Wednesday, December 26, 2007


One of the things that a visitor from Europe, South America, Africa or frankly any other country first notices is the incredible obesity of Americans as a nation. White people, Black people, Latinos, all share this characteristic. It cuts across all racial, cultural, age or social groups.

Americans are fatties.

And not just ordinary obese. We are talking 300lbs monsters walking the street. We are talking Latino, White or Black kids ages 5-10 that weigh more than mature European women. We are talking people who are so fat that they have trouble walking in a store, and move their bodies using an electric scooter for invalids... We are talking people who weigh 400 pounds (that is about 180 kilograms people!).

At first I thought that this was due to how cheap and plentiful food is in America. Buffets (Chinese, American food predominantly) are VERY common, and what that means is that a person pays a fee up front (by no means a large amount; can range from $8 to $20) and then can eat as much as they can. The food is plentiful and of good quality.

And once inside a buffet restaurant, you will see HORRORS. You will see 300-400lbs land whales maneuvering with 1-2 plates, chok full of foodstuffs. You will see kids, ages 3-10, who really DO weigh more than mature European, South American or African adults. You will see grandmothers, using canes to help themselves, grunting as they shuffle from one buffet tray area to another.

In short, Americans really do EAT a lot when they go to a buffet. They are pigs.
Add lack of exercise and sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle and you have the American society at large.

But that explanation is too simple.

As a European-American, I can tell you that the diets of Europeans are not that drastically different than us.

If there is anything I learned in this country, is that simple explanations are there to mask the real, deeper reasons for a state of affairs. It is never what the TV, or what looks so obvious at first glance. So look deeper.

What do you find?

Specifically genetically modified corn.
More specifically, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Xanthan Gum. Both industrial by products of genetically processed corn.

Look at your yogurt. Cool Whip. 7UP. Coca Cola. Pepsi. Louisiana Crunch Cake. Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Salad dressing. Ketchup. Fruit Juice (every single brand). Health foods (now there is a misnomer!).

What do they have in common?
Give up?
All of them have corn by products in them - chiefly the High Fructose Corn Syrup.

You would figure that most people would spot this fact, that the majority of American foods have corn byproducts in them (like I said before, mostly HFCS). That the newspapers, that TV reporters and pundits would talk about it. But no, this issue does not exist.

First, lets talk about American version of corn.
ALL corn in the United States is genetically modified. ALL of it.
Corn in the United States is copyrighted, patented, by a giant bio-agricultural company called Monsanto. 100% of it. Even if a farmer in the United States chose not to buy the genetically modified seeds, the seeds spread to his fields anyway - wind brought them to his field, or they were washed by rain water. And these seeds spread and overtook all natural corn.

Most people around the world would stop reading right there, and decide not to eat American foods. In fact - that is exactly what is happening, as Japan and Europe chose NOT TO import American food into their stores. They call these foodstuffs Frankenfoods and shudder at the mere thought of them.

But this blog is also for Americans, so I will have to explain further.

In a documentary I link to, you can see insects who try to eat the corn (a normal occurence in nature of course) die off from the effects of toxin. In Europe, that would be because the corn would be sprayed with a toxin, which then would be washed off by the store that bought them and then the people who will eat them. In USA, the toxin IS ALREADY IN the corn. It was put there by scientists; it is produced by the corn. Corn Vs Insect Showdown! (my money is on the poisnous corn)

Sounds yummy.

OK, Americans are probably obtuse and will think that poisons that kill off other lifeforms will not affect them (or other humans). Fair enough, it is one possibility (unless you develop a REACTION to it... but the data of how many Americans get sick from ingesting industrial corn byproducts is NOT available. Don't wait for a study to come out either - this is stemming from a US government corn subsidy policy that is ingrained, and by now systemic ), and that will not ever change. Since we have huge government subsidies for corn production, and that excess corn must be used somehow - hence the ubiquitous presence of HFCS in everything and why there will be absolutely no mainstream HFCS health effect on humans study allowed. Sorry you are stuck with me on this one, folks).

So OK, Americans are hunky dory with eating poison.

What else is wrong here?
The main thing is, this syrupy shit that you are ingesting like a junkie on a drug binge is messing up your metabolism.
The main effect of this poison is that your body is ingesting EMPTY CALORIES, and does not feel full. That is why you are always hungry after eating so much at that chinese buffet. Why you can drink a litre of Pepsi and feel thirsty and MORE HUNGRY.

Basically this HFCS stuff is EMPTY calories, which your body makes directly into FAT. But since they do not have any nutrients, vitamins, hell, they aren't even food, you are hungry because YOU NEED REAL FOOD. Read the article here.

Here are some quotes guaranteed to make you sick (well, not any sicker than you are now, after you slammed that Coke and ate that cookie):

"Individuals who consumed large amounts of sucrose (28% of energy) showed an increase in energy intake, body weight, fat mass, and blood pressure after the 10-wk intervention" quoted from the Big Scientific Article.
You get fat after ingesting these empty calorie sweeteners.

"Fructose contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and it leeches
micronutrients from the body. Unbound fructose, found in large
quantities in HFCS, can interfere with the heart's use of minerals such
as magnesium, copper and chromium." says Dr Mercola.

"Fructose also reduces the affinity of insulin for its receptor, which is the principle characteristic of type 2 diabetes." from the Plague of HFCS in foods article.
Translation: this shit gives you diabetes. Now you know (lucky you!).

