Have you ever looked at the labels of the foods you eat? I am sure I get some funny looks at the store because I look at EVERY label before putting a new item in my cart. If it’s in packaging, chances are the manufacturer added a little somethin’ somethin’, and I want to be sure its something I want.

In a study published in the journal Global Health, researchers compared the average availability of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to rates of diabetes in 43 countries. They found that even though the there were no overall differences in total sugars or calories consumed of countries that used HFCS and those that didn’t, the countries that did use HFCS had higher rates of diabetes. So does this prove a direct link between HFCS and diabetes? Yes and no.

No, because research is rarely definitive. You always have to consider a myriad of different variations – did the researchers have any influence over subjects? Was the subject pool large enough? Were there enough similarities and differences between subjects to actually prove a correlation? Just because one study says so, doesn’t mean that it is fact, but we should start a dialogue about it.

Yes, because food should be your bodies fuel. This is yet another published study that suggests that putting highly processed food into your body does not serve it well. Even if our technologies have advanced light years since the cavemen, our genetics and biochemical makeup has not changed much. If you think that eating Twinkies and drinking soda is OK for your body, I am confident that eating vegetables and other foods as close to their original state is much better. Don’t believe me? 

Try it – eat nothing but unprocessed, plant-based foods for the next 30 days. Then go to McDonald’s. You will be dying on the toilet for the next 24-48 hours, guaranteed. Why? Because highly processed foods were not designed to be nutritious and good for you. They were designed to be cheap to mass-produce and to have long and stable shelf lives, so that the store owners won’t lose money on spoiled inventory.

I hate to break it to you – here’s another shocker – just because the packaging says “whole grains”, “ancient grains”, or “low fat” doesn’t mean you should eat it. I promise you that you can get all of the nutrients you need from an unprocessed diet. You can even eat chocolate!

So push aside the soda and pick up some veggies – today is the first day of the rest of your colon’s life.