Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘HFCS’

Horseradish – the Condiment

Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2011

Prime Rib.  That is what I think of when I think of horseradish.  When I think of Prime Rib I think first of my hubby because he loves the stuff then I think of horseradish because that is what he eats with it.  He likes it really strong.   He doesn’t care for the kind that taste more like sour cream (or whatever is used).  Well, we are attending a pot luck type of Prime Rib dinner and no one mentioned having horseradish so I asked.  I should know better, right?  I was assigned to bring horseradish.  I wanted to go to a specialty store and see if I could find some fancy kind.  But that just didn’t fit in with the present situation.  So I just went to the grocery store to buy . . . ?  What?  I didn’t even know how it is packaged.  All this time I am thinking of “prepared horseradish”.  Anyway, I ended up with three choices of horseradish. One regular, I guess, and two different brands of extra hot.

So I decided to see what is in these bottles of prepared horseradish.  What do you think I found?  Why was I surprised?  Well, I was surprised because it was the two bottles of extra hot that contained High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Yeah, HFCS — what they are now changing the name of – Corn Sugar.  (Eyes rolling.)  I know that my hubby likes extra spicy and I know that he would be really disappointed if we didn’t have horseradish for prime rib, so I actually bought one of the bottles that had HFCS in it.  I bought the one that looked less fancy, but the HFCS was much lower on the list of ingredients.  And if what they say is true — the ingredients are listed in the order of amount in the product — then the one I bought has less than the other one.  But still, yes, I am hanging my head in shame.  Especially since, now that I have had some time to think about it, I could have just bought the root, right?

Our hostess said something about mixing it with something, but I was thinking that is not what you need to do because it is already mixed, but she was probably thinking I would just buy the root?

Well, you know what this means don’t you?  It means that even though I don’t eat horseradish I am feeling the need for educating myself on it.  So . . . .there will be another post about horseradish the root.

Also it means if you are really interested in removing or cutting down on certain ingredients then you need to remember to read the labels.  I look at everything now.  Even products that I have been buying for years, because some of these ingredients haven’t been around as long as I have been buying the products.  The ingredients I am trying to avoid (HFCS, Canola Oil, transfat/partially hydrogenated oil) might have been “snuck” in on me.  So . . . check your labels.  Why hot prepared horseradish requires HFCS, I don’t know.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Canola Oil

Posted by terrepruitt on December 21, 2010

I am not a fan of Canola Oil. I try to avoid this oil. There is so much conflicting information out there . . . .just like with so many things that I have decided that this is one of those things that I am going to try to avoid. If you look at ingredients it is not easy to avoid canola oil. Plus I bet your favorite restaurant cooks with it. It kind of strikes me as funny that it seems to be as prevalent as High Fructose Corn Syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. Hmmm.

There is information out there that seems to emphasize that the seed used for canola oil was “naturally” bred from the rapeseed. The rapeseed produced oil that was too high in erucic acid, which is associated with Keshan’s disease, a condition which is characterized by fibrous lesions of the heart. So they bred a different seed that has less of this erucic acid . . . not none, just less. But like most things we eat it was genetically modified in the 1990’s. Eighty percent of the crops are genetically altered crops. The questions that arise for me is if it is in so many foods how can we be sure we are not consuming toxic amounts of this ericic acid? We are told that HFCS in moderation is ok, but it is in so many foods one just has to avoid those foods altogether to be able to achieve moderation. Then there is the 0 trans fat per serving allowed verbiage which doesn’t really mean NO trans fat it just means that there is less than 1 gram per serving. So if you eat two servings then you could possibly be getting a gram. Again partially hydrogenated oil is in so many prepared foods you might be getting more than a moderate amount.

Canola Oil is in many, many, many things. It is a genetically modified food. The claim is that it is low in saturated fat and contains a high amount of Omega 3. But how much erucic acid are we consuming since canola oil is in so many things? Also, I am seeing information that states the way the plant is processed into oil it burns off some of the good Omega 3 oil and replaces with . . . are you sitting down? Can you guess what? I bet you can . . . . trans fat. Yeah, there is information that states the process in which canola oil goes through to become palatable produces trans fat.

Some are comparing canola oil to margarine. Remember that people? Margarine was the health alternative to butter. Um, yeah. So like many things the information produced by the people who want us to eat the food say it is ok. The information produced by some health experts say it is not ok. So, just like with everything, you need to decide for yourself. That is all that we can do. All we can do is look at all the information that is out there and decide what works best for us—as individuals. For me, avoiding canola oil — as difficult as that is — is what I am going to try to do.

How about you? Are you a canola oil fan? If so, why? If not, why? If not, what oil do you use?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Non-Dairy Creamer

Posted by terrepruitt on September 28, 2010

It has been two weeks since I gave up my non-dairy creamer. I am not talking about liquid, I am talking about that white powered stuff so many people don’t like. Well, SOMEONE must like it because they keep making it. I tried to give it up before but without it my coffee lost its joy. Really it was just a matter of me being used to the taste of coffee with that stuff in it. I have been drinking it that way since I started drinking coffee, so that is how I like it. That creamer is full of all the stuff I don’t like.

