Tag Archives: High-fructose corn syrup

Is it necessary to have sugar?

Most of us label sugar as the biggest evil today. We try our best to eliminate it from our diets and feel guilty whenever we ocassionally give in. But did it ever occur to you if these white crystals that were once an inseparable part of our daily diets, may not be that big an evil as they are touted to be? Well, the question did occur to us and we started digging further...

It is surprised to know that World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends having 6-12 teaspoons of sugar every day, much contrary to what most nutritionists and health experts believe.

Let us first distinguish between different kinds of sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugarcane extracted crystallized sugar and natural sugars (sugar we get from our foods and fruits).

Crystallized sugar: This is the sugar we consume on a daily basis. We add a spoonful in our milk, tea, coffee, desserts and often foods like dals and subzis.

Artificial sweeteners: These are sweeteners like stevia, saccharin, sucrose and aspartame, most commonly renamed as “sugar-free” substitutes for dietary sugar.

Natural sugars: All vegetables, seeds, fruits have natural sugar content in them. These vary from food to food and are often the safest kind of sugar to be consumed.

We most commonly consume sugar which comes from Sugarcane or Beetroot is actually beneficial for us.

However, the processed and packaged foods which contain sugar extracted from high fructose corn syrup, is the dangerous kind and should be avoided as much as possible.

According to maney nutritionist we don’t require sugar. “Our body processes glucose from sugar but the same glucose can be extracted from starch, protein and fats that we consume, when required by the body. One should focus on including high fiber diet, which has complex carbohydrates.”

The theory of not consuming sugar has been given in many diets such as GM diet to reduce weight. But this negatively affects our body since our body needs glucose to generate energy.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Zea Mays

Botanical Name: Zea Mays
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Andropogoneae
Genus: Zea
SpeciesZ. mays
Subspecies: Z. mays subsp. mays
KingdomPlantae
Order: Poales

Synonym:  Maize.

Common Name:  Corn

Habitat: Zea Mays or maize is native to South America; also cultivated in other parts of America, in the West Indian Islands, Australia, Africa, India, etc., and now in France and many other countries in the world.

Description:
Zea Mays is a monoecious plant. Male flowers in terminal racemes; spikelets, two-flowered glumes nearly equal, herbaceous, terminating in two sharp points; females, axillary in the sheaths of the leaves. The spikes or ears proceed from the stalls at various distances from the ground, and are closely enveloped in several thin leaves, forming a sheath called the husk; the ears consist of a cylindrical substance, a pith called the cob; on this the seeds are ranged in eight rows, each row having thirty or more seeds. From the eyes or germs of the seeds proceed individual filaments of a silky appearance and bright green colour; these hang from the point of the husk and are called ‘the silk.’ The use of these filaments or stigmata is to receive the farina which drops from the flowers, and without which the flowers would produce no seed. As soon as this has been effected, the tops and ‘the silk’ dry up. The maize grains are of varying colour – usually yellow, but often ranging to black.

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A coarse annual, culms 60-80 cm high, straight, internodes cylindrical in the upper part, alternately grooved on the lower part with a bud in the groove. The stem is filled with pith. Leaf-blades broad. Has separate staminate (male) and pistillate (female) inflorescences. The staminate inflorescence is a tassel borne at the apex, the pistillate flowers occur as spikes (cobs) rising from axils of the lower leaves. The ovary develops a long style or silk which extends from the cob and receives the pollen from the tassel.

