Sugar is the new S-word. It’s been linked to countless diseases and health conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Check the deck of most packaged foods and you will fine sugar hiding EVERYWHERE—sometimes in places you’d least expect.
The average American consumes 150 pounds of added sugar per year. Experts say that is 20 times more than we ingested 100 years ago! Note—this does not include sugar that naturally occurs in real food, the only kind you will ever find in Steve’s PaleoGoods.
HOW MUCH SHOULD WE HAVE?
The American Heart Association recommends that men ingest no more than 150 calories in added sugar daily and 100 calories for women. There’s more than double that in a 20oz bottle of cola. Soda drinkers are already WAY over the limit. The top three sources of added sugar in the American diet are soft & sports drinks, grain-based desserts and fruit drinks. If you’re looking to cut added sugar, it’s best to go with water and skip sugar-laden drinks.
SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE
Some people think they consume sugar with no side effects, but that’s not the norm. If you have never given up processed sugar, you probably don’t even realize how it makes you feel. Take it out of your diet completely and you might even notice withdrawal symptoms of headache and fatigue for the first few weeks, proving just how addictive sugar really is. Add it back to your diet, and you might notice increased joint pain and sluggishness.
Studies have shown that added sugar releases high levels of dopamine into the brain, the same substance released when cocaine is ingested. This causes many people to suffer from sugar “cravings,” which are very different than feelings of hunger. BIG FOOD companies have even discovered ways to process the sugar so it’s more quickly absorbed through the tongue, causing us to eat faster and therefore eat more at each sitting. Sugar is BIG BUSINESS.
Adding processed sugar to packaged goods enhances flavor and acts as a preservation agent while increasing product margin. Natural sweeteners like honey, maple and fruits are an investment most companies won’t make. The bottom line? Adding sugar increases the bottom line. The only way to avoid sugar is to educate yourself.
CHECK THE DECK
Look for ingredients ending in “ose” AKA sugar: dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose or sucrose. Syrup? Another popular sugar alias. Food manufacturers are not required to disclose natural content versus added sugar content. Steve’s PaleoGoods is proud to disclose that we have NEVER EVER added processed sugar to any of our products. And we never will.
When you check the deck of one of the leading retail meat snacks, you will note the second ingredient after beef is CANE SUGAR. If a 1oz serving of a meat snack has 10-11 grams of sugar, that means a third of the product is sugar! That same 1oz serving will have 9 grams of protein. If your meat snack contains more sugar than protein, that is a sure indicator of product quality. Shop our jerkies and meat sticks with confidence, we will never add sugar to our meat.
SNACKS CAN BE NATURALLY SWEET
Our Dried Fruit makes snacking naturally sweet with no added sweeteners. Most you’ll find have added sugars, preservatives and color enhancers that make them anything but natural. Our fruits are darker than their fresh counterparts because we refuse to add coloring agents. If your dried fruit looks like a bag of candy, it’s time to check the deck for ingredients you don’t want or need.
We use apple juice concentrate in a few of our Dried Fruits to combat the tartness of cranberries and add moisture to Strawberries and Blueberries that without it would be too dry. Our Mango and Apples and Pineapple are just that, with only one ingredient in the deck. Next time you see a bag of conventional dried fruit on the shelf, flip the package and try not to flip. Many have upwards of 40g of added sugar per serving!
KNOW YOUR GRANOLA
Just the name conjures up good for you feelings, but you have to READ READ READ the packaging to know if that granola is really good for you. Some popular brands are more like a candy bar with as many as 25 ingredients and 12 grams of added sugar! Most conventional granola bars contain high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed sweetener made from corn starch. It’s much cheaper than traditional added sugar and is considered even more dangerous.
Our grainless granola tastes like a treat but is packed with good nutrition. PaleoKrunch is a lightly sweet blend of almonds, seeds, coconut, and a touch of honey. There are 11 delicious varieties in the PaleoKrunch line up. If you are looking for protein power without the POWDER, check out our PaleoBars. All of our grainless granolas are minimally processed with no added sugars or preservatives, as close to nature as we can get!
Sugar is hiding in places you’d least expect. When trying to limit processed and added sugars, the only way to be successful is to educate yourself about your food choices and sources. Shop Steve’s PaleoGoods with confidence, we promise to never add sugar or junk to any of our offerings. When it doubt—check the deck!