Friday, July 5, 2013

Pancakes and Bread and Muffins... Oh My!

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has come out with some ground breaking discoveries. 

As the Washington Post explains (and brace yourself for it), "Refined carbohydrates such as corn syrup could trigger food cravings not unlike the cravings that drug addicts experience."

What?  Refined carbohydrates are bad for you?  They make you crave more refined carbohydrates?  Why haven't I heard about this sooner?

Oh wait... I think everyone who has ever eaten refined carbohydrates has anecdotal evidence of this phenomena.  

My evidence:
As part of a thank you to my husband and brother-in-law for lugging all of our heavy things around when we moved into our first house last weekend (yay!), I made up a big batch of blueberry pancakes and peppered bacon the next morning for breakfast - yum!

(Recipe: open box of pre-made pancake mix, add recommended amount of water [find this on back of box], stir, add blueberries, stir again and voila!  I hope you're impressed.)

Those blueberry pancakes were tasty!  The mix of white flour, real fruit, butter, and overly processed maple syrup sent me into a state of nirvana... and then I crashed into a heap of weakened sleepiness a little while later.  At the time, the only antidote to this wave of fatigue seemed to be more pancakes, but I thankfully resisted that urge.  

All week I've been craving them though.  Even now as I write about them, I keep thinking "breakfast for dinner?"  Thanks to this study, I now know it's not my fault.   Although, you could argue that eating the pancakes in the first place was my fault.  But I'd rather blame the pancakes.  

On a side note, I would like to point out that the study used "corn syrup" as an example of an addictive, refined, carbohydrate.  Notice the words "high fructose" are not in front of it.  I feel like high fructose corn syrup gets a bad rap.  Everyone picks on the high fructose stuff when in reality ALL corn syrup is bad for you!

Lots of brands are jumping on the "no high fructose" band wagon, but they replace the high fructose stuff with regular corn syrup or something else that is just as non-nutritious.  

Take the yummy, sticky, warm syrup that I poured all over those delicious blueberry pancakes.  In a large, yellow banner with bold, black words the bottle proudly states "NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP" (all caps is their doing).  First ingredient on the back?  You guessed it, regular corn syrup.  

Maybe I'm being too picky.  I mean, I am complaining about corn syrup being in my syrup, am I not?  And I could have paid $20 for the smaller bottle of real maple syrup rather than $3 for a bigger bottle of the fake stuff.

I made a choice, and it was based on money.  I looked over multiple bottles in the aisle, but after dropping money on the down payment and knowing everything else we still need (or want) to buy, I opted for the cheap bottle, and that's what I got - cheap syrup.

I truly hope that the basic idea presented by this new research - that refined carbohydrates do bad things in your body - isn't ground breaking for most people.  Also, I hope that most people have a general understanding of what a refined carbohydrate is.  If you'd like to peruse through some of these energy zapping, addictive foods here is a list.

A last thought: If anyone has a recipe for some tasty and healthier pancakes than my box of mix has to offer, then please share!  I've been on the look out for a good recipe to try.  

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