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Label Readin’ Redux

By Marcus | In Nutrition | on January 16, 2012

For those of you on the Whole30 and new to eating a primal or paleo diet, you might just be getting used to checking labels on your favorite foods. A couple years ago, Scott was going strong on his changeover to a paleo diet and was telling me how he had gotten into the habit of reading the ingredient list first. He then asked about added sugars and if there is any harm to a little here and there.

This is a great question as we often recommend easily transportable items like beef jerky for a quick snack and source of protein. The problem lies in that the vast majority of jerky has sugar added as well as soy sauce (gluten). So will it kill you? No — but you don’t want to make it a habit to have several foods with added sugar. Those couple grams of sugar here and there add up and eventually you’re cheating a bit on each meal. That begins a slippery slope where you may find your tastes reverting to the Standard American Diet (SAD). While you may make an exception for jerky, if you then also figure a couple grams of sugar in your BBQ sauce or steak seasoning, etc., you can quite quickly end up with a lot of sugar.

Melissa Hartwig over at Whole9Life.com previously posted about this exact subject. I encourage you to read the whole article, here’s an excerpt:

So here’s a caution – read your labels. Doesn’t matter if it’s the first ingredient or the last, or if the sugar is in the form of cane or agave or syrup or honey. If it’s got sugar, or soy, or corn, or ingredients you can’t identify or pronounce – it’s OUT. But don’t just label-read and toss foods aside – learn from this experience. Take a moment to be outraged at how food manufacturers and advertisers trick consumers into a false state of health by using buzzwords on labels. Learn to translate complicated ingredients (xylitol and sorbitol = sugar). And weed out those foods that don’t fit into your new way of eating and find healthier alternatives in your local markets.

Here’s a quick test for those of you on the W30. Take a look at this label:

Now, tell me whether this sausage would be an approved W30 choice or not. If not, what ingredient(s) are poor choices? Outside of the W30, would you buy this product or would you follow Ruth’s post and make your own? Put on your thinking caps and post to comments!

WOD 01.16.12

Front Squat 3×3

Deadlift 1×5

2 Comments to "Label Readin’ Redux"

  • Scott says:

    January 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM -

    Ummm….so that’s clean, right?

    The full story is Michelle and I were food shopping and looking for a clean sausage to make a quick meal of sausages, onions, and peppers. We literally checked more than a dozen options before we found an acceptable one. Then as we were walking away from the aisle we noticed linguica and grabbed it on an impulse. Linguica and eggs is a Champagne family tradition!! For some reason we didn’t even check the label, even though seconds earlier we had been scouring a dozen different labels to be good. Dope! Luckily we noticed the label before Michelle started the W30 challenge. On a Haily Mary, we asked Marcus if by chance, maybe, pretty please, the sugar might be “negligible”. NO!! (We didn’t even ask about the dry nonfat milk.) Since I’m not on the challenge, I begrudgingly offered to rid our house of the offending linguica….mmmmm. :)

  • Brady Held says:

    January 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM -

    Trader Joes a garlic herb chicken sausage that is legal and pretty tasty.

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