Beware those stealth carbs

The challenge? Thirty health-related posts in 30 days, using prompts prepared by the folks at WEGO Health.

Day Eighteen: Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.

The book I picked was “The New Atkins for a New You,” mainly because it was within arm’s reach when I sat down to write today’s post. I’m still not convinced “New Atkins” is better than “New Diet Revolution,” the plan I lost 100+ pounds on from 2003-05.

My sentence?

Hidden carbs lurk in many condiments.

Boy, do I know that all too well. When I started Atkins the first time, I read labels diligently, seeking out all that pesky high fructose corn syrup … which is in practically everything. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, cocktail sauce, salad dressings. Luckily, there are plenty of low-carb recipes for those items. (Dana Carpender’s “500 Low-Carb Recipes” has a fantastic one for barbecue sauce. Tastes just like its sugary counterpart — and gave me a chance to buy liquid smoke for the first time.)

Speaking of HFCS, how do y’all feel about the industry’s attempt to re-brand the stuff as “corn sugar”? I *love* (note the sarcasm, please) the ads that say “sugar is sugar.” Yes, sugar IS sugar … and Americans eat too much of it all around. Adding it to anything and everything doesn’t help us one bit — unless it’s to create cravings that keep us coming back for more.

When it comes to carb content, low-fat condiments are worse than full-fat ones. That’s because when companies take out fat, they add sugar/salt to make up for it.

I saw more proof of that just yesterday. Somehow, I ended up with no mayonnaise in my fridge and only reduced-fat mayo in the pantry. (It was that Kraft mayo with olive oil, and I think I bought it before I went back on Atkins.)  It claimed to have 1/3 of the fat in regular mayonnaise — but sure enough, it had more than twice the carb content. A single tablespoon had 2 Net Carbs.

Since I’d just hard-boiled 12 eggs and planned to make egg salad to take to work with me for dinner, I cracked it open anyway.

Needless to say, I made a Walmart run for the real thing after work. I’m not going to use 2-carb mayo every time I want to make a deviled egg. Made properly, two whole deviled eggs (four halves) have about 1.6 carbs … I refuse to turn that into a 3.6-carb snack.

It was another reminder to check those labels carefully before I buy. I don’t want any more stealth carbs creeping into my condiments!

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3 responses to “Beware those stealth carbs

  1. Isn’t that the truth?? And it isn’t just carbs. Everytime we get new info about the harmful effects of something, the food industry finds a way to call it something else. Yep, they’re right. Sugar is sugar and we shouldn’t be eating ANY of it especially in the quantities most people do.

    • That’s what I yell at the TV every time I hear that stupid commercial. “Yes, sugar IS sugar … and we eat way too much of it.”

  2. Pingback: Winning « Adventures in weight loss, cooking and life·

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