"(...)they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy--that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded," from the great Murky World of HFCS

The rats with normal sugar were just fine (if a bit jumpy and full of energy :)

"The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic" quoted again from Murky World of HFCS

"The consumption of high fructose corn syrup not only exacerbates the obesity epidemic, it also harms organs like your liver and pancreas, leading to bone loss, anemia and heart problems, just to name a few." again, the incomparable (perhaps you should click it) Plague of HFCS in foods.
Translation: this shit is bad for you.

I sincerely sugest to all Americans who live here, and to immigrants and tourists who pass through, do not eat or drink products that have corn syrup. Keep in mind that High Fructose Corn Syrup is even worse, as it is a chemically refined corn syrup to squeeze as much sweetness out of "normal" corn syrup as they can do.

So why is this a non issue? After all, in ALL European countries people protested and now their governments effectively BANNED American food from being imported. Why no discussion on this topic by Dr. Gupta on CNN?

Could it be that ALL corn is subsidized by the American government, and something just HAS TO BE DONE with all that excess corn? I mean, we cannot just produce extra alcohol from all this corn sweetness (it was tried and Prohibition was the result).

So there you have it. High Fructose Corn Syrup is here to stay (alongside other corn industrial laboratory by-products) and make us sick, and NO STUDY will be made too public by the media. I can guarantee it.

Bonus Material:
Xanthan Gum.

This is another of corn industrial by-products. From the Xanthan Gum's own site (a fan site I guess:
"Xanthan gum is a long chain polysacharide composed of the sugars glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. The backbone is similar to cellulose, with added sidechains of trisacharides".

Hmm, sounds too scientific. I am a layman, and after living in USA for too many years, also a functional idiot.
Continuing from same site:
"It is a slimy gel produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, which causes black rot on cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.".
Ahh much better!

Where is this black rot crap used?
"Xanthan gum is used as a thickener in sauces, as an agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming, and as a fat substitute that adds the "mouth feel" of fat without the calories."

"It has a very high viscosity (thickness) even when very little is used."
Ahh of course! Salad dressing! And Philadelphia Cream Cheese! It makes these products thicker, so they do not settle like a liquid (salad dressing) or become solids (Philly cheese).

But wait there is more (from some geek site)
"Xanthan gum is used in dairy products and salad dressings as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Xanthan gum prevents ice crystals from forming in ice creams, and also provides a 'fat feel' in low or no-fat dairy products."
OK so far so OK...

"Xanthan gum is also used as a substitute for wheat gluen
in gluten-free breads, pastas and other flour-based food products.
Those who suffer from gluten allergies should look for xanthan gum as
an ingredient on the label." Ah OK so it's in your bread too. Wonderful!

Oh wait last paragraph:
One lesser-known use of xanthan gum is in the
oil industry. Oil companies often use water as a lubricant for oil well pumps, but regular water is not very thick. A natural thickener such as guar gum or xanthan gum can be added to the water in order to increase its viscosity, or thickness. You could think of this as turning tap water into 10W-40 motor oil. The thickened water keeps the drill parts lubricated and displaces more of the natural oil found in the deposit area."

Lubricant for oil pumps? Black rot on vegetables?
Excuse me... I need to throw up... Wait where's my (ALL NATURAL!) 7UP (up yours!)

And I didn't get into how chickens are fattened on steroids, how cows are given hormones and chemicals to give more milk, how fish are fed with some veeeeerrrrry interesting stuff so they grow up quicker and are ready to sell faster.

Essential resources (copy and paste it into your browser please):
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Article
What is Xantham Gum?
Linda Joyce Forristal, CCP, MTA article on HFCS
Mayo Clinic on 'Why is HFCS so bad for me?'
Dr Mercola article
San Francisco Chronicle on HFCS

Please watch this documentary, all parts of it:

Must see documentary

And this one is just for fun:

Bon appetit!

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SJ said...

Ugh ... {shudder} ... That's nasty. I remember looking at ingredients once, a few years back and going Xantham Gum?! Sounds like something from Mars! And the reply, oh yeah, that's in everything.

No big deal, its in everything. No explanation as to what it was (I'm sure the person I was with didn't know anyway).

But honestly, it IS in everything. How am I possibly supposed to avoid it? Oh yeah. A diet made of fresh veggies, fruits and meats. Bland bland food. Oh well. Life goes on.

Debbie SLP said...

You got it, a diet of vegetables, fruits, and if you like, non-factory-raised meat. Unprocessed foods.

And no, it's not a boring, bland, joyless way of life. You'll just think it is for the first week or so as your taste buds recover from years or decades of being bombarded with artificial flavors, huge amounts of sweeteners (like HFCS), incredible levels of hidden salt, and plenty of processed oils to carry all that nutritionally-empty "flavor."

Once your tastes readjust to the way nature intended, you'll remember that vegetables and fruits are not only colorful and beautiful to look at (visually appealing), but bursting with an almost endless variety of delicious flavors, both bold and subtle. Nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables and unprocessed or minimally processed grains are the tasty, satisfying comfort foods you remember from childhood (especially if you were born before 1975).

Oh, and those foods have high amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (the 10,000 or so named and un-named "other vitamins" discovered since 1960), and fiber. Oh, and no cholesterol or trans-fat, and little or no saturated fat. They will clean the plaques out of your blood vessels and reduce your risk of just about every Western disease, but especially heart disease, stroke, and the most common cancers.

Can you tolerate a couple weeks of the illusion of "bland" for that?

insulin resistance said...

you have a good research my friend. The best thing to do is know your nutritional type. even fruits has fructose that's why you need to control the foods you're eating.