If it Has a Health Claim on the Label – Leave it on the Shelf

So who of us in the 1980’s were fooled by these FAT FREE cookies?  FAT FREE meant we could eat all we wanted and never get fat, right?  I remember specifically thinking that if I didn’t eat more than 20% of my calories from fat, my body would eventually be no more than 20% fat.  Omg!!  Now we know better.

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And how many millions of parents out there are now being tricked into feeling better about serving their children this sugar laden cereal (with 24g of carbs, or 6 teaspoonfuls of sugar per serving), because it has NO GLUTEN?

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Ok those seem like no brainers to folks in the low carb world right?  So how about something a bit closer to home, like these “sugar free” cookies?  My question is, how can anything made with flour be called “sugar free?”  Flour is 100% sugar, almost immediately after hitting your tongue.  Don’t be fooled.  These cookies have 20g of carbs, or in other words, 5 teaspoons of sugar in just one serving.  That is, if you can stop at one serving of three little cookies 😦

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Ok, let’s talk about this one.  “No sugar added.”  Do you know what “no sugar added” means?  It means that it was already so full of sugar (either milk sugar or fruit sugar), that it didn’t NEED anymore table sugar.  This one has 24g of carbs (or 6 teaspoons of sugar) in one serving.  (And who ever eats 1/2 cup of ice cream?)

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Now these next two really bother me!  Why?  Because they appeal to the diabetic, elderly population and use trick marketing to intentionally try to hide their harmful content.   First of all, when carbs are in liquid form, they are more rapidly absorbed and will spike blood glucose quicker and higher.  This is why I have a motto “never drink your carbs.”  IMHO, people should never drink their meals unless they can no longer chew.  (And when you get to that point, blend your own food at home.  Please don’t resort to these sugar shakes as a meal.)

This sugar shake, DESIGNED for people with diabetes states it only has 6g of sugar.  It also states that it has “carb steady,” apparently the right blend of nutrients to keep blood sugar stable.  When in actuality, it has 23g of liquid carbs, which will almost immediately turn into nearly 6 teaspoons of sugar.  Try to keep your blood glucose “steady” on that!

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This new version of the sugar shake uses deceptive marketing.  Instead of just coming out and saying it has 16g of carbs (which are liquid and will quickly become 4 teaspoons of sugar in just 8 ounces – a small drink), they try to hide that by saying it has “only 1 carb choice.”  First of all, if you are a person with diabetes who never had diabetes education (more than 3/4 of the people with diabetes have never had education), you wouldn’t know what a “carb choice” is, and might MISTAKENLY a believe that “1 carb choice” means 1g of carbs.  Why not just be truthful and say 16g of carbs, or 4 teaspoons of sugar?  This is reprehensible!

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Ok let’s get a little closer to home.  Several months ago, I did a blood sugar testing experiment on this product, which has 32g of carbs, but claims only 6g of net carbs.  I experienced a spike of nearly 40 points in my blood sugar, and I’m am not technically even considered a person with diabetes.  In other words, it is not on my diagnosis list.  (But I know the truth.  I know that my blood sugar and A1c are controlled at non-diabetic levels due to my way of living, not because my diabetes magically cured itself ;).)

Not only that, but my blood sugar was still elevated 4 hours later.  Does that sounds like something 6g of carbs would do?  When I eat 6g of carbs from broccoli, it doesn’t move my blood sugar at all.  Seems suspect to me…how about you?

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This supposed low carb pasta settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit over their health claims (read HERE).  Some folks doing blood sugar testing found no difference in blood glucose spikes, despite its claim to have only 5g of digestible carbs.

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Bottom line folks, if it sits in a bag, box or bottle on a shelf, and has ingredients you can’t identify, leave it on the shelf.  It’s not real food anyways!  And if it has a health or nutrition claim on the label, be even more wary.  How about just eating real food that is NATURALLY “sugar free” and “gluten free”, etc?  Those foods look like this, and rarely have a label.

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Wishing you health and happiness!