Excuse me sir, there’s sugar in my…..

In the past two days, two things happened that really lit a fire under my butt.

The first-well, let me set the stage for you. I love vegetables. Really and truly, I’m a freak that way. I don’t like okra. Too slimy. Aside from that, I love me some veggies. I eat a lot of frozen vegetables in addition to a metric ton of salad greenery. The other day I pulled out a box of Sugar Snap peas from the freezer. For my frozen veggies I buy whatever is on sale/cheapest. Usually I buy the store brand, but Publix doesn’t have their own snap peas. (Why is that, Publix? Enlighten me.) So, I get whatever is on sale. This past week the Green Giant boxed veggies were on sale for $1 each.

Score!

I grabbed a bunch of the Sugar Snaps that I love so, after checking out the boxes and finding the “Simply Steam” snap peas.

Looks fairly harmless...

Looks fairly harmless...

It states on the box: “Picked at the peak of perfection. Simply Steam in the bag! No sauce, just enough liquid to cook.”

Sounds good, and off I go.

The time comes, and I toss a bag into the microwave. As it’s cooking I am reading the label as I always do. These are simply steam, no sauce, right? Right. But guess what is in the ingredients. There’s 2 ingredients. The first is, thankfully, sugar snap peas. Guess what the second is?

No, it’s not gluten, thank heavens.

SUGAR!!!!

What the *$(*#^@!!!

They went and added sugar to sugar snap peas!

Now I’m ticked. If I’m going to eat sugar, I want to be in control of when, and how much. And quite frankly, it’s going to be some sort of chocolate. It’s sure as anything not going to be in my SIMPLY STEAM veggies!! I ranted about this to my fiance, who smiled and nodded. He’s seen this enough over the past 7 years to know not to say anything when I get going.

I can’t for the life of me imagine why adding sugar would be necessary. I checked the bag of sugar snap peas that I had bought previously (the 365 brand from Whole Foods) and there was 1 ingredient. Sugar Snap Peas. So apparently adding sugar is not necessary for the freezing process, and I can’t imagine why it would be.

So there was that.

Then, yesterday I stop at the store to pick up some spaghetti. Jeff had asked for spaghetti for dinner, and I don’t keep it in the house, so I stop to pick some up. (On the rare occasions when he asks for spaghetti I make spaghetti squash for myself) I’m feeling a bit strapped for time, so I start looking at the jarred marinara. Guess what’s in them-SUGAR!! A lot of sugar. Seriously.

I didn’t look at every single one, (although I was so ticked off I almost did) but for the ones I did check out, sugar was usually the third ingredient. A serving of spaghetti sauce contained about 13-14 grams of sugar. For reference, that’s approximately equivalent to 4 ounces of Coke. Regular, full on sugar Coke. How crazy is that?

I realize that a small amount of sweetness may be needed to cut the acidity of tomatoes. I learned from my Mom how to make tomato sauce from scratch, and I was taught to add a spoonful of sugar. Not several cups of sugar.

Here’s what I learned from these experiences. Always, always read your ingredients and labels. Not just for gluten, but everything. Cook from scratch whenever possible to control quality as well as quantity of ingredients. And if you must use jarred sauce, read the label. I’m sure that there are sauces that exist that are lower in sugar, we just have to look for them.

You read about the obesity epidemic, about soaring health care costs, about the evils of high fructose corn syrup, about this generation of kids dying before their parents. I like to think with a little awareness and education we can make a difference in these sobering statistics.

Is it the HFCS? Or is it simply the large portions of all sweeteners-in items where they are neither needed or expected?

Be aware. Read your labels. Be an educated consumer. If you feel so inclined, patronize manufacturers that do not practice random adding of sugar or various forms of sugar.

OK, stepping off my soapbox. For the moment.

For slightly less ranting, but more free information on setting up a healthy gluten free diet, click here.

What are your thoughts? Have you run into this before? Where have you seen sugar unexpectedly? Share ‘em, peeps-shoot up a comment below!

Filed Under: nutrition

Tags:

About the Author:

RSSComments (8)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Jon Fernandes says:

    lol, who would add sugar to sugar snapped peas? And the sauce, that is not cool either. Before i buy something, i always check the nutrition facts and ingredients to be on the safe side.

    I will once in a while use ketchup (Oh noz! HFCS lmao), but i prefer to top my food with guacamole and salsa! =]

    But i agree, sugar can be a good thing, but at the right time and at certain amounts. It all depends on the context.

    Example: right now i’m bulking and sometimes it is hard to get my calorie requirements in. So certain foods like kiddy cereal (which has sugar) that are easy to eat, i’ll incorporate on my diet.

    But say for example i am cutting and need to eat foods that are very filling. Mistakenly consuming like 50 grams of sugar would suck!

  2. Erin says:

    Hey Jon!
    I know,craziness.
    I like ketchup on my eggs from time to time, but I do use the Heinz reduced sugar-which has sucralose. Pick yer poison…
    Franks Red Hot sauce is a favorite condiment, and I’m definitely with you on the guac and salsa. I’ll make a big batch of salsa fresca and top everything with it for a few days.
    And you are absolutely correct-I also love cereal for post-workout (weight training) and the intake of sugar and/or simple carbs has it’s time and place. The problem is when it is added to items on a regular basis and people aren’t aware of it. Hundreds of calories on a daily basis worth. It’s a sobering thought.

  3. Lisa says:

    Speaking of salsa, I absolutely hate it when they add sugar to it! I definitely read every single ingredient when buying salsa because I just prefer the natural clean flavors and sugar ruins that for me. Also, same thing with canned soup (which I don’t eat very much of since I found out that I have celiac). But seriously! Soup! I prefer the slightly salty flavor when I’m getting something savory, and again sugar ruins that for me.
    I don’t hate sugar though! I love chocolate! But when a food is supposed to be healthy and/or savory, sugar is NOT necessary!!

  4. Erin says:

    So true Lisa. Amazing how sugar and/or a derivative of it finds it’s way into just about everything. I usually make my own salsa, but if you have found a good jarred variety please share!

  5. Ellen Allard says:

    Why? That’s what I’d like to know? Why must they add sugar to sugar snap peas? It seems insane and ridiculous to me. I’m already super aware of the importance of reading labels (gluten free for four+ years), but this just brings label reading to a new level. Thanks for the reminder.

    Ellen
    http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

  6. Jon Fernandes says:

    You make your own salsa? You are seriously awesome.

  7. Erin says:

    Of course! Its so easy once you make your own, it’s hard to buy the jarred kind. You do need a food processor though, even just a small one will work you just have to do more batches!
    I’ll post up a “not really a recipe” for you ;)

  8. Erin says:

    Hi Ellen!
    Sorry for the delay, I just found your comment in the spam folder!
    It’s amazing what you find. I said the exact same thing-”why?” I also say that to the fact that there is wheat in chicken broth, but that’s another rant ;)
    Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Log in here!