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Friday, February 13, 2015

THM Tip of the week - Grams of Sugar vs Added Sugar

Hello everybody, last week I started a "Paloma's THM Tip of the Week" for my blog...

If you have no clue what THM is ... Well... you have to check this out

If you are already on THM or lurking and full of questions... I hope my tips will help you... I want you to stay encouraged and motivated realizing that this plan is doable!

 So... here we go... this is the 2nd. Tip I share... please leave comments, suggestions or questions ... I'd love to hear from you!

Get familiar with labels

Food! We love it! And many times we eat it without even looking at the label on the packaging which gives us such important information. Many others of us WILL indeed look at the label and only be concerned about the "calories"... those that are a little more thorough might look at the fat content or "Sodium" (many times wondering if that's too high or just enough). Trim Healthy Mama plan we have such freedom that calorie counting is no longer needed (I do it once in a while just because I am obsessive like that) but in our plan "Ingredients Trump Numbers" (if you join the FB group you will see that phrase there often) ... We care more about the ingredients we eat and their categories (there are some things that we just do not mix).... but KNOWING how the labels work will help you a lot and will save you from a lot of confusion...

See that label? Let's study it together, we will not get in depth but I will show you two very important things that you have to notice... On Trim Healthy Mama we focus A LOT on the ingredients... Sugar (also known as glucose, corn syrup, dextrose, honey, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, cane juice, juice concentrate, fructose... and many more) is not allowed on the THM plan, actually it will be easier for me to tell you the sweeteners that are on plan: Stevia (natural and doesn't spike your glucose levels) -Trim Healthy Mama has great sweeteners- and some natural sugar alcohols like Erythritol and Xylitol - like this or this  

BUT... sugar (even if it claims to be natural, organic, lower GI -like agave or coconut sugar-) is NOT on plan.

Don't worry... you can still enjoy lots of sweets... but your palate might in fact need some adjusting to the sweeteners, as you flush out the sugar from your system.

Anyway... So... back to that label! See the ingredients? Let's try a little exercise... Do you see any sugar in the Ingredients list? The LIST is at the bottom... right below that little chart with numbers and percentages.... look at the pic and check please, this will help you.... No sugar, right? That means this specific product (Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt) does NOT contain any added sugar... Most mamas start jumping up and down of joy when they see that it's actually sweetened with STEVIA LEAF EXTRACT!... but then... uh... their eyes catch something while they jump... as they look a little higher on that same label they see the word "Sugar" .... and when they see that it says "7 grams" they want to faint! If they already ate some they almost want to "spit it out" like it was poison (which... well... let's be honest... sugar IS like a poison) and they get troubled, confused and frustrated... But... let me tell you something: 

 Jump and dance away mama! You're good to go

Your brain is not tricking you, the food industry is not tricking you (at least not in this specific case), this is not as confusing as you might think... the "Sugar Grams" you see there are actually naturally occurring sugars from the dairy in your yogurt... THERE IS NO added sugar in this product and ... of course we all love a lower number in the grams of sugar but thankfully the fermentation process in a yogurt helps lower the impact on your sugar level... (this happens specifically with fermented products like Kefir and Greek Yogurt which are both allowed on plan, make sure you buy them 0% and plain! the only allowed "flavored" yogurt we've found so far to be on plan is the Triple Zero Oikos because it's the only one sweetened with stevia).

Now... let's just do another quick exercise just to make sure we got this! Let's do it with an "easier" product (dairy can be higher in natural occurring sugars so it can get a bit harder to figure out) but let's practice with a product we would assume there would be no traces of "sugar" in it...

Let's go with something most of us love and that you can enjoy on the THM plan... UNSWEETENED PEANUT BUTTER!

 You can buy the most affordable kind like:

Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter or Kirkland Natural Peanut Butter

If you can afford it get the organic/non gmo kinds like: this or this.

Let's look at a label:

I think you now know where to look first, right? Ingredients! What does it say? Basically Peanuts and Salt!

Now, let's look at the chart on the left, the nutrition facts:

Sugars: 2 grams...

With the knowledge you now have... is this product ON plan?


need another second?


If you answer was YES! You are correct! On THM we can eat this product in an S setting, the "S" stands for "satisfying" where FAT is the FUEL. We avoid grains, starches (basically we keep our carbs low) in an S setting... so you would be MORE THAN SAFE eating this product in an S setting... Your carbs are 7 grams, then you remove the 3 grams of fiber and you end up with 4 grams of net carbs in 1 serving of this peanut butter (10 grams of carbs is the limit for an "S")...

"But wait... what happened with the sugar? I thought it wasn't allowed!"

You are right! Sugar is off plan... But... there is NO ADDED sugar here... as long as "sugar" (or any of its nicknames) is NOT listed on the ingredients you are good to go! (well... of course there are other off plan ingredients but we're just talking about sugar right now). Grams of sugar in the nutritional facts are good to know but they do NOT disqualify a product from the plan...

Keep checking your ingredients... Stay alert! Don't let that sugar sneak up on you!

Other favorite sweeteners on plan are:

(Update after publishing) Beware of Truvia Baking blend... Yes it's cheaper but it's because it's mixed with sugar. It is NOT on plan, stay away from Stevia in the raw as well, it's NOT only stevia and it's NOT on plan. We have to check the labels of everything... Grocery shopping actually makes me a bit angry to see how many "innocent looking" items have sugar in them! You can even go to your pantry and check your container of SALT and you will very likely find DEXTROSE in the ingredients.

I hope this is helpful for you!

© Paloma K.

 Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, this means that you pay the same price, but I also receive a very small compensation. I recommend products I have tried and love.


Sharon Roselli said...

Thank you so much this is very helpful!

Paloma said...

Awesome! Glad it is helpful! Thank you so much for your comment.