Hidden sources of sugar

I used to cook this amazing crock pot dish.  I’d throw chicken breasts, a can of cream of chicken soup, and some of this seasoning mix into the crock pot with some potatoes and let it cook while I was at work.  Now, when I switched to LCHF, I figured the only thing I’d have to change is taking out the potatoes.  Boy, was  I wrong.  Not only was the cream of chicken soup loaded with random crap ingredients, but the SEASONING MIX had SUGAR in it.  Whaaaat?  It’s crazy the things they’ll shove sugar in.  I’ve compiled a list of some seemingly LCHF-friendly items that contain sugar that may surprise you.

  1. Spices for Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani

    Spices for Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani (Photo credit: Zak Greant)

    Seasoning mix.  I don’t know why they do it, but when a seasoning is a mix, sugar is frequently part of the mix.  If you have a favorite mix like I did, you can easily recreate it by just buying the spices and herbs separately and mixing them together in an empty container.  It is worth sending an email or calling up the company and telling them that you noticed the sugar and won’t buy the product anymore as long as they continue to put unnecessary sugar in it.

  2. Beef Jerky.  Oo, beef jerky can be a yummy quick snack.  Not all jerky is created equal though!  You’ll be hearing this a lot this post, but you have to flip the package over and read the ingredient list to see if sugar was added.  If it was, put it back.
  3. Ketchup. This was SO hard for Superhusband because we used to go through  two or three bottles of ketchup every two weeks in our house.  There is so much sugar in it!  They do make low sugar ketchup but it just contains artificial sugar.  How about switching up your condiments?  Try some mayo, some vinegar, or something else.
  4. English: Shown are butter, margarine, mayonnai...

     AV Number: AV-8903-3942 Reuse Restrictions: None – This image is in the public domain and can be freely reused. Please credit the source and/or author listed above. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Salad Dressing.  Hopefully by now you’ve stopped grabbing the low fat dressings… it is called “low carb HIGH FAT” after all.  But did you know that there are still added sugars in a lot of dressings (not to mention bad oils like soybean oil)?  The best way to get around this, honestly, is to make your own.  If you must buy some, read the label very carefully to make sure there isn’t added sugar.  You’re not just looking at carb count, remember, you need to read the ingredients.

  5. Yogurt.  Yogurt really is a healthy thing, but only if you get the right kind.  Don’t get the kind with fruit already added, because with the fruit comes a bunch of added sugar too.  But even when you get plain yogurt, the struggles don’t stop!  You still need to check the label to make sure there aren’t any nasty fillers, thickeners, or unnecessary ingredients.  Make sure you haven’t gotten a low-fat yogurt, and that the only ingredients are milk/cream and live/active cultures.
  6. Peanut Butter.  Okay, so you may not be eating a lot of this now that you don’t eat bread anymore, but I eat it with my occasional apple and I eat spoonfuls of it all the time at work at my desk.  Did you know that most peanut butters have added sugar in them?  Yup, go check your jar!  The only common commercial variety that I’ve seen without added sugar is Smuckers, but you can get some online without sugar.
  7. Crushed tomatos perhaps with a lomo feel?

     (Photo credit: Stefan Alforn)

    Canned tomatoes (and other veggies).  When I buy canned tomatoes to make Superhusband’s spaghetti sauce in the crock pot I spend a looong time reading labels because most of the cans have added sugar.  I’ve started going to the hippie aisle (natural foods aisle) because it seems that only half of them there have added sugar.   Be on the lookout for the added sugar with other canned veggies too!  Rinsing won’t get rid of it.

  8. Supposed “natural” products that will say “sugar free” on the front but really they just mean no cane sugar.  Flip the package around to the ingredient list, and you’ll spot one of the aliases for sugar.  You might see “maple syrup”, brown sugar, honey, or a multitude of other possibilities, but when it comes down to it, sugar is sugar is sugar.

Does it feel like you’re being tricked?  You sort of are.  If a food has a label on it, you need to read it.  I won’t go so far as to say “if it has a label you shouldn’t eat it” because there are lots of great foods that have labels on them, but you need to determine if it is a good food with a label.

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One thought on “Hidden sources of sugar

  1. […] dressing is loaded with sugar and random thickeners and other crap that isn’t good for your body.  Making salad dressing is so simple, so delicious, and you’ll know exactly that is in […]

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