Fasting on Christmas

Well, today is Christmas. It is a joyous occasion, filled with good food, company of friends and relatives, gifts and all the good things in life. Us Americans are going to perhaps overdo it, buying more toys than we can afford and eating more than is good for us. So, I am going to propose a fast.

Now, you may call me a killjoy but hear me out first. I am not proposing a starvation diet. I am suggesting that we give up one food that we like. This is not a new or novel concept. Many cultures around the world have this notion. People may give up eating mangoes or sweets or milk for a period of time as a penance for pleasures enjoyed in years past or as a part of a pilgrimage. For some, it is a religious experience and adhering to it continues that experience.

What food should we give up? Well, as long as we are giving something up (even if for just a few days), we should give up something unhealthy. I would like to propose Corn Syrup and its alter-ego High Fructose Corn Syrup. Many of you might be wondering what the heck corn syrup is and how to give up something you don't eat. Well, next time you are in the grocery store, read the ingredients list of your favorite packaged foods and you would be surprised how much corn syrup you are eating. It is in ketchup, sausages, bread, pasta sauce, vanilla extract, ice cream and just about everything else. As a matter of fact, about 90% of the foods in a grocery store have corn syrup in them!

But I am not trying to be a killjoy. I hate corn syrup. It doesn't add flavor (actually, it takes away), adds unneeded calories and many scientists think that it may even be a contributing factor to the recent increase in obesity. But I also realize that zero-tolerance towards corn syrup would make our lives very hard. So, here is a compromise:

Give up things that have corn syrup listed in the first 3 ingredients. It would force you to eat better foods and more flavorful too.

Who knows, maybe by next Christmas, you would be ready to give up corn syrup completely...