Friday, June 24, 2011

FUEL Foodie Friday

FUEL Foodie Friday offers insights and expertise for any who shares a common interest in making smart food buying choices for their families. Also for the health conscious consumer that is tired of the same ole grocery list.  I will be your supermarket guinea pig and report on everyday finds at supermarkets, big-box stores, and the neighborhood health food stores.
Organic / Natural Ketchup
Pass the Ketchup, please! A universal phrase heard around American cookouts, restaurant and dinner tables. In the United States, we pass the ketchup to the tune of over half a billion bottles a year. F&J Heinz Company began selling tomato ketchup in 1876 and by the end of the nineteenth century; the glass bottle became a house hold name and dinner table staple.
Whether you get it from a glass bottle, squeeze bottle, fast food pump, or individual packet; ketchup is much more than a tasty side kick. Since ketchup primary ingredient is cooked tomatoes it is loaded with the antioxidant lycopene. Research suggests that lycopene fights the free radicals that can interfere with normal cell growth and activity, potentially leading to cancer, heart disease and premature ageing.
Ketchup is comprised of few ingredients; however, over time manufactures have began to produce it using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  HFCS is corn syrup that has been modified to increase the level of fructose improving the taste and shelf life. It has become a popular topic in the discussion of obesity and chronic illness in America. Although, it is has not been proven that there is a link, I highly recommend reducing and removing products containing HFCS from your diet.
For that reason I recommend organic or natural ketchup varieties. They offer the same great taste, texture, and name brands without the added HFCS.
Brands in local grocery stores:  
Heinz Organic
Anne’s Natural
Hunt’s Natural

Whether, it is ketchup or catchup choose an organic or natural variety to increase your antioxidant potential. Please note: Ketchup contains 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar (whether natural, organic or conventional) per tablespoon. Portion control and avoid having ketchup with your ketchup.  Condiment calories count!

FUEL Tip: Keep passing the ketchup!

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