So, maybe you saw the Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. The one where they shame Miller Light and Coors Light for using corn syrup as one of their ingredients in their beer. The commercial basically calls them out and suggests that having corn syrup is bad and that Bud Light has a superior product because they use rice, instead of sugary corn syrup.
Well, as you can imagine, corn growers and lobbyists went crazy and the great corntroversy of 2019 was born – leaving many to opine about whether corn syrup in beer is truly bad for you.
And while it was a brilliant piece of marketing on Bud Light’s part (they’re banking on the fact that most people won’t research whether their statements are true), the commercial highlights just how easy it is to create food confusion and send us into a nutritional frenzy.
Let me say this – I stand on the record that any added sugar should be avoided in your diet – corn syrup included.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. And even though corn syrup is metabolized differently than high-fructose corn syrup (the stuff that’s in soft drinks), the truth is that all added sugar should be consumed with caution because of the possible negative health consequences.
But, that’s not the real story here.
The real story is how easy it is to throw all of us into food confusion and how myths quickly become fact in our mind.
Take the corntroversy – the truth about corn syrup in beer is that it gets fermented out of the finished product – resulting in an increased alcohol content, but not necessarily high sugar content. Adding some simple sugars from corn or rice is necessary to add flavor and help aid the fermentation process. Bud Light’s desire to focus on corn syrup is really nothing more than a ploy – it’s a way to say we’re better than others and play upon the public’s fear about sugar.
And what’s brilliant about the process? Everyone’s forgotten that beer – in and of itself – really isn’t part of a healthy diet. Instead we’re focusing on the dangers sugar – media’s latest food demon.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually agree with all the media reports about how bad added sugar can be for your health – but the problem is that it leaves you with a lot of questions.
I can’t tell you how many times I get asked “Is fruit bad for me?” or “I can eat dark chocolate still, right?”
The short answer to both is this – fruit is not bad for you, in moderation. Dark chocolate is also not bad for you, in moderation.
It’s a little disappointing, but in this age of instant information – instead of becoming more knowledgeable about food, we’ve become more confused. Instead of focusing on the food we eat, we’re instead focusing on how much sugar, fiber, complex carbs, simple carbs and other ingredients are in every bite.
And while I think it’s good to know what foods can fuel your body and help you prevent illness, what has happened is that we become prey for marketers to play on our every fear.
Think about it – if you grew up in the 1980’s, fat and sugar were the enemy. Products like nutrasweet took over and we began eating “fat free”and “low-fat” foods that were deemed healthy – but were actually filled with chemicals dangerous for our body.
Then came the anti-carb era. Pasta became the enemy and gluten free everything covered the marketplace – again introducing us to high processed foods.
And lately, it’s keto or paleo or Mediterranean – all designed to throw our bodies in some state where we lose weight and feel healthier.
Marketers are literally spending billions of dollars each year to make sure that we remain confused!
The truth is that while there may be some truths to what we read, marketers are great at making things look like fact – but really play on our emotions – hence the ability of Bud Light to create a stir.
So, what do you do?
How can you maintain your food sanity in a day where gut health, hormonal balance and boosting your metabolism is a daily message?
One of the reasons I take a whole person, whole food approach is that food can be an incredibly powerful tool to keep us healthy and living happy. Instead, for millions, food is a source of constant stress.
To begin, you have to get educated and become aware of the big food company tactics.
I always tell my clients to be discerning and look for simple, whole food ingredients.
Just because the label says healthy, it doesn’t mean it is. If you don’t know what something is on the label, it’s time to put it back on the shelf and walk away.
Learning how to cook using simple, whole food ingredients is another way you can take back your power. Knowing what you’re putting in and how the food is prepared can go a long way to helping you feel good about taking care of your body.
And lastly, remember that you’re in control. Even though it may not always feel like it, learning to say no to things you know aren’t good for you is an important first step. Even though you might be craving something sugary or fried, doesn’t mean that it’s what you should really be eating for your health. Tune in to your body – it will tell you.
If you want to learn more, we also can help you create a food plan that is based on your particular needs and lifestyle. We offer consultations and easy to follow food plans that will help you break the shackles of confusion and get you on the road to healthy living.
To learn more, you can contact Alexia to schedule your personalized consultation today.