Why should you choose a traditional pecan pie, free of corn syrup, this Thanksgiving?

Princeton researchers have found that a high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) diet can make all considerably more fat, 48% more fat than those on an ordinary sugar diet; in addition, not all on the natural sugar diet got fat, unlike all on HFCS. These Princeton University researchers and several others all over the nation are now, naturally, quite motivated to prove HFCS can cause an obesity epidemic and obesity related diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. See ABC video discussed below on the controversy raised by a Harvard professor on sweetened beverages and snacks. There are 16 million Latino kids in USA and one in two of them will develop diabetes connected to obesity, writes Cindy Rodriguez of Huffington post. A lack of will power is not to blame for this rise in obesity of Hispanic children, says a Professor of Pediatrics, at Baylor Medical Center of Texas. An interesting note, while there has been an alarming rise in Autistic children in the recent decades, the number of Hispanic children presenting severe autism is rare. Is it possible that the factor responsible for obesity is protective from Autism?

A Hispanic Children's Obesity Participant

Many consumers want to boycott products with HFCS. Others, simply buy products which do not include HFCS – hence, encouraging use of natural sugar in products we commonly use, like cereal. This Thanksgiving, 2011, many are giving thanks by eating an old – fashioned pecan pie, made with no corn syrup and HFCS; a recipe follows, if you scroll all the way down.

The Old Fashioned Pecan Pie - with no corn syrup


Food with no corn syrup?

Have you tried to buy bread recently? Firstly, there is none with no sugar. “Sugar-free” does not count because it is sweetened artificially. The “sweetened” bread uses high fructose corn syrup to be sweetened. It will be difficult to find a brand without HFCS. Of course, you will put on weight by eating bread sweetened with HFCS, even if you may not have put on weight eating the same brand when it did not use HFCS. Hurley and Liebmanin 2008, reviewed thoroughly the “healthy” claims of many commercially sliced breads on the store shelves. They said since HFSC or sugar is added in such small amounts it is an unimportant fact in sliced bread. I disagree. Bread is a staple and every little bit of HFSC adds up. They raised the alarm on the use of artificial sweetener in bread, and I would agree. How about sweetened cereal? That too is a staple?

A sampling of commercial cereal

History of sugar and corn syrup & Patents

Use of sugar goes back centuries. It was never meant to be used in such large amounts as modern, affluent societies began to use in candies and other confectionaries. Sugar was dangerous to produce. It required handling of boiling hot liquids. Much of this work was done by slaves. This inspired a son of a former slave to invent a safer process for manufacturing sugar. Norbert Rillieux, of New Orleans, Louisiana, received a patent from the United States Patent Office in 1846, entitled, “Improvement in sugar making“. His invention included vaccuum and evaporation steps. Thus, began the industrial age of sugar in 1846.

The discovery of corn syrup and High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) allowed for cheaper substitutes for sugar. Then, followed a search for a cheaper process of manufacturing HFCS. A recent patent by East lansing, Michigan, scientists in 2007 claims to have discovered a better process for HFCS manufacture. The patent discusses how production of HFCS using immobilized glucose isomerase (GI) is the largest commercial enzymatic process. So, this patent claims to have found a better enzyme for industrial production of HFCS, and the search continues for a yet better enzyme.

It appears that if you want to make more money for your company, you should support cheaper, large scale manufacture of HFCS. On the other hand, if you are against all people gaining weight, even those who are genetically able to resist weight gain from a little sugar in their diet, then you should be against HFCS. It is clear that there are two schools of thought: one for profits, and denial of obesity and the other, desperate to save humanity from an obesity epidemic. Researchers are collecting data linking the alarming rise of obesity with the discovery and use of HFCS in soda and now, most branded food. The Corn syrup association is quick to refute most research findings.

Video on obesity

See this ABC videon “Should parents lose custody of their extremely obese kids” as advised by a Harvard Professor? Taking a child from a parent is drastic. Perhaps, families need to be counseled on adopting food choices with no corn syrup, HFSC sweetened foods, in my opinion. Removing a child, already facing depression from obesity, having two glasses of soda a day, in school and home and having no vegetables and unsweetened food is not going to reduce the obesity of this child.  In thirty years childhood obesity has tripled. 2 million children are extremely obese, with some kids weighing hundreds of pounds.

Should food with corn syrup and HFSC be labeled dangerous, obesity inducing?

More children are more obese than previously expected. A medical researcher recently published a study in 2010 of 710,000 children and found that 7% of boys and 5% of girls were “extremely” obese, where a 10 year old child who should have weighted about 70 lbs weighs 140 lbs. Have you ever seen such large people ever in your lifetime, any time in USA or in the world? Have you asked your grandparents their opinion and observations on their young days and current obesity? Why do most people in USA want to pay more for food excessively sweetened than for unsweetened food? If the same food item were labeled, “Danger! You will become obese”, would the same consumer buy that food item?

