Fuelling The Obesity Epidemic
You might think that the consumption of any “freshly squeezed” and packaged fruit juice in the morning before you leave for work is a healthy start. It could’ve been a healthy start if that orange juice you just drank was actually freshly squeezed, blended at home and consumed.
What we, as customers, sometimes fail to notice are the ingredients that go into the making of that morning dose of liquid fruit and the nutrition labels. That fruit could’ve been freshly squeezed at the time of manufacturing but it also underwent many procedures before it arrived at the aisles of your local supermarket, such as blending, processing, mixing and packaging. For it to have survived all that, preservatives and concentrated mixes of sugars have to be added to increase its shelf life. Ever wondered how is it that a mango juice off the aisles tastes sweeter than an alphonso even in December?
The only rational explanation is that it is the addition of sugar mixes that bring you a mango season that lasts forever. This so-called sugar mix is really just ‘HFCS’ which stands for High Fructose Corn Syrup, a very common ingredient in most canned and packaged fruit juices, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, baked goods and condiments. It contains the molecule fructose, a “modern” substitute for sugar to cut down on the caloric content.
The human body has been massed in such a way as to provide the body with energy in the simplest and easiest of ways. The body has always relied on the use of glucose to provide its vital organs with energy. Hence, it has also created pathways to help store this glucose molecule as it is always handy to have extra energy for emergencies. Now, the ingestion of a molecule such as fructose, which is also similar to glucose, doesn’t manage to fool the body into believing that it can also be used or stored in place of glucose. Due to lack of storage space, fructose is converted to what is called fatty acids, which is the key ingredient in making adipose tissue, as is any nutrient when consumed in excess. The body is capable of converting fructose to fat faster than glucose as it is not controlled by insulin like glucose is.
So, each day you consume a packaged “freshly squeezed” fruit juice instead of an actual freshly squeezed fruit juice in your kitchen, you’re slowly fuelling the obesity epidemic. As a customer, one must bear in mind that awareness is the key to good health.
- Tags: adipose tissue awareness baked goods blending breakfast cereals caloric content canned juices concentrated mixes of sugars condiments emergencies energy epidemic fatty acids freshly squeezed fuelling glucose good health HFCS High Fructose Corn Syrup ingredients insulin juice mixing molecule nutrition labels Nutrition Science obesity packaging preservatives processing shelf life soft drinks supermarket
- Priti Srinivasan