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John McCracken 05-11-2003 08:52 PM

"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no suger. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."
--Coach Glassman

I recently read a review of a book called [i][u]Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World[/u][/i] by Greg Critser. In his review, David Kritchevsky, PhD noted that: "Over the past decade, the largest change in our diet has been the increase in the use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Between 1980 and 1998 the total use of sweeteners in the United States rose from 123.0 to 155.1 lb per person per year (26%). Use of HFCS rose from 19.0 to 63.8 lb per person per year (236%). We were warned about the metabolic effects of fructose, but the general view was that sugar is sugar and fructose is a natural product like glucose or sucrose. However, metabolically, fructose is markedly different. Fructose is processed more rapidly and more efficiently than glucose; fructose catabolism leads to increased fatty acid synthesis and esterification and secretion of very low-density lipoprotein. Thus, we have ingested what can be viewed as fuel for a fat factory. The author cites a 19-month study of more than 500 schoolchildren (average age 11 years) showing that one HFCS-rich soft drink daily added a mean 0.18 points to a child's body mass index."

Common sense tells you that one should avoid "fast food", "junk food" and soft drinks ("liquid candy") all together. But sometimes even "healthy foods" are not so healthy. As an example, last night I went grocery shopping and wanted some yogurt for breakfast. I could only find one brand that did not contain HFCS. This of course prompted more label reading and more surprises about where this sweatener turns up.

This subsequently prompted a literature search today which made for interesting reading as well as more questions (such as what effects do artificial sweeteners have on serum insulin and leptin levels?) Here are just a few of the articles I found:

[i][u][b]Sweet but Not So Innocent? [/b][/u][/i]( [url=] 2003Mar10&notFound=true[/url]

[b][i][u]Why fructose=fat![/u][/i][/b] [url=][/url]

[b][i][u]Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome[/u][/i][/b] [url=] 2399260&dopt=Abstract[/url]

In striving to heed Coach's advice in persuit of elite fitness, attention to diet can not be neglected. The devil is in the details.

Mike Minium 05-12-2003 04:11 PM

Piggybacking onto John's topic, here's an interesting, albeit extremely lengthy, article that talks about the history of the hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation processes, and their impact on America's diet. It's aptly titled "The Oiling of America."



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