Cultivation :
Requires a warm position a well drained soil and ample moisture in the growing season[16, 33]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6.8[200]. Requires a rich soil if it is to do well[201]. Corn is widely cultivated for its edible seed, especially in tropical and warm temperate zones of the world[200], there are many named varieties. Unfortunately, the plant is not frost tolerant and so needs to be started off under glass in Britain if a reasonable crop is to be grown. There are five main types:- Sweetcorn is of fairly recent development. It has very sweet, soft-skinned grains that can be eaten raw or cooked before they are fully ripe. Cultivars have been developed that can produce a worthwhile crop even in the more northerly latitudes of Britain if a suitable warm sunny sheltered site is chosen K. Popcorn is a primitive form with hard-skinned grains. When roasted, these grains ‘explode’ to form the popular snack ‘popcorn’. Waxy corn is used mainly in the Far East. It has a tapioca-like starch. Flint corn, which shrinks on drying, can have white, yellow, purple, red or blue-black grains. It is not so sweet and also takes longer to mature so is a problematic crop in Britain. There are many other uses for this plant as detailed below. Dent corn has mostly white to yellow grains. This and Flint corn are widely grown for oils, cornflour, cereals and silage crops. Corn grows well with early potatoes, legumes, dill, cucurbits and sunflowers, it dislikes growing with tomatoes.
Propagation:
Seed – sow April in individual pots in a greenhouse. Grow on quickly and plant out after the last expected frosts. A direct outdoor sowing, especially of some of the less sweet varieties, can be tried in May.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Oil; Oil; Pollen; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil; Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Corn is one of the most commonly grown foods in the world. The seed can be eaten raw or cooked before it is fully ripe and there are varieties especially developed for this purpose (the sweet corns) that have very sweet seeds and are delicious. The mature seed can be dried and used whole or ground into a flour. It has a very mild flavour and is used especially as a thickening agent in foods such as custards. The starch is often extracted from the grain and used in making confectionery, noodles etc. The dried seed of certain varieties can be heated in an oven when they burst to make ‘Popcorn’. The seed can also be sprouted and used in making uncooked breads and cereals. A nutritional analysis is available. The fresh succulent ‘silks’ (the flowering parts of the cob) can also be eaten. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is an all-purpose culinary oil that is frequently used as a food in salads and for cooking purposes. The pollen is used as an ingredient of soups. Rich in protein, it is harvested by tapping the flowering heads over a flat surface such as a bowl. Harvesting the pollen will actually help to improve fertilisation of the seeds. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. The pith of the stem is chewed like sugar cane and is sometimes made into a syrup

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Fresh weight)

*361 Calories per 100g
*Water : 10.6%
*Protein: 9.4g; Fat: 4.3g; Carbohydrate: 74.4g; Fibre: 1.8g; Ash: 1.3g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 9mg; Phosphorus: 290mg; Iron: 2.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 140mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.43mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.1mg; Niacin: 1.9mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Part Used in Medicines:  The Seeds.

Constituents:  Starch, sugar, fat, salts, water, yellow oil, maizenic acid, azotized matter, gluten, dextrine, glucose, cellulose, silica, phosphates of lime and magnesia, soluble salts of potassa and soda.

Medicinal    Uses: 

A decoction of the leaves and roots is used in the treatment of strangury, dysuria and gravel. The corn silks are cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, lithontripic, mildly stimulant and vasodilator. They also act to reduce blood sugar levels and so are used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus as well as cystitis, gonorrhoea, gout etc. The silks are harvested before pollination occurs and are best used when fresh because they tend to lose their diuretic effect when stored and also become purgative.  A decoction of the cob is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and menorrhagia. The seed is diuretic and a mild stimulant. It is a good emollient poultice for ulcers, swellings and rheumatic pains, and is widely used in the treatment of cancer, tumours and warts. It contains the cell-proliferant and wound-healing substance allantoin, which is widely used in herbal medicine (especially from the herb comfrey, Symphytum officinale) to speed the healing process. The plant is said to have anticancer properties and is experimentally hypoglycaemic and hypotensive.

Other Uses:
Adhesive; Fuel; Oil; Oil; Packing; Paper.

A glue is made from the starch in the seed. This starch is also used in cosmetics and the manufacture of glucose. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has many industrial uses, in the manufacture of linoleum, paints, varnishes, soaps etc. The corn spathes are used in the production of paper, straw hats and small articles such as little baskets. A fibre obtained from the stems and seed husks is used for making paper. They are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a light greenish cream paper. Be careful not to overcook the fibre otherwise it will produce a sticky pulp that is very hard to form into paper. The dried cobs are used as a fuel. The pith of the stems is used as a packing material
In addition to use as a human food, the seed head and whole plant are used forage and silage, an important source of feed for livestock. Corn has become an increasingly important biofuel, both in the form of corn oil (used as bio-diesel) and ethanol (an alcohol fermented and distilled from the processed kernels), which is blended with petroleum-based gasoline in various proportions for use as fuel.

