Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sugar, Sugar ...

... oh honey, honey. Sorry for getting that 60s pop song stuck in your head. Moving on. Have you ever stopped to read the ingredients label on the packaged food you buy? It is eye-opening. Having been a vegetarian for 16 years I'm pretty adept at quickly scanning labels for things like chicken fat, gelatin, anchovies, etc. It's actually quite amazing how many things have chicken fat in them. Really.

Since starting this 30 day health challenge I have been forced to read my labels in even more detail. This time scanning for things like sugar, whey, and caseinate. Holy cats that stuff is in everything. How about maltodextrin. What the heck is maltodextrin anyways? It's another one of those man-made artificial fillers they stuff into all the food we eat that is most certainly not good for you.

Sugar is in everything! It's no wonder we have a diabetes epidemic in this country. Even the most innocently sounding foods like taco seasoning, pasta sauce and soup broth are loaded with sugar. Gah. What is a health nut to do? Make your own food. From scratch. GASP.

Just call me Betty. Crocker that is. Yep. I am a cooking machine these days. It is quite surprising how much 1/2 cup of sugar looks like when you are ready to pour it into a recipe, but we don't even think twice about that much already being in the jar of spaghetti sauce we just took home from the store. Ignorance is bliss. Or is it? Much to the dismay of my husband I now thoroughly read every single ingredient on the label before placing something into my cart. My newest find is this little gem called coconut nectar. A natural sweetener made from coconut trees. Sweet! I was in dire need of a granola snack and this did the trick just fine. Nom nom nom.

Admittedly I am still counting down the days until I can put half-n-half in my coffee again. Oh how I miss it so. Halfway through the challenge and I am feeling great and standing firm. 14 days to go.