I threw away the container before I got a picture but I have a copy of an old label from a nutrition class assignment. The first ingredient is corn syrup solid, the second is partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Yeah, two of the ingredients I try to avoid. One of the reasons I avoided those ingredients like the plague was because of this habit.  I thought, “I am getting enough of that stuff in my coffee, I don’t need to have it in anything else.” Well, it is really hard to avoid—especially if you eat out . . .so many things have them it it. . . HFCS is bread for heaven’s sake so even if I am having a sandwich, I just don’t know. So . . . . I decided to try again to see if I could find joy in my coffee with out my beloved spoonful of chemicals and stuff I can’t pronounce and don’t even know what it is.

I have made it longer than the last time I tried. I am surviving. It is fine. I am using milk. I drink 1% so that is what we have in the fridge, so that is what I am using. Whew. I feel good getting that off my mind. Like I have said before, I am not perfect in my health habits, but I am trying to be healthier and help give others ideas and a place to share. So here’s to better health and better eating.

Have you taken anything out of your diet that you want to share about?

(Ha, I put this in the “food” category but I am not really convinced it is food.  Oh, I also hope to stop by the store tomorrow to see if I can get a picture.)

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Paying More For Less

Posted by terrepruitt on April 10, 2010

After dropping a friend off at the San Jose Airport, I went to the store that was on the way home to get some vegetables. Not my “usual” store. I decided to get some pasta to have with the chicken and salad I was planning on serving. I like to have the Buitoni Pasta that is stored in the refrigerated section. We have that every once in a while. I walked up to the case and I saw a couple of choices that I would normally choose. $4.59. And then I saw another brand, Monterey Gourmet Foods, and I thought, “Oh, I think I had that before and I liked it.” So I looked for something that sounded familiar and I didn’t see it but I saw the price $5.79 and I thought, “Over a $1 more, well that’s a no-brainer.” But then the brain, the one I have in my head, said, “Hey why don’t you look for HFCS in the Buitoni. It’s in everything else.” Well, it didn’t have HFCS, but it has corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. So I looked at the one that was a $1.20 more, neither corn syrup solids nor partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

I stood there for a minute and thought not to get either, but then I thought, “Well, I want to try this Whole Wheat Spinach and Cheese Tortelloni.” I’ve had the whole wheat before and I thought it was to thick. But I don’t remember which brand, but I didn’t care for it.

Well, I liked this. It was light. The pasta didn’t seem thick. I was glad my decision to avoid the corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated soybean oil and spend the extra $1.20 worked out good.

Now what that means is I will have this type of pasta even less often than I did before, because now it costs more.  Yeah, I know $1.20 isn’t that much, but . . . . it IS more.  Oh well.

I FEEL better about not eating the corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated oil in my pasta.  Transfat is in a lot of other foods, so I try to avoid it when I can.

I am going to point out that the tortelloni I had didn’t have corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated soybean oil in it whereas the toretellini from Buitoni did, but . . . the website shows that the tortelloni does not. The store I was at did not have Buitoni tortelloni, nor Monterey Gourmet Foods tortellini–not even sure if they make tortellini. So . . . . if you are so are interested in seeing what is in the food, read ingredients. Often times different companies will make a similar product without certain ingredients you might be trying to avoid.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Consumer Affairs

Posted by terrepruitt on March 27, 2010

I actually received a response to my feedback . . . or actually I received a response to the feedback form being completed.

I had asked Lea & Perrins about their Worcestershire Sauce and explained that it has been a staple so long in my house that it was not something I had checked the ingredients on.  Since I noticed it has High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in it I would be on the path of moving from Lea & Perrins to a Worcestershire Sauce without HFCS. 

The response from the Heinz company told me that recently the media has brought to light HFCS and its “role in the U.S. diet”.

You see, they say U.S. Diet because a lot of companies don’t put HFCS in foods that are made for other markets.  It is primarily the U.S. that is subjected to HFCS. 

The response also stated that a lot of the articles attempted to link the consumption of HFCS to obesity.

Ok . . . . thanks for that information.  But I still am wondering why they are telling me this.  Do they automatically or defensively assume that the reason I don’t want to consume HFCS is because of “attempted links to obesity”?

Then they reminded me that excess calories without exercise is the reason for weight gain.  They feel it is incorrect to focus on a specific food or ingredient when talking about obesity.  Like the HFCS manufacturers the e-mail from Heinz said that “moderation” is the key.

The way I have chosen to moderate my intake of HFCS is by not consuming Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.  Since HFCS is in so many foods, I have to eliminate as many as I can so that I can achieve this wonderful thing that manufacturers and users of HFCS call “moderation”. 

Then the e-mail ended by telling me about the various Ketchup products they are coming out with.  Including one without HFCS.  (Because I asked about Ketchup?)

