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Nutrition and Wellness Information

Nutrition and diet are keys to good health and overall wellness. Proper nutrition is critical in managing obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions that affect birth outcome.

Make small nutritional and lifestyle changes to improve your health in big ways!

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is it good or bad for you?

Know the facts and judge for yourself. HFCS is a sweetener (similar to table sugar) used to add flavor and increase the shelf life of many foods. HFCS can be found in a variety of processed food (such as breads, cereals, soft drinks, lunch meats and condiments) on your grocery store shelves and in most fast-food menu items. There has been a great deal of debate over the consumption or (over-consumption) of HFCS and its possible link to diabetes, obesity, cell and organ damage over time. Experts are arguing both the pros and cons of consuming high fructose corn syrup.

Those arguing the pros say that HFCS is:

# A natural sweetener made from corn

# Handled by the body the same as sugar

# The same number of calories as sugar

# As sweet as sugar

# Fine in moderation

# Corn sugar and sugar is sugar'. -Your body can't tell the difference.

On the other side, those arguing the cons say that HFCS contributes to:

# Insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes

# Increased blood pressure

# Increased triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol)

# Decreased vitamin and mineral metabolism

# Cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, and arthritis

It's probably true that HFCS is fine in moderation. However, it's hard to know exactly how much is considered "in moderation" since the use of sugars from all sources (such as corn, cane, fruit, honey, etc) has become so widespread in the food supply, especially in beverages (sodas, fruit juice, and even water). When it's all said and done, we are consuming much more than "moderation". HFCS makes processed food sweet. It has no nutritional value and no real value or benefit to your health. Here's how you can reduce or limit you intake of HFCS:

# The real problem is consuming too much refined and processed food, not just one particular ingredient. Limit processed foods including packaged lunch meat, crackers, cookies and chips. Opt for healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Buy fresh foods and cook.

# Read the label on any and all processed food (including condiments like ketchup and salad dressing).

# Avoid canned or bottled beverages. Soft drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, iced tea and almost every sweet drink on the market contains high fructose corn syrup.

# Buy only "100 percent juice". If the label doesn't say "100 percent juice" then assume it has HFCS.

# Reduce your fast-food intake. Fast-food menu items contain high fructose corn syrup to make it taste better and increase shelf life.

Some Major Products Brands that have removed HFCS from their food: These brands have removed HFCS from some of their food products. Be sure to always read the label.

# Bread Nature's Own, Sara Lee and Pepperidge Farm have gone HFCS-free

# Cereal Kashi, Cheerios, Grape Nuts and Life

# Condiments All Annie's Naturals products, Welch's fruit spreads, certain Heinz ketchups and Hellman's mayonnaise

# Ice Cream Breyer's All Natural ice cream, some Ben and Jerry's brands, Haagen Dazs

# Chocolates Most Cadbury and some Dove chocolates are HFCS-free

# Applesauce Mott's Natural Applesauce

# Pasta sauce Ragu and Classico brands are HFCS-free

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Nutrition and Wellness Information