With Although grown in temperate and tropical countries worldwide, the U.S. alone produces more than one third of the global total of dried corn (316.2 metric tons), with China, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina also producing significant amounts. Corn production increased by 42% worldwide over the past decade, associated with the increased demand and prices for corn as biofuel.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize
http://media.eol.org/pages/1115259/overview
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corni103.html
http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/data/pf000342.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zea+mays

Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

 

1.Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame, also known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined.

The artificial sweetener Acesulfame-K has been linked to kidney tumors. All artificial sweeteners are bad news.

2.High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of diabetes.

3.Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is used as a flavor enhancer. It is an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcites cells to the point of damage or death.

4.Trans Fat

Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels and increases your risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.

5.Common Food Dyes
Artificial colorings may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ.

6.Sodium Sulphite
This is a preservative used in processed foods. People who are sulfite sensitive can experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death.

7.Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
This common preservative has been linked to various types of cancer.

8.BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives that affect the neurological system of your brain, alter behavior and have the potential to cause cancer.

9.Sulphur Dioxide
Sulphur additives are toxic and in the U.S., they have been prohibited in raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include bronchial problems, low blood pressure, and anaphylactic shock.

10.Potassium Bromate

This additive is used to increase volume in some breads. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and even small amounts can create problems for humans.

SourceFood Matters November 24, 2010

Posted By Dr. Mercola | December 17 2010

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Sugar May Be Bad, But This Sweetener is Far More Deadly

Scientists have proved for the first time that fructose, a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can damage human metabolism and is fueling the obesity crisis.
……….…..click & see
Fructose, a sweetener usually derived from corn, can cause dangerous growths of fat cells around vital organs and is able to trigger the early stages of diabetes and heart disease.

Over 10 weeks, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease. Another group of volunteers on the same diet, but with glucose sugar replacing fructose, did not have these problems.

Resources:
Grist December 15, 2009
J Clin Invest 2009
Times Online 2009

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Food Additives to Remove From Your Diet

Many food additives have been studied and linked to various diseases. Becoming informed about the additives in everyday food items can make for an easier shopping experience and healthier food for everyone.

………………..CLICK & SEE

Here’s a list of some of the most medically questionable and harmful additives in everyday foods:

1.Sodium nitrite
2.BHA & BHT
3.Propyl gallate
4.Monosodium glutamate
5.Trans fats
6.Aspartame
7.Acesulfame-K
8.Food colorings (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow)
9.Olestra
10.Potassium bromate
11.White sugar
12.Sodium chloride (salt)
Since some of these may not be familiar to you, sodium nitrite is a preservative added most commonly to bacon, ham, hot dogs, sandwich meats, and smoked fish. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are other preservatives added to foods like cereal, gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. Propyl gallate is found in meats, chicken soup base, and gum. All of these preservatives have been linked to cancer.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause migraines and other adverse effects. Trans fats are being eliminated from most foods, as the studies linking them to heart disease, strokes, and kidney problems are widely accepted.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in products like NutraSweet and Equal as well as diet foods and soft drinks. And acesulfame-K is a newer sweetener used in soft drinks and some baked goods.

Many food colorings have been banned by the FDA, but some can still be found in foods that require a particular color. Olestra was common for a time in potato chips as an additive that prevented fat from being absorbed in your digestive system. Food colorings have been tied to cancer and Olestra also blocks vitamins from being processed.

Potassium bromate is sometimes added to white flour, breads, and rolls to increase the volume of the products, but it has cancer-causing properties that have prompted some states in America to actually require a label to that effect.

Finally, white sugar and sodium chloride (salt) can be dangerous if not kept to a minimum.

Source: Health News June 29, 2009

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