based substitute, since. Not trying to
be fanatical here, just a bit more disciplined. Lots more water
(thanks Nicholas for the ever constant reminders) and iced
tea (unsweetened). Plus, I am back to walking a half hour a
day. I'll let you know how it all works out.