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The ‘Paleo Treat’ Trap

At the Winter Challenge nutrition lecture I briefly talked about how manufacturers hide how much sugar a product really contains. There are about 50 different ways to label sugar on foods:

Barley malt, beet syrup, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, caramel, corn syrup, carob syrup, dextran, dextrose, diastatic malt, diatase, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, glucose solids, golden syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, panocha, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar, treacle…..

That’s why on a challenge, even ‘natural’ sweeteners are not permitted.

But when people start eating a more Paleo/primal way, they often tend to create recipes using more ‘natural’ sweeteners such as honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, dates, palm sugar, etc. Sure, those sweeteners are natural, but think about it, sugar is natural too!

The Paleo Diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. One of the fundamental characteristics of this way of eating is a lower CHO intake from lower glycemic CHOs — non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables. Almost all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed, and won’t spike blood sugar levels.

Paleo treats have the same psychological (feel good) and hormonal (insulin) effects on your body as any other treats do.

And, it’s not Paleo. If you couldn’t grow it, it didn’t have eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth, or it didn’t come from something that had eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth, it’s not Paleo.

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have that delicious Paleo chocolate mousse once in a while. But don’t let the Paleo word fool you. Make sure that the majority of your food still comes from meat, veges, some fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch and no sugar. And save the ‘Paleo treats’ for once in a while.

Thanks to CrossFit NZ for the motivation behind this post.

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