Corn is NOT a Vegetable!

corn vegetableThink you’re eating healthier than ever by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily diet? NOT if that list of healthy-for-you foods includes corn.

I can’t recall a day when a client, friend or co-worker didn’t tell me they loved vegetables, and ate corn all the time.

It’s not hard to understand why. A few facts from the Whole Grains Council and USDA describe how the production of corn has become such a pervasive force in our lives:

  1. Corn is the most produced grain in the world, and America’s top field crop (some 80 million acres).
  2. Corn provides more than 20 percent of our world’s human nutrition.
  3. Most corn grown in America and Canada is used to feed animals (our poor pets and livestock).
  4. Corn is a key ingredient in producing non-food items, including cosmetics, ethanol, medicine, fabrics, ink and glue.
  5. Corn is processed into starch, food sweeteners, cooking oils and beverages.

The Missing Facts

Those are the facts the way Big Food would prefer that you see them. What’s missing from the picture, of course, is the real concern: How unhealthy corn truly is for our bodies.

Yes, corn contains antioxidants (depending on the variety), including anthocyanins, beta carotene, lutein and caffeic acid. Unfortunately, some 85 percent of all corn grown in America is genetically modified at the DNA level in a laboratory for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with supporting human health.

Big Food looks to these genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as a means to an end, allowing farmers to grow corn that resists many herbicides and insects, while ignoring the inherent problems linked to messing around with Mother Nature.

For example, a 2010 study discovered three varieties of GMO corn developed by Monsanto that were approved by food safety organizations in America, Europe and other countries was connected with organ damage (mostly kidney and liver functioning) in lab rats.

With studies like these growing by the day, it’s no wonder Big Food and Wal-Mart, the largest of all grocery store chains, have taken the offensive to do absolutely nothing about labeling GMO food products like corn, citing “no scientifically validated safety reasons” for doing so.

If there’s nothing to hide, why not label foods? Citing a doubling of food allergies in America over the past 16 years, a scientist at the Consumers Union interviewed recently by the Chicago Tribune asked rhetorically, “Is it connected to genetically engineered foods? Who knows, when you have no labeling? That is a problem.”

The Sweet Stuff That Harms Your Health

corn vegetable HFCSCorn is a dominant force in another part of the processed food producing chain that harms health: Americans consume 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — the most common sweetener in soft drinks, condiments (ketchup), candy and processed foods (breakfast cereals and baby food) — every year.

In fact, some research suggests consuming HFCS is worse for your health than sugar. A 2010 Princeton University study that compared the health of lab rats fed both sugars found those on a steady diet of HFCS gained far more weight, even though their caloric intake was the same. Moreover, a long-term diet of HFCS led to abnormal increases in body fat and rising amounts of blood fats (triglycerides).

A more recent UCLA study (also on rats) discovered steadily higher amounts of fructose were responsible for harming the brain while altering its ability to learn and remember information.

Not surprisingly, those spikes in insulin levels as a result of eating highly processed foods sweetened with unnatural sugars has come with a heavy price.

For one, the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse reported the estimated number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes between ages 20-64 has increased by 1.5 million Americans in 2010.

Just as important, the number of Americans battling obesity has risen to more than a third (35.7 percent), while the medical costs associated with this growing disease have skyrocketed to nearly $150 billion annually.

The Drug-Free Way to Beat Diabetes

Unfortunately, with this epidemic of diabetes and obesity growing by the minute, people have turned to quick pharmaceutical fixes to control their blood sugar that may cause just as much harm to their bodies as the disease itself.

For example, drugs with barely pronounceable names like Repaglinide or Glipizide can be prescribed to help to regulate blood sugar and stimulate the release of insulin throughout the body at the expense of creating serious side effects like hypoglycemia, headaches, nausea and weight gain.

Have you been searching for safer and more natural alternatives to treating conditions like diabetes that don’t include costly and often harmful treatments?

Are you ready to make optimal health the top priority in your life, but need some help getting there?

Your journey to better health begins by reviewing my Natural Health Services page, then filling out the Contact Me form. Then, we can schedule a free 10-minute phone consultation to help us get better acquainted about your health concerns, and begin to treat them naturally and more safely.

Making the right choices — not necessarily the simplest or most expensive ones — for your newly optimized health starts today.