By Brandi Koskie - DietsInReview.com
There's probably not much we can tell you here that you don't already know. Fast-food isn't great for you. Our country is growing more obese by the day. We should find healthier alternatives to the foods we like.
So when a company like Subway advertises for years how much healthier their food is than the other guys (the other guys being the likes of Friendly's with a Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt), we want to believe them. Food that tastes good, that's good for us, who would argue with that? Their tagline "Eat Fresh" automatically implies that the food is fresh and wholesome, much more so than a greasy bag of burgers and fries.
Shine readers, we've been duped. Not everything on the Subway menu is as fresh and healthy as we want it to be; as we deserve for it to be. No, lurking in those ingredient labels (that, let's be real, few of us actually inspect before eating) is high fructose corn syrup. It's a darling of the processed food industry - a cheap, man-made sweetener that extends the shelf-life of food.
If Subway's food is supposed to be so fresh, why does it need an extended shelf life?
David Zinczenko, author of the Eat This, Not That series, recently outed Subway for serving a 9-grain wheat that actually has more high fructose corn syrup in it than it does whole grains. If you read the ingredients label for Subway's 9-grain wheat you'll see that there are nine grains, but eight of them are scarce, as they appear on the listing toward the end behind the "contains 2% or less" disclaimer. The fourth ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.
This piqued our interest. So we decided to inspect the Subway ingredients listing for ourselves. From their website, with a revision date of May 2010, there are more than seven products with high fructose corn syrup.
- 9-Grain Wheat Bread
- Sourdough Bread
- Oven Roasted Chicken Strips (Teriyaki Glaze)
- Chipotle Southwest Sauce
- Fat-Free Honey Mustard (first ingredient)
- Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- All Fruizle Express Flavors
What's the big deal? High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a syrup made from cornstarch that's been treated with an enzyme that converts some of the glucose in the molecule to fructose, which is sweeter than sugar. One of the prime culprits of the obesity epidemic is high fructose corn syrup, because fructose is more readily converted to fat by the liver than is sucrose (table sugar), increasing the amount of fat in the bloodstream.
The argument could be made for the practice of "all things in moderation", but let's be real, high fructose corn syrup is so plentiful in our foods that moderation is not a realistic option.
At Subway alone there are more than eight menu items with HFCS, and that's just the food items they produce themselves. That doesn't touch the sodas, most of which contain the ingredient. Fruit juices, cookies, sports drinks, bread, cereal, candy, condiments, yogurt, canned fruits and vegetables and even cough syrup all contain high fructose corn syrup. Avoiding packaged, processed food is the easiest way to stay away from it, but it's so plentiful, that moderation isn't always an easy option.
Shine readers, we need your help! We've launched a petition urging Subway to remove high fructose corn syrup from its menu. A turkey sandwich on 9-grain wheat loaded with veggies is a healthy lunch option, but it could be healthier. Tell Subway that you really do want to "Eat Fresh", but that it's only possible if they remove high fructose corn syrup from their products.
> > > Sign the petition today!
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