Archives for: June 2006, 10
I thought Don made a profound statement on a recent post. It's about a topic that comes up both on the Forum and in my comments. I've never seen anyone give a name to it, as Don did when he said, "Are they foods or food products?â€¦ With food products you just have to read the ingredients list and compare them against your appropriate BTD food list to determine if you should use the product or not."
I remember the first time I encountered the difference between food and food products. I was reading through an old food list in Eat Right for your Type, and saw that string cheese was listed as an avoid. I wondered why, since the string cheese I bought was plain mozzarella.
As I continued to read, I learned that in the early food lists, Dr. D. had tried to include name brand foods, but that it quickly became impractical because different companies used different ingredients in their food products. He could not possibly investigate all the brands. So TYPEBase4 deals almost exclusively with foods, not food products. Ezekiel and Manna breads are examples of exceptions to that rule..
Foods are single ingredients. They can be plants like carrots, watermelon, spinach or mangos. They can be animal like beef, turkey, or eggs. Some are chemical like MSG, salt, or maltodextrin. Some are herbs or spices; some are processed like oil or cheese.
Food products involve recipes and a list of ingredients. I have to be responsible for reading the ingredient lists for the food products I buy. I was going to use as an example that the major brand sloppy joe mix contained corn syrup as the second ingredient, but that the store brand used sugar instead. I went to my pantry and pulled out a can of store brand, just to check, and saw to my horror that the ingredients have changed. There is corn syrup in the store brand now, and I didn't take the time to check the label when I bought it.
I, then, have decisions to make. I can decide to be 100% compliant. Realistically, that would mean not buying many food products. Because on almost every label there is an avoid hidden somewhere toward the bottom. It would also mean paying outrageous amounts for certain products. For example the major brand of salt contains a tiny amount of a corn derived additive - however sea salt without that additive costs 15 to 20 times as much.
Since I am healthy, I am comfortable with my decision to say that I am 95 - 98% compliant. I'm allowing for a few avoids near the bottom of ingredient lists in food products. If I were dealing with disease, I would avoid all traces of avoids.
There are some avoid ingredients that I know give me trouble. I don't buy food products that contain MSG, nitrites, or aspartame. However, if I find a gum or starch near the bottom of an otherwise compliant food product, I may buy it. I don't eat Italian dressing because of the white vinegar, but I sometimes use canola mayonnaise. The amount of vinegar is small relative to the main ingredients, which are neutral.
For food you can rely on TYPEBase4.
For food products, read ingredient lists! Think twice about avoids in the top 3-4 ingredients. Balance caution and obsessiveness regarding avoids near the bottom of ingredient lists.