Friday, May 13, 2011

SURPRISE Ingredients!

 HEYYY! Here's my Blog Post!!! :D
Mmmm... Looks so delicious!

So, I know that it sounds like a truly basic thing to do for a figure competitor - checking ingredients in EVERYTHING. As far as training goes, its easy to put in your hard work at the gym. But training for any sort of body building competition goes far beyond our work at the gym. Nutrition is REALLY the foundation. Which is why we hear the claim "Abs are made in the kitchen!"

I know I say this all the time, but the food I, often quite eagerly, put in my mouth is for fuel. I give myself enough protein to keep my muscles from breaking down, I give myself enough water to ensure I'm hydrated for my sweaty sweaty-ness, I take my active women's multivitamins to ensure my body has the proper nutrients for change.

The one thing I've chosen never to cut out of my diet is my morning coffee.

Don't become attached to deceptive foods!

Now, coffee isn't for fuel, its for my sanity. I love coffee. I've always had it in my calorie budget. Mind you, I am training for something specific... if I wasn't 5 months out from a competition, I probably wouldn't care. I consistently budget in for the exact calories in the coffee, which is a measly 2 calories and the exact macros in the cream: 4 tablespoons is approximately 78 calories, 2g protein, 2g carbs, and 6g fat... No big deal! Fits in just fine.

But there is a factor I never considered: Syrup.

No, not sugary sweetened syrup! You think I'm NUTS?? I've always done sugar-free vanilla. Easy peasy. BUT, I was recently sold on Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce. Sugar Free, right?! Can't be that bad??


I won't miss it... ?

This sugar free syrup is worth for 1 oz (or 2 tbsp): 130 calories, 0g protein, 24g CARBS (which is due to 14g SUGAR), and 3g Fat. Which would have made my morning coffee 208 calories, 2g protein, 26g carbs, and 11g of fat. That is a whole hell of a lot more than I thought I was consuming! ... No wonder I didn't quite hit ketosis...

"But wait, Lacey," you say, "how can a syrup claim to be sugar-free and still have 14g of sugar?"

Excellent question, you! Most Americans rely on product labels to give them accurate picture of the nutritional content in the food they buy. In fact, I was just reading on the FDA website that 54% of Americans read the nutrition label before they buy a product.

"But isn't that a good thing, Lace?" you ask. "Yes it is, you. BUT it goes deeper. Let's discuss."

Water! Not calorically deceptive!

Many people, including myself are drawn by claims such as "Sugar-free" or "Low Fat". And we believe the claims are true. But are they? Products bearing the claim "sugar-free" on the label must meet certain criteria as established by the FDA. To qualify for the claim, a product must contain less than 0.5g of sugar per labeled serving. Although the FDA mandates that a product making this claim should be free of added sugar or any ingredient known to contain sugar, the organization does allow room for exceptions.

According to the FDA: ""Sugar Free": Less than 0.5 g sugars per RACC and per labeled serving (or for meals and main dishes, less than 0.5 g per labeled serving). Contains no ingredient that is a sugar or generally understood to contain sugars."

So basically, if an ingredient isn't technically a "sugar" but still has grams of  sugar in it and is used in a product, the product can still claim to be Sugar-Free (... and still make you fat...)

Don't be fooled, friends, these companies are out to make money and sell you a product! But YOU are smarter than that, you read labels and know exactly what you are putting in your body. :)


  1. you might want to try coconut milk in your has similar nutrients to cream, but it's not as insuligenic(ie, dairy causes a higher insulin reaction than would be predicted by it's carbohydrate content) as dairy products are(and some people are very sensitive to this). Plus it's kind of sweet tasting.

  2. For the days that I HAVE to have coffee (and I'm a girl who likes two drops of coffee with pounds of cream &, I use Torani Sugar-free syrup. It's not the same as sugar but it keeps me sane :)