Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reasons to Give Up Soda Pop

by Dick Mac

I have been whining on and on about high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for over ten years. I try to stay away from products containing it.

In the late-1990s or early-2000s, I read an article by a couple of doctors who specialize in gastroenterology. Their conclusion was that HFCS has more negative impact on the human liver than alcohol. Of course, I can't find the article now so it is just hearsay; but, it has stayed with me and I have avoided HFCS at every opportunity. Generally, they explained that the human body cannot digest HFCS as it does other sugars, and it just remains in our bodies as fat.

Interestingly, all my closed-minded friends say "too much sugar is not good for you in any form" (which has nothing to do with the discussion - but that's how conservatives talk about things), and my intellectually-inclined, open-minded friends (liberals and progressives) seem to share my concern.

Sadly, those of us who object to HFCS have little traction with the regulatory agencies that control food processing, because those agencies are generally run by executives of the industries they are supposedly regulating.

We give a lot of our tax dollars to corn growers (huge corporate farms that employ tiny numbers of people) who are now growing genetically-modified corn to more easily make HFCS. I guess it must be more expensive to make plain-old corn syrup that the human body can digest. Those corporate corn growers have very powerful lobbies in Washington. Nothing about their corn will change until they want it to change, and that is never.

Soda has always been terrible for me, and I go for long stints of not drinking it. But, like anything I consume, once I get started again it is almost impossible to stop again.

I know, for a fact - from personal experience - that when I quit drinking soda, I lose up to ten pounds in 90 days. It just comes off. So, I know there is something to the HFCS to fat theory - even if I can't scientifically prove it.

The other day, writers David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding published an article in which they outlined three things about soda that might help us all decide to stop drinking it:

Shocking Soda Fact #1: Soda fattens up your organs
Shocking Soda Fact #2: Soda contains flame retardants
Shocking Soda Fact #3: Drinking soda makes you a lab rat

I do not find any of those facts shocking. See, 3 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Soda.

There is one reason to keep drinking soda pop: it tastes great!

In my areas (Metro New York), we can purchase Boylan's soda, which is made with actual cane sugar. Check them out here: Boylan Bttlg Co.

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