It's almost World Diabetes Day, so let's talk food for a moment.

First, I eat a ton of salad. In fact, being allergic to wheat, salad is often the ONLY THING on a restaurant menu that I can order safely.  At Red Brick Pizza with my kids yesterday, I found myself shelling out upwards of $6 for a plastic container full of chopped lettuce, a handful of olives and a little sliced salami and cheese.  Can you believe the markup on these things?!

I read in the Wall St. Journal not long ago that prepared salads generally cost less than a dollar for ingredients, yet typically sell for $8.00 to $16.00, depending on how fancy the establishment.  Besides liquor, salads are the single biggest profit item in the restaurant business.  What a rook!  No wonder people say they can't afford to eat healthy.

{I am also reminded that there are plenty of unhealthy restaurant salads.  So diner beware!}

On that note, my friend Dr. Val over at the Getting Better blog claims that high fructose corn syrup "isn't any 'worse' than any other highly refined sugar - there's nothing special about corn that makes it harmful to consume (unless maybe if you're allergic to corn...)"  This surprises me, as my own research tells me that there is solid scientific evidence that corn syrup is worse for your health than 'regular' sugar. To recap:

"In soda, it has been found that by using HFCS instead of pure sugar it can make the soda 10 times richer in harmful carbonyl compounds. According to one study, carbonyl compounds are elevated in people with diabetes and are blamed for causing diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage. Another study concluded that foods with increased quantities of fructose stimulate the liver to produce triglycerides, promotes glycation of proteins and induces insulin resistance."

"Scientific evidence also tells us that 'the body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream.'"

Finally, there's a lot of discussion at the moment about how it is that so many Americans have picked up such poor eating habits. Are schools really to blame? I can't help thinking that it's parents, parents, parents. When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, one of the moms began complained to me one day that her 5-year-old was going in to have his third cavity filled (!)  "Oh," she sighed helplessly, "He's just like me — he eats candy all day long."  As it if were his own choice or doing!

Where do you think a 5-year-old gets his food?  I thought... And his candy habits?  Not at school, as they have no vending machines nor candy counters, and they've even cut out cupcakes for birthdays. Nada.  Kids generally eat what they learn to eat in the home. Period. So if your own parents didn't eat a balanced, healthy diet, it's probably an uphill battle to re-learn eating habits.

And that's my generous 2 cents on that.

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.