Remember – every single one of our ingredients labels is available for each listing in our store!
Now and then, we get a question:
Why are there carbohydrates in your PaleoKits?
or, for our carb-free products,
Why is there pineapple juice on the ingredients label, but there are no carbs in the nutrition facts?
It’s important to us to break this down. The truth is, many people – Paleo dieters and others alike – are deathly afraid of anything that sounds like sugar. When they see the word “carb,” they scatter. But there’s a vast difference in quality between plain old white sugar and high-quality sources of whole-food-based carbohydrate.
We use a negligible amount of sugar, in the form of pineapple juice, to tenderize our jerky before cooking. This pineapple juice doesn’t remain in the final product, so our jerky had a zero-carb count.
We use whole-foods sources of carbohydrate in the form of dried fruit for several of our products, like those in the PaleoKits line. These products DO contain carbohydrates.
Confused? Don’t worry. We’re here to help you understand what role quality carbohydrate has in our products – and, potentially, in your healthy food plan.
Here’s our stance on carbs overall: fear of carbs is a symptom of “diet culture.” In reality, different people function well on different levels of carbohydrate. The only true “rule of thumb” is to keep the whole-food carbs, like starchy veggies and fruit, and ditch the processed ones.
Here’s the thing: if you’re dieting, whether it’s “Paleo,” “Weight Watchers,” or otherwise, you run the risk of just following a pre-formed set of “rules” that may not necessarily be right for you. One of those “rules” might make you feel like carbs, across the board, are “bad.” That’s diet dogma.
We get it. A clear set of rules lets us go on auto-pilot. And it’s flat-out easier to navigate the modern world on auto-pilot. But while an auto-pilot “rule” against processed food is just common sense (we follow that rule personally and professionally), the same auto-pilot, black-and-white thinking does NOT apply to our stance on carbohydrates!
Different people need different levels of carbohydrate in their diets. Any level of carbohydrate appropriate for YOU, no matter how high or low, can be achieved with real, whole food!
And our products also reflect our understanding of different peoples’ carbohydrate needs. Some of our products contain more carbohydrate; some none at all. This is because one person may need more carbs than another, based on level of activity, personal preference, and life stage.
So, to the question: Why are there carbohydrates in your PaleoKits?
If you’re browsing our jerky-only products, you’re not going to see any carbs. Our PaleoStix, Paleo Jerky, and Chicken Jerky are all carb-free.
But if you’re looking at one of our many PaleoKit products, you will find carbs.
This is simply because these Kits are designed with a healthy carbohydrate source – dried fruit – for those who need carb. They are designed to provide a portable, healthy 40%-30%-30% ratio of calories from three macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and fat, respectively. An athlete, a child, an active individual, or anyone who simply feels good or thinks they run more efficiently on a higher carb count will love these kits.
Yet, if you don’t want the carbs, you’ve got other choices too. Many of our jerky-only products are carbohydrate-free.
At times, the zero-carb count confuses folks who see pineapple juice on the nutrition label.
Why is there pineapple juice on the ingredients label, but there are no carbs in the nutrition facts? How is that possible?
It’s possible for a few reasons. But first, let’s talk about why we use the pineapple juice in the first place.
One of the coolest things about living like our ancestors is that we can learn from what they did. For example, did you know Jerky dates back thousands of years? Jerky making is an art form that allows us to take healthy protein and keep it delicious, shelf-stable and nourishing for months at a time.
That ancient art is improved upon by our modern knowledge of the art of making food delicious. That’s where pineapple juice comes in: sugar helps to tenderize meat before it becomes jerky. This makes for a delicious jerky with just the right amount of “toughness.”
This tenderization is made possible by the chemical reactions caused by the pineapple juice we use in our marinade. The sugar in pineapple juice softens the meat before it’s turned into jerky, and once the jerky is cooked, the pineapple juice evaporates.
Further, we use only a negligible amount of pineapple juice. This, and the cooking process, makes for a zero-carb count. You get a perfectly tender jerky, and no remaining juice!
That’s right: there is NO pineapple juice left in our jerky once it’s jerky-fied. We keep the ingredient on the label because, well, it’s part of the process of making delicious, healthy jerky.
There is no diet book on the planet that can make one set of carbohydrate rules for every single person. You’ve got to decide for yourself. Carbs are right for some, even many, people.
That’s why we make our products the way we do! There’s something for everyone.