A lot of products have HFCS in them.  I can only control what is purchased and brought in our home.  When I go out to a restaurant, even if I order a salad, the dressing could have HFCS in it.  The bread on my sandwich could have HFCS in it.  The BBQ sauce, the ketchup, the mayonnaise, I don’t know, so I can only keep from purchasing products that I can read the ingredients of. 

I do not eat a totally healthy diet, but I try to eat healthy. I am trying to really cut down on OVERLY processed foods.  All of our food is processed, but I think it is the OVERLY processed, really chemically altered food, that is not very healthy.  I know it is not easy, but I am going to do what I can and that is all that I can do.

I wanted to share that I did get a response, as odd as I thought the response was, I wanted to let you know that they responded.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Corn Fed Up!

Posted by terrepruitt on March 25, 2010

I am saddened that it has come to this.  I have started to make a list of products in our home that have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in them.  And I am going to begin eliminating them from our house.  (Yeah, sorry, Honey, if you are reading this, I meant to tell you before I posted, but . . . )

I am disgusted with the fact that it is in everything.  I do not believe that it is “natural” or that it can be consumed in moderation.  It is in too many of our everyday processed foods for it to be consumed in moderation.

I love Worcestershire Sauce.  I use it in ALL of my marinades.  I am in search of a brand that does not contain HFCS.  If you know of one, please, let me know.

This will not be an easy process as some of the items, which I will discuss at a later date, are going to be really difficult for me to part with, but I am just fed up.  There is WAY too much corn in America’s diet and I am done.

But in the spirit of fessing up, not only will this not be easy, it will not be an overnight thing.  I need to wean us off some of these things.  As I said in the e-mail/contact form to Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is a STAPLE.  So we will finish what we have which will give me some time to find something else to use.

I actually didn’t even know HFCS was in Worcestershire Sauce, but after my Nia class today I went to Jakes in Willow Glen and my friend and I were talking about how HFCS is in everything.  I grabbed all the condiments off of the condiment area and we started reading the labels.  Let me tell you I was soooooo disappointed.  I never thought to look because it is just something I always buy.  Now, when I buy something new, I look, but I have grown up with Worcestershire Sauce so I never questioned it.  But now, I wonder, did it always have HFCS in it?

If you know of a Worcestershire Sauce without HFCS, please let me know.  Thanks.

This is a copy of the what I sent Lea & Perrins.  Pretty sure they don’t care.  There website says, “We couldn’t make it better”  Uh, yeah, you could, you could take out the HFCS!

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Happy Bread Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on March 18, 2010

My husband does the grocery shopping. I know, cool, huh? Sometimes, when he is busy, I will do it. On my way home from teaching a Nia class on Wednesday, I decided to stop by the store.

Now, the store that is most convenient to us in San Jose we can’t always go to because they have bad milk and, I believe that my husband told me they also don’t have the bread I like. So we drive a little bit out of our way to go to the store where we can buy milk that will is not sour and bread that is what I like.

While standing in the bread isle I almost had to call my Hubby because I forgot what kind of bread we get. As I am scanning the packages I see this.

Oh yeah! THAT IS the bread that we get. But, I did a little dance because of that bright yellow label. See that is one of the reasons why that is the bread we get. The label made me happy.

Then while I was standing in line I was even made more happy because I was able to share with a woman in line why I looked like I just worked out (because I did) AND tell her about Nia. Awesome!

But, Honey, if you are reading this, I still don’t like grocery shopping. 🙂   It can still be “your job”.  (Thanks, btw.)

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bakers Make the Difference

Posted by terrepruitt on March 6, 2010

I was trying to avoid Girl Scout cookies.  When asked about purchasing some I went to the Girl Scout website to see if they contained High Fructose Corn Syrup and / or Partially Hydrogenated Oils.  Well, according to the website, yes.  So I said no.  I have two boxes of Thin Mints in my freezer so I don’t need any more.  I get enough HFCS and trans-fat in my diet even though I try to avoid it.  I don’t need to add to it.  But, guess what, my hubby came home with FIVE boxes of cookies.  I don’t know who he bought them from, but . . . now we have Girl Scout cookies in the house.

So I was looking at the boxes to see if these were the ones with the HFCS and trans-fat in them because some of them had it and some didn’t, but the thin mints we got didn’t have them.  I thought that I was mistaken, but instead of going to the website I went to my freezer.  The two boxes in my freezer have HFCS but the one my husband just bought, does not.  And it turns out that the baker is different.

Freezer boxes:  ABC Bakery (WITH High Fructose Corn Syrup AND Partially Hydrogenated Oil)

New box:  Little Brownie (WITHOUT High Fructose Corn Syrup.  But still contains Partially Hydrogenated Oil)

So, it can be done.  Manufacturers CAN make products WITHOUT HFCS, we just have to make them do so.

Both bakeries use Partially Hydrogenated Oils, which we shouldn’t tolerate either.

Neither baker is near San Jose or California for that matter, so I don’t know why one baker is used over the other.  But these are the Girl Scouts, I would hope that they were concerned about what ingredients are in their cookies.

So if you are interested in trying to avoid HFCS as much as possible check the baker and the box of your Girl Scout cookies.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »