Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup and Other Additives- Are you reading the labels?

With the growing problem of childhood obesity many parents are starting to get very concerned about what they are feeding their children. There is now a definite link between what we feed our kids now and how it will impact their health in later years. An overweight child has an increased chance of becoming an obese adult and along with that a myriad of other serious health problems.

One of the biggest concerns lately has been the use of high fructose corn syrup and its possible link to diabetes and high cholesterol. It is used as a sweetener in soft drinks, frozen desserts like ice cream and popsicles, fruit drinks and other processed foods. It is preferred by manufacturers because it provides the sweetness of sugar but it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

We know that we should limit the amount of sugar in our children's diets by lowering the amount of soft drinks, candy and other treats we give our children, but high fructose corn syrup can even be in something as innocent as spaghetti sauce or even low fat fruit flavoured yogurt, so it is a good idea to become a label reader. Stay away from products where high fructose corn syrup is listed in the ingredients if at all possible.

Another additive to keep an eye out for is soy - apparently it is now even being added to popsicles (ice lollies)  While the jury is still out on whether soy is good or bad for us - just google the word soy and you will find a cornucopia of articles either calling it a super food or saying it is poison - what's up with that???  Quoting a Globe and Mail article" a reader asks...

"I’ve heard that soy is good for you - but I've also read that’s it’s harmful to eat too much soy. Is it really bad from me? What should I believe?"

"You're right: You’ll find plenty of information on the Internet touting the health benefits of soy. But among the soy advocates there are also critics who warn that too much soy is harmful to infants, interferes with thyroid function, and may cause cancer."

So who are we to believe??? One thing for certain is soy is listed as one of the top eight allergens of children and if your child has an allergy to peanuts, there is a good chance they are allergic to soy also.  So all Moms and Dads must become avid label readers! - Keep in mind manufacturers are adding soy to thousands of everyday foods, cosmetics and industrial products such as inks, cardboard, paints, cars and even, get this mattresses :( Here is an article by Dr. Mercola to get more info on the downside of " unfermented" soy.

Bottom line whether you believe soy is healthy or not you have to agree it doesn't belong in popsicles and neither does high fructose corn syrup!!!

So... to leave things on a good note, we found this delicious healthy popsicle recipe (thanks T for the link)  sans the soy and high fructose corn syrup - enjoy :)

Happy Parenting

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