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The Twinkie Diet

“Hey…where did those cupcakes go?”

Like a never-ending western North Carolina climb where each switchback reveals another uphill, and the finish is shielded by tall pines, the struggle to lose weight and to stay lean is incessant.

In wrestling weight gain, competitive cyclists share the same mat as “regular” Americans. Like jockeys, all competitive bike racers strive for maximal leanness. It’s physics: Weigh less and the same number of watts push you farther and faster, especially when going uphill or accelerating from a slow speed. Remember those velocity problems in Physics 101?

But is it conceivable that losing weight — even if accompanied by lower cholesterol levels — could be detrimental to long-term wellness? Obviously, the question answers itself.

Unless your Internet connection has been interrupted in the last few days, you have probably heard of the “Twinkle diet.” Kansas State University nutrition professor Mark Haub tested the hypothesis that if he reduced his daily calorie consumption from 2600 to 1800 he would lose weight. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

Can Sugar Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Most of us know that salt raises blood pressure in many people. When I learned that in medical school almost 40 years ago, I have not touched a salt shaker since. I enjoy having a low normal blood pressure. A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (July 2010) suggests that sugar, especially the fructose that comes from corn syrup, may also raise blood pressure.

A study team from the University of Colorado in Denver looked at sugar intake among thousands of Americans in a major national nutrition survey between 2003 and 2006. Those who consumed more added sugars, such as the fructose in soft drinks, had significantly higher blood pressures than those who did not and ate more natural foods such as fresh fruit. Fructose from corn syrup is a major cause of the obesity epidemic and may also be contributing to high blood presure, the most common chronic disease in adults. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Sugar?

Have you noticed that many products on grocery shelves are bragging that they do not have high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)? HFCS has been demonized by many people in the public as well as the medical community in recent years. But how much different is it from just plain old sugar? The answer is up for debate, but I will do my best to present the facts.

HFCS has been used for many years, but the use really became much more common in the 1980’s. Food companies use it because it makes a desirable end product and is fairly cheap. HFCS comes from corn and is refined to get the sweet taste into a syrup. But is it worse than sugar?

Many experts believe it is no different than sugar. Both are high in calories and are considered “empty” calories, meaning they don’t have vitamins, minerals, or other healthy nutrients in significant quantities.

The American Medical Association and other scientists have agreed that both sugar and HFCS both contribute to risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses if eaten in large quantities. In other words, there is no proof to date that HFCS is more harmful than sugar.

So why are so many companies eliminating HFCS? It is all consumer perception. Consumers have heard that HFCS bad so companies are spending time and money eliminating it from it’s products? What are they using instead? Sugar.

Is HFCS natural? The Corn Refiners Association says that HFCS is natural. The FDA does not define the term “natural” so we really have no way of seeing whether something is natural on a food label. Food companies can use this word without repercussion from the FDA since they have not defined it.

For more information on HFCS, check out

This post, Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Worse Than Sugar?, was originally published on by Brian Westphal.

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