I’m usually really good about checking out the nutritional informaiton of food before I put it in my shopping cart, but every once in a while, I’m tricked by the evil corporate folks who put bad ingredients in “good” places.
Case in point: A small box of Stagg Beef Chili. High in fiber? Check. Lots of protein? Check. More sugar than a Krispy Kreme donut or half a Snickers bar? Eegads!
The supposed 2-serving (more like one moderately hungry serving) box contains *16 grams* of sugar. Let me tell you, you can taste it, and it’s not pleasant. It’s literally like someone took some mild-but-otherwise-decently-flavorful chili and poured several tablespoons of sugar on top, because… well, that’s about what you’re getting.
Given the sugar I’ve discovered in other foods not traditionally thought of as “sweet,” I should have known better. After all, ketchup has more sugar per gram than most ice creams. And lots of BBQ sauces are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, that practically-instant-fat-on-your-hips ingredient I’ve already complained about in another BLADAM entry.
The solution for avoiding this crap is as easy as it is annoying: Read the labels.
I also highly recommend subscribing to the Nutrition Action Healthletter, an ad-free monthly periodical that’s jam-packed with useful information about the foods we encounter at our local markets and in restaurants. Or if you’re a cheap bastard, you can read most (if not all) of the newsletter contents on their Web site.
It all boils down to the same thing: Eating right requires constant vigilance. “Healthy!” and “Now less fat!” and other breathless marketingspeak typically doesn’t mean squat :(.