I like Dr. Hyman as an author, and I recommend all of books. His latest book focuses on something that he calls "diabesity". This is a growing issue of diabetes and obesity in our society, which can lead to numerous health concerns. The first area that he focuses on is nutrition. Almost any plan for health that I look at starts with nutrition. Three particular nutrients that many of us are deficient in (and that he has quizzes to determine if you are in his book) are magnesium, fatty acids (fish oil - omega 3's) and vitamin D. These are actually relatively easy to determine, and can make a huge difference if you supplement appropriately. When he discusses nutrition, he points out how much our diets have changed in the past 30-50 years. People today consume an average of a "half a pound of sugar per person per year". This amount of sugar is detrimental to our health. One 20 ounce beverage can have as much as 17 teaspoons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to the author. What I find even more alarming, is that "in the last 3- years, the sugar calories we consume from HFCS have increased from 0 percent to 66 percent." These are empty calories found in most processed foods and beverages. Dr. Hyman gives the following reasons why we need to eliminate HFCS from our diets:
- HFCS and cane sugar are not biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
- HFCS contains contaminants such as mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA.
- Independent medical and nutrition experts do not support the use of HCFS in our diet, despite assertions of the corn industry.
- HFCS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor, disease-creating industrial food products or "food-like substances." This is such an important point. If you look at the ingredient list of many of our processed foods - even ones that claim to be natural, it is easy to see that there are very few ingredients that resemble food. Now the term "corn sugar" is being used interchangeably with HFCS.