Popular snacks in the USA

Have you been angered when too often in recent years the person sitting next to you on your flight cannot fit into the airplane seat? Do you find that obese children are getting abnormally fat? Have you noticed how the sedentary, obese children of USA are far fatter than the sedentary, obese children anywhere else in the world? China, too is reporting an obesity epidemic.

Choosing a Soda on a Hot day


Is it ethically alright to allow an entire generation, and perhaps future generation of HFCS guzzlers to get very obese and very sick? Princeton researchers have shown that HFSC diets are related to higher triglyceride levels which are connected with high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Have you done the maths to see how this generation’s unrestrained obesity related illnesses will affect every person’s medical insurance payments? Next time you see that obese person, who is spilling into your seat, guzzle a HFCS sweetened drink, will you wonder how much extra your medical insurance payments will go up because of that drink which you are not drinking? Or will you feel sorry for the person, wondering how sick will this obese person become in a few years time?

Pecan Pie Recipe: corn syrup and HFSC free

Recipe of Old Fashioned Pecan Pie from “The Kitchen“: Just as decadent, rich and sugary as ever, but with one small change; they ditched the corn syrup. You must try this HFCS and corn syrup free recipe this Thanksgiving and share with us your reaction. Did you enjoy your pie, knowing that perhaps, you may not have gained weight if you were not programmed genetically to gain weight from a little traditional sugar?


Filed under Health, Research, Science

18 responses to “Why should you choose a traditional pecan pie, free of corn syrup, this Thanksgiving?

  1. Extremely interesting article. My husband makes a mean pecan pie, but with corn syrup. I’m going to share that recipe with him 🙂

  2. Pingback: Autistic child or severely Allergic child with Multiple Sclerosis parent | Pursue natural

  3. Pingback: National TV news PBS asks two prominent scientists: Why is Autism rising? | Pursue natural

  4. Thanks so much for the article! I’ll definitely try the recipe!

    • So thoughtful of you to visit the article to say thank you and that you would be trying it. Do visit the recipe author’s site too.

      • Oh, I have! I’ll need to link some of these recipes on my blog!

      • Linking such old, time-tested, pure product recipes of the past has really helped several of my readers. You may find my article on “pumpkin – diuretic – eat in moderation” also important for your readers. Like all edibles it is a healthy food but moderation is the key word. Also, check out my article on “banana – lose weight”. Do suggest your ideas too, please.

      • I actually had no idea that pumpkin was mildly diuretic; that’s so interesting! I’m glad that you highlight moderation because I think it’s a goal that’s overlooked by many of us, but it shouldn’t be at all! That’s why I hope sugar can be more emphasized as a special occasion treat so that we can get over our addiction to it and just be healthier. Actually, this might be interesting to publish (it’s out of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules): “‘Calorie restriction’ has repeatedly been shown to slow aging in animals… We eat much more than our bodies need to be healthy and the excess wreaks havoc…but we are not the first people in history to grapple with the special challenges posed by food abundance, and previous cultures have devised various ways to promote the idea of moderation.”

      • I hope you publish your thoughts on sugar to a wider audience: healthy in moderation and not to be substituted with. Diabetics is another issue.

  5. Sorry for writing such long replies but I thought you might find this interesting as well: (I don’t know if you got my previous reply because I did it through the notification and I don’t see it; I’m probably just not that intuitive regarding technology) Well, anyway, here it is:

    “The Japanese have a saying – hara hachi bu – counseling people to stop eating when they are 80% full. The Ayurvedic tradition in India advises eating until you are 75% full; the Chinese specify 70%, and the prophet Muhammad described a full belly as one that contained 1/3 food and 1/3 liquid – and 1/3 air, i.e., nothing. (Note the relatively narrow range specified in all this advice: somewhere between 67 and 80% of capacity. Take your pick.) There’s also a German expression that says: ‘You need to tie off the sack before it gets completely full.’ And how many of us have grandparents who talk of ‘leaving the table a little bit hungry’? Here again the French may have something to teach us. To say ‘I’m hungry’ in French you say ‘J’ai faim’ – ‘I have hunger’ – and when you are finished, you do not say that you are full, but ‘Je n’ai plus faim’ – ‘I have no more hunger.’ That is a completely different way of thinking about satiety. So: Ask yourself not, Am I full? but, is my hunger gone? That moment will arrive several bites sooner.”

    Well, I just copied in the whole 46th chapter, but I think it’s great and right along the lines of what you’re promoting. Hope I haven’t left you overwhelmed!

    • I am so glad you dropped this excerpt from the chapter on moderation while eating. If all old cultures say about the same thing, you wonder why moderation is not being encouraged by non-commercial entities. It is the job for food marketers to sell more. Is it the customer’s job to eat right or to help a food company make more profit?

  6. Pingback: War on obesity and diabetes by reducing intake of drinks with sugar to 16oz in New York City | Pursue natural

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