Our crew of people on the Nutrition Challenge is learning the art of reading their labels for sneaky ingredients such as soy sauce. With that in mind, I wanted to rerun one of my old classic posts on that exact topic. -Marcus
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 few 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!
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