Chances are, you’ve suffered from a canker sore or two in your life. These extremely painful, open ulcers on the inside of your lips or cheeks or even on your tongue seem to take forever to heal up and can really cause some grief! One young man that I know in his early 20’s suffers excessively from canker sores. His frequent outbreaks are so bad that sores often occur not only in his mouth but also down into his throat, causing severe pain when he swallows, even sips of water!
Canker sores should not be confused with cold sores on your lips or nose that are caused by a virus and are contagious. This cold sore remedy works great if that is what you have – not a canker sore.
Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious and are the result of the diet of the sufferer. Even if a canker sore seems to be triggered by something else, say a scrape from a dental appliance like braces, the underlying cause is STILL diet. In other words, if the person had been eating right in the first place, the scrape on the inside of the mouth would not have resulted in a canker sore!
That’s right! What you eat GREATLY affects whether or not you suffer from canker sores.
The Number One Food That Causes Canker Sores
Guess what franken food is the primary cause of canker sores in the Western diet?
That culprit would be high fructose corn syrup also referred to as HFCS.
High fructose corn syrup promotes inflammation in the body, which in turn impairs the immune system. An impaired immune system is thought to be the underlying cause of canker sores.
A person on a typical diet of grocery store processed foods is a sitting duck for canker sores because these foods are simply loaded with HFCS as well as plain corn syrup.
This is why eating too much fruit or fruit juice can cause canker sores as well. The sugar in fruit is primarily fructose. It ain’t the acid, folks, although this may be a contributing factor. If acid were the problem, drinking kombucha would also cause canker sores and it doesn’t.
TOO MUCH FRUCTOSE = CANKER SORES
Even agave nectar, touted as a health food, contributes to canker sores. Agave nectar is a scam food – it is neither healthy nor helpful in any way to the person consuming it. Stay away from it if you want to avoid canker sores!
I used to suffer from canker sores all the time to the point where I had at least one bothering me much of the time. I haven’t had a canker sore now in over 15 years. Why? I have totally cut out HFCS from my diet and I watch my intake of regular fructose from other sources like fruit.
How Much Fructose is Too Much?
A good idea is to limit your intake of fructose from all sources to no more than 15 grams per day. Dr. Richard Johnson MD in The Sugar Fix describes how important it is to limit your fructose intake for health and weight control. To give you some idea, in a big, ripe banana, you’d get maybe 10 grams of fructose. So, if you eliminate HFCS in your diet completely and eat no more than 1-2 pieces of fruit a day, that would be a good way to go.
Be aware also that going over the fructose limit of 15g per day (25g at the absolute most) can cause a canker sore overnight. When my kids attend a birthday party, for example, if they have even ONE Capri Sun juice or 1/2 can of soda they will invariably have a canker sore within a day or two.
Bottom line is that even if you control your fructose intake 99% of the time, consuming a single food loaded with HFCS can cause one of these baddies within hours.
Imagine what incredible damage a high fructose diet is doing to a person’s insides if it can cause an ulcer in the mouth so quickly!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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