I have had diabetes for 16 years, and to this day it is a constant struggle to maintain normal blood sugars and a healthy weight.  Sure, I have a genetic pre-disposition to diabetes; many people in my family have it, but there is no doubt that my diet as a child and young adult contributed greatly to the onset of the disease in me.

During the 80’s new food products were hitting the market largely unbeknownst to the public.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is the most prevalent product to hit the market.  The sweetener has replaced sugar cane in almost every product that used to contain sugar.  The difference is that HFCS does make the body feel full, it simply gets processed into fat, and it doesn’t provide any energy to our cells.

There is a correlation between the introduction of HFCS and the rampant obesity epidemic in America.  Obesity is linked to the development of diabetes, and According to a 2004 study reported in the American journal of Clinical Nutrition the epidemic of diabetes in America is right in line with the increased use of this sweetener in most of our food products.

Like many children I loved candy, cake, and anything with sugar in it.  What I didn’t know, and would not find out for some time, is that it was actually HFCS I was consuming and not sugar.  I was not obese, and as I got to be a young adult I exercised, but when I turned 20 I had diabetes.

Now I had to learn more about what I was eating and how it affected my blood sugar as well as how my body processed food in general.  HFCS is bad in two very key areas: Fructose decreases levels of leptin, a hunger-suppressing hormone, and it boosts levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone.  These are the main reasons why America has seen such a spike in obesity.

Once I started to learn about HFCS, I wondered what else was in our food that I had not known about; it turns out there is a lot.  Our national health is very poor, and it’s not hard to see.  The industrial food supply has changed so much of how food is grown and processed that it is virtually unrecognizable to my grandparent’s generation.

Our meat products come from animals that are raised in the worst conditions possible, with antibiotics and hormones being pumped into them.  The meat products need to be “cleaned” with chemical disinfectants like ammonia before going to market, and are gassed with carbon monoxide to maintain the red color that makes you think it’s fresh.

The list of problems goes on and on, and the major corporations that run our food supply keep putting profits above health concerns in the name of freedom and choice.  I have chosen to feed myself with local organic food instead of the processed food of my childhood.  Organic food is not grown with chemicals or any unnatural products.  The nutrition level is much higher than their industrial counterparts, and the feeling I have from the change is significant.

Scott is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including our food supply, Botox NYC  and many others.  When he is not writing he is hiking in the mountains of upstate New York. You may email Scott at scottpatrickhumphrey@gmail.com

 

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