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Old 01-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
MellieInWI's Avatar
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Default What are the ingredients to avoid on labels?

I'm starting to get the hang of eating in phase 2. The one thing I'm having a bit of a challenge with is reading labels and determining if something is okay or not.

I know:
"whole wheat flour" NOT "wheat flour"
no high fructose corn syrup
no sugars
look for high fiber and low fat

What other items can I look for in the ingredient labels when determining if a product is a go or not? I've looked through the FAQs and didn't find an exact answer to this.
Mom to two boys under two, trying to lose the baby (and pre-baby) weight!

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated
also beware of the words "made with" in a label. Sometimes that only means they are adding in a bit of the healthy with the not-so-healthy.

That's all that comes to mind right now. I'm sure the other chicks will contribute whatever I've forgotten!
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #3
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Great questions Mellie,
I've been a little confused too. I look forward to reading the answers.

One dancing carrot for every 5 lbs. lost since my restart, at 221 lbs on 1/5/2009.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Cottage is totally right!

Avoid anything made with hydrogenated oils. They're toxic!

"enriched" is a key that the flour isn't whole grain. It means they stripped off all the parts that have vitamins and nutrients and then they added (enriched) the vitamins back in. Plain wheat flour is better than enriched flour, sometimes, but it's tricky. Your best bet is a flour that's whole grain, or sprouted grains like in the Ezekiel products.

Stay away from sugar, in its many forms. High fructose corn syrup is the really evil stuff but there are tons of other types of/names for sugar:

First and foremost, when reading food labels, you should watch out for more than just the obvious sucrose, dextrose and maltose—or other words ending with an “ose.” Rather than give you all 100-plus names for sugar, here are the most popular sweeteners used to foods today...

High fructose corn syrup (most popular)
Sucrose (from cane or beet)
Brown sugar
Corn syrup
Invert sugar
Dextrose (refined corn sugar)
Fruit juice concentrates (concentrated
fruit juice)
Raw sugar
Turbinado sugar
Crystalline fructose (not the same as fruit
sugar or levulose and not metabolized as
Maple syrup
Sugar alcohols or polyols ++
Rice syrup
High maltose corn syrup
Barley malt syrup
Powdered sugar
Cane juice (evaporated sugar cane)++++
Inulin syrup***
Chicory syrup***
Tapioca syrup

* Please note that both maltodextrin and sugar alcohols or polyols are not technically sugars. Maltrodextrin is derived from the corn wet refining process and metabolized rapidly in the body.

++ Sugar alcohols or polyols (sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol or hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, lactitol, xylitol and glycerol/glycerin, d-tagatose, isomalt, polydextrose, and erythritol) aren’t sugars or artificial sweeteners. The name “sugar alcohols” comes from the fact that their structure resembles sugar, and they’re chemically similar to alcohol. They’re typically genetically modified from corn or wheat. Experts say that sugar alcohols can cause stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and anal leakage, because our bodies poorly absorb them. In large quantities, they’re non-GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and some research shows that they can cause cancer.

***Inulin syrup and chicory syrup are non-FDA approved terms (non GRAS and non-CFR compliant) for high fructose syrup. (CFR means Code of Federal Regulations.)

++++Cane juice or evaporated sugar cane are non-FDA approved terms for sugar.

From: http://www.sugarshock.com/press/media_23disguises.htm
Here are some more websites with other lists of sugar names:

Some things to note: Lactose is a naturally occuring sugar in milk and milk products. We don't need to worry about it.

In organic products, the names for sugar are often different. Evaporated cane syrup, evaporated cane juice, honey, maple syrup, and rice syrup, etc. are all sugars that we need to stay away from.

On the other hand, most SBDers can tolerate agave juice/syrup (very low GI), and "erythritol," often used as a sugar substitute in organic foods, is a safe sugar substitute for most of us as well (but is NOT a sugar alcohol, so there are no side effects).

When you do see a form of sugar (other than HFCS) in a list of ingredients, check if it's towards the beginning or end of the list. Ingredients are listed in order of what is used most to what is used least. If the sugar is listed towards the end, check the grams of sugar in the chart above the list. Are there a lot of grams of sugar? Sometimes this can help you determine if the item will cause cravings or not. It's best to avoid all sugars, but when you find something with a very small amount (like in dressings, for instance), it doesn't usually cause cravings.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:33 PM   #5
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WONDERFUL - thank you SO much. You've been so helpful with my questions today! I'm actually going to make that list a little little card that I can carry in my wallet for when I'm grocery shopping. I'm finding a lot of pleasure checking those labels at the store, but until now I haven't been doing a thorough check.
Mom to two boys under two, trying to lose the baby (and pre-baby) weight!

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