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Confusion over sugar labels


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I am confused about food labels. Which ones do I read? For example on Trader Joe's almond butter, the ingredients list is almonds, cashews and salt. However, on the nutrition label it says 'Sugar 2g.' This seems to be the same on canned vegetables (carrots, green beans, etc.) where the ingredient list does not include sugar but the Nutrition label lists x grams.


Please clarify?



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It is confusing, isn't it?


There are two sections on the label. One is "nutrition facts" the other is "ingredients". For the purposes of whole30 compliance, you are looking for "ingredients."


If the ingredients don't have sugar or cane syrup or dextrose or any of the other names for added sweetener, then it is ok, regardless if the nutrition facts have some amount of sugar listed.  On the other side of that coin: even if the "nutrition facts" say "zero grams of sugar" but the ingredients list contains sugar, the product is still a no-go for the whole30.


Lots of whole natural foods (like almonds or tomatoes) contain carbohydrate/sugar naturally, and that's fine. It's ADDED sugar we are avoiding.

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Added sugar = bane of modern existence.  


You'll start to become annoyed, then aghast, then plain old mad at all the places that food manufacturers manage to add sugar.  Even in things where it seem utterly ludicrous to find sugar, like chicken stock!!!  So read, read, read labels, but prepare for some major frustrated outrage as you do so! I have fumed out loud at various food corporations in the aisles of my supermarket on more than one occasion. (I don't recommend this as a regular practice, but you might not be able to help it!)


But, I will say that eliminating all that excess sugar has such nice benefits:

1.  Fruit tastes absolutely delicious, and you'll be able to discern all sorts of subtle flavors embedded in a melon or an apple which your previously over-sugared tastebuds had no chance of detecting. 

2.  Many vegetables that you used to think were bitter or tasteless will start to taste really good.

3. Post W30, when you do indulge in a real dessert of some sort, you'll be satisfied with a modest serving.

4. If you happen to taste some store-bought junk food (think convenience store fare), it no longer seems like food and will taste completely artificial.


I think that the end of the sugar-lust has been one of the best W30 benefits for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So on a related topic, I'm wondering about the statement "Contains 2 percent or less of the following... sugar ... etc" on labels. 


how "legal" is that on whole30? is that the "natural" sugar or added?


the ingredients list is completely cool, sugar-free but then there is that statement at the end. Boyfriend loves to cook breakfast meats with our breakfast but we're finding that statement all over the place and frankly, it's driving him crazy (thus, driving me crazy). :)


So, any discussion, opinion on that?



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That does make it noncompliant, unfortunately. It's still added sugar, even if there's not much of it.


People have had some luck finding compliant bacon at Whole Foods and Publix (Pederson's and Maverick are the two brands I've seen, though both have multiple varieties and only one type is compliant). Making sausage patties is really easy - there are tons of recipes online - but I think some people have found some at Whole Foods as well. Aidell's chicken apple sausage (links, not patties) is also compliant.

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