Corn is everywhere in the American diet, from soft drinks to baked goods to sauces and dressings. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Starch and MSG are some of worst. There is an extensive list of things that are either made with corn or from corn, it can be found at CornAllergens.com. This website would be a great resource for eliminating corn from your diet.
My personal experience with eliminating corn began after I had become gluten and dairy free for over 7 months. My 13 month old daughter and 3 year old son began having ear infections. Both of them had had three ear infections within a month and a half, and went through two rounds of antibiotics (which this was the first time my daughter had ever been on antibiotics). The ear infections would subside until a day or two after the amoxicillin or augmentin doses were done. I then decided to throw in the towel, once again, on the traditional doctor’s advice and went to see our wonderful Naturopathic doctor Deena Beneda, she almost instantly said “well it’s obviously a food allergy” (she also gave tons of helpful advice, made a solution for the ear pain and gave garlic-mullein oil ear drops). And I thought “duh!” I should’ve known from my past experience with the health difference we had seen after eliminating gluten and dairy. That day, I decided to eliminate corn from our diet since I had a suspicious feeling for the previous couple months that corn was doing our bodies a great disservice. Getting corn out of our everyday eating was like starting all over again…..clean out the pantry, educate myself on what all has corn in it or is made of corn and spent time at the grocery store reading labels. Now, after about one month, it’s fairly easy, just like being gluten and dairy free is. We feel great, plenty of energy (without hyperactivity), I have lost weight, no more tummy aches and best of all no more ear infections! Whoot!
Just like wheat, corn is a grain, not a vegetable like many consider it to be. Just like wheat, corn is in the majority of processed foods and is the cornerstone of fast-food. Now, here’s the part where corn out-does wheat in one area…corn is mainly a GMO (genetically modified organism), although they will be making wheat a GMO soon too, but for now, corn wins the award of “biggest wanna-be food”! You can read more about GMOs at Natural News, one of my most trusted sources of true information.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the most toxic substances that your body can consume. It turns into fat and cholesterol. It causes insulin resistance, which is detrimental for diabetics, and some studies (this is a comprehensive article by KnowTheLies.com) suggest could be a cause of diabetes and obesity!
Here’s what TheKitchn.com reported “The Princeton researchers had been studying not only side effects of high fructose corn syrup, but how your body reacts when it’s ingested. They discovered that rats which had access to high fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to basic table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.”
Dr. Mercola says, “This evidence of an increase in triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels is just the latest among countless findings pointing to the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.”
Cornstarch is another toxic corn by-product that you find in countless food items.
Natural News refers to toxic chemicals used to produce cornstarch, the same as the ones to make HFCS, “Beyond the link to detrimental health effects, another danger from this ubiquitous ingredient comes from the toxic chemicals that are used to turn corn into corn starch and then finally into HFCS. One of these chemicals, glutaraldehyde, is a toxic chemical used in industrial water treatment systems and to sterilize medical equipment by killing living cells. It’s also a well-known embalming chemical. It is toxic to the human body and causes eye, nose, throat and lung irritation (asthma, sneezing, wheezing, burning eyes, etc.). It can also cause drowsiness, dizziness and headaches.”(http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/glu…)
Cornstarch is used as a stabilizer or thickener for sauces and baked goods. It is also used as an additive to many seasoning mixes so they don’t clump and French fries are coated with it to prevent them from sticking together while adding a crunchy texture. The key is….READING LABELS, the ingredients will begin to jump out at you. Unfortunately, corn is not an ingredient that is legally required to be disclosed, so we just have to know what to look for.
Please take a moment and check out the long list of substances that either contain corn or are made of corn. Thank you CornAllergens.com for this extensive and comprehensive list!
Corn Allergen List
The lists of corn products, ingredients and additives that I provide are not intended to be exhaustive, for that would be impossible to compile. There are many additives that are derived from corn that we do not know about, and often the employees of food companies do not know either. Plus, corn derivatives can be found in everything from body powder to shampoo (I’ve reacted to both)! The FDA, at this time, does not regulate corn to the extent that it does, say, peanuts, so we corn allergy sufferers are truly on our own.
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the items on this list not including everything that contains corn, not everything on this list will contain corn. It is that they can contain corn, and therefore may need to be outright avoided or used cautiously. Read more about this on the Corn Allergens as Ingredients page. The items identified with an asterisk * are the most common items that might not always contain or be derived from corn. Proceed with caution!
You will begin to notice that this list is redundant, but it is necessary in order to convey how many different ways that corn sneaks into our diets. Here is another extremely useful list of corn ingredients with their typical application by Vishniac.com.
Alternatives, yes, there are great alternatives!
- I buy Birchwood Xylitol, not corn-based xylitol.
- Guar gum instead of Xanthan gum.
- And I drink wine, not alcohol, although many corn-distilled alcohols have such a small trace of corn it may not cause a reaction, I, personally, only cook with it, in which case I cook the alcohol off anyway.
- One of the hardest things for me to cut-out was ~~ soft drinks! The worst one! This did accomplish a double-duty though, since the metal can lining contains BPA, a known toxin (that can cause neurological damage among many other nasty side effects) commonly found in certain plastics. Visit The Soft Landing, my most trusted source for all non-toxic feeding gear, skincare & info 🙂
Other than that, when eliminating any major food component, get back to the basics, buy organic, whole foods as much as possible and make it yourself. If you only ate French fries when you make them yourself, you wouldn’t eat nearly as many French fries, and you would be cutting out the cornstarch and gluten laced French fries fried in corn oil from the fast food joint!
You can do it!