A tip when looking at a food label- look at the indentations. Today we are looking at carbohydrates. When looking at carbohydrates there are two indentations underneath, dietary fiber and sugars. Dietary fiber and sugars never add up to total carbohydrates because there is a third category of “other carbohydrates” not required to be listed. These are: complex carbohydrates, excluding dietary fiber, but including other non-digestible additives. Essentially, if it is not sugars or dietary fiber it is the “other”.
For example: Apple sauce has 24 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar. Do note: “sugars” refers to added sugar(s) not the sugar already in the apple. So we have 24 grams of carbs and 22 grams of sugars. Wait a sec, practically all my carbs are from sugar? What is added sugar doing there anyway? Apples are sweet. What- are they using crab apples? I don’t get it. Also, applesauce only has 1 gram of dietary fiber. I thought apples are high in fiber. Huh, well let’s look at the ingredients.
Apples, of course. High fructose corn syrup, water, and… wait… back up. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP? What in the world? I am dumbfounded. Why are they sweetening already sweet apples with high fructose corn syrup? Why do we modify food items we have no trouble getting kids to eat (Remember when they added bucu dyes to Ketchup)? And what happens in processing? A large apple has 5 grams of dietary fiber and 25 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Where did my fiber go and why do I have double the sugars?
I am left with all these questions when a deception catches my eye. “Mr. Applesauce Company, your website made me feel good about purchasing your product. You told me I could meet my daily fruit needs from your product. You even directed me to http://www.myplate.gov to verify your greatness.” Of course, you did not lead me to the “Empty Calories” page where applesauce with added sugar is the prime suspect.
*Sigh* If Lazy Mom hadn’t been paid to get to the bottom of your food label, AND had not been working with information from the USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov previously, she might have read your statement and had that warm feeling inside about feeding her child applesauce. BUT, Lazy Mom was intrigued by the mention of MyPlate, followed your link to information about the Fruit Group. It seemed legit, oh but I forgot I needed information about Empty Calories for the project I’m working on. While I’m here… http://myplate.gov/weight-management-calories/calories/empty-calories.html Viola! Top of the chart for Empty Calories is: sweetened applesauce. Where have I seen that, oh yeah, it’s you! Congrats on beating out sugary cereals and fried chicken.
Lazy Mom recommends readers to look at the ingredients in their applesauce. Not all applesauce has high fructose corn syrup; however, most do. You could always make your own. Hahahahaha! I crack myself up. Like we have time for that! Try the ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ brands.
Also, now that you know where your carbs come from, watch those added sugars. You will recognize the ingredients on the label as: cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, (or any from the ose family) lactose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, etc. Sugars are not preservatives, so they don’t really need to be there. Unless they are using crab apples???