Insulin Pump Demystified

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Blotting Out High-Fructose Corn Syrup

A few weeks ago while I was driving, I caught part NPR's Fresh Air show, with host Teri Gross interviewing author Michael Pollan about his new book "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals." Pollan was describing the way many of today's foods are so highly processed, and about the dangers of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup that is used in so many of the products found in our grocery stores. The over-use of high fructose corn syrup has been linked to America's growing obesity problem and the rise of Type 2 diabetes.

"I'm glad I know to avoid products that are over processed," I thought as I listened to Pollan. Living with diabetes for as long as I have, I've gotten pretty good at discerning food labels and for the most part have internalized knowledge about high-carb and low-card foods and which foods are high and low on the glycemic index.

But nonetheless...I do have these weird times when my blood sugar just shoots up, even though I've thought that I've bolused my insulin correctly. Pollan's words stuck in my mind...and I started going through my fridge, freezer and cupboard to look for places that high fructose corn syrup might be lurking.

And there it was--in salad dressings and in ketchup, in the Breyer's popsicles that claim on the package are made of "all natural" ingredients that I gave, daily, to my son. I realized that I need to be more vigilant about reading labels and shopping that I can buy foods that won't give me blood sugar spikes, and that will be healthiest for my family.

I remember hearing another interview with Dr. Andrew Weill who recommended that people buy most of their groceries from the aisles on the perimeter of the grocer store, filling carts with fresh produce and dairy items. So true. I'm happy that I caught Pollan's interview and plan to read his book...but first need to go to do some reading in my pantry.



  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger David Mendosa said…


    I just got "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan from the local library and an about 2/3 of the way through. It is an astounding book that is well worth reading (and even buying). While I thought that I knew a lot about food, I learned so much here. The book is very well worth reading, as all of his books and articles have been.

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger GabrielleK-M said…

    David--Thanks for adding your recommendation--can't wait to read it!

  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Eric Jensen said…


    Yes, it's amazing how ubiquitous those ingredients are. And Michael Pollan is one of our most careful thinkers and writers about these issues.

    Fortunately, it's increasingly possible to find that isn't mass-produced or shipped half-way around the world. For a source of more locally-raised food, check out Pennsylvania's "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" site at . We're fortunate here in the Philadelphia area (I'm in Swarthmore, PA) to have this resource.

    Readers elsewhere can find farmers, farmers' markets, and other sources of local food in their area using

    On a different note, I just read your book over the weekend - very informative! I'm still trying to decide whether or not to get a pump.



  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger GabrielleK-M said…


    Thanks so much for the helpful links.

    Glad my book was helpful--choosing pump therapy is certainly a major decision. One thing to keep in mind is that if it doesn't work for you, you can always go back to MDI. Best of luck and post questions any time!


  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Ethanbenjamin said…

    Lost in the credit card junlgle? Keep your cool and apply online for credit card. A hassle free way to your credit card.


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