Hey there, I am fairly new to Paleo and this is my first post on these forums, so I'm hoping you'll bear with me. For a first question this is going to be especially loaded. It's more like 4 questions in one.
Yesterday I bought a fair amount of condiments, taking care to avoid anything that contained sugar, glucose-fructose, soy products, corn starch, and the like. Nonetheless, I want to be sure I'm not introducing highly processed foods into my diet, since I tend to use condiments rather liberally to flavor my foods.
Frank's red hot sauce: aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, water, salt and garlic powder (Per 5 ml) 1 calorie, 0.1g fat, 180mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g sugars, 0g protein
Woodland hot sauce: red peppers, vinegar, salt, xantham gum, granulated garlic (Per 1 tsp) 0 calories, 0g fat, 150mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g protein
Hellmann's mayonnaise: water, canola & extra virgin olive oil, liquid whole egg, modified corn starch, sugar, vinegar, salt, concentrated lemon juice, sorbic acid, xantham gum, citric acid, natural flavour, colour, spice & spice extract, calcium disodium edta (Per 1 tbsp) 50 calories, 5g fat (0.4g saturated, 1g polyunsaturated, 0.8g omega 6, 0.3g omega 3, 2.5g monounsaturated), 115mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g sugars, 0.1g protein
Selection prepared yellow mustard: white vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, spices (Per 1 tsp) 0 calories, 0g fat, 60mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0.2g protein
Sensations whole grain dijon: water, mustard seed, salt, white vinegar, citric acid, tumeric (Per 1 tsp) 5 calories, 0g fat, 85mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0.4g protein
Irresistibles dijon: Water, mustard seed, vinegar, salt, citric acid (Per 1 tsp) 10 calories, 0.5g fat, 135mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0.4g protein
Haiku mango & coriander salad dressing: Water, mango, vinegar, sugar, coriander, honey, salt, xantham gum, pepper, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, garlic, turmeric, ascorbic acid, colour (contains tartazine) (Per 1 tbsp) 10 calories, 0g fat, 95mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g sugar, 0g protein
Haiku passion fruit & ginger salad dressing: water, passion fruit, vinegar, sugar, salt, honey, xantham gum, ginger, pepper, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, colour (Per 1 tbsp) 5 calories, 0g fat, 25mg sodium, 1g carbs, 1g sugar, 0.1g protein
If I had to judge for myself, I'd worry about the mayonnaise and haiku salad dressing based on the amount of ingredients, the inclusion of sugar as a 4th or 5th ingredient, and the vague ingredients at the end (eg/ colour, spice extract). The only reason I bought them were because they were (sadly) the best options for mayonnaise & salad dressing I could find.
Is it that bad for sugar to be the 4th or 5th ingredient, especially when it seems to be trace amounts going by the nutritional label?
And assuming I had to cut out the mayo & salad dressing, what would be the consequences of lathering most of my dishes with mustard & hot sauce? How else would I flavor my foods? I don't anything about spices. What's an acceptable salad dressing? Olive oil?
Also, should I be particularly worried about xantham gum, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate or citric acid?
asked byAmalgam54 (30)
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on May 19, 2013
at 03:16 PM
In general try to look for clean condiments. Anything with xanthan gum or caragenan, or "natural" flavor or artificial color should be avoided.
The big things to avoid are going to be ketchup (HFCS - always from GMO corn and harmful source of fructose, possibly GMO tomatoes) and mayonnaise. Hot sauces and mustard are almost always clean.
Always make your own mayonnaise. It's very easy. All you need is a blender, two eggs, a cup or two of extra virgin olive oil (you could use melted coconut oil too) a bit of lemon (or lime in a pinch), maybe some salt, pepper, and a table spoon of mustard (optional).
Usually the recipe is drop and egg and a yolk in the blender along with the other spices, but it's easier/quicker to just drop two whole eggs. You can throw in other stuff too if you like, like scallions, a few drops of sesame oil, or roasted garlic. Turn the blender on low to start and slowly start pouring in the oil. Once it gets harder to incorporate, increase the speed. Don't add more than two cups. Ideally one and a half cups of oil is perfect. Once you're done, pour it in a glass container (I just put the blender container upside down over a large enough pyrex and let it sit for 10 minutes, then use a silicone spatula to scoop out the rest.) Then put the mayo in the fridge for at least an hour (two is better) before using it. Lasts about a week.
Ketchup is a bit harder, I know you didn't ask about it, but it's good to know. You'll need about 3 cans of tomatoes (you can use fresh, just cook them down longer), about a cup or two of white/distilled vinegar, a few tablespoons of cloves. The first time, take the cloves and put them in a small non-reactive sauce pan, pour a cup of vinegar on top and simmer very slowly for maybe 10-20mins. Open the windows, the whole kitchen will smell of vinegar.
At the same time, finely chop about half an onion (or a whole onion) and cook it in a large pot. Add the tomatoes to the pot and cook them down. Optionally add half a cup of sugar and slowly simmer them for about half an hour to an hour. Every once in a while, use an immersion blender to blend them down until the whole thing looks like it's nice and sauce like, but far less chunky than pasta sauce. Towards the end, strain the liquid from the cloves into the pot, simmer some more for about 30mins and keep buzzing it down with the immersion blender. (Taste it and maybe add more vinegar or sugar if needed.)
Save the cloves in a glass jar with a non-reactive cover (plastic works here for the lid) and pour more vinegar on top. The vinegar will extract more flavor from the cloves over the next few weeks and you can use it without simmering the next time you make ketchup - it will infact be even stronger in flavor on the next rounds.
For hot sauce, you can start by making pickled peppers. Get a jar with a non-reactive lid (again vinegar can react with metal even if it doesn't touch it.) Chop up a whole bunch of serrano or other peppers. I leave the ribs and seeds in because I like it hotter, YMMV. Put in a few tablespoons of salt, and cover with white/distilled vinegar all the way to the top. Let it sit in the fridge for a week or two before using.
You can then take a bunch of this, including the vinegar and blend it in a blender with other stuff. More vinegar, maybe a bit of honey, or tomato, mesquite, and other spices to whatever flavor you like, and you've got your own hotsauce.
on May 18, 2013
at 09:25 PM
Condiments aren't a staple of your diet, assuming you're not sensitive to any ingredient, and even if it's not technically paleo, it's probably fine in your diet.
You could fret over the sugar, additives, and wrong fats all day, but in the end, it's not that big of a deal. Worry first about the broad strokes that make up the picture of your diet before focusing on the details.
on May 18, 2013
at 11:20 PM
Mustards and hot sauces are generally okay.
Dressings are not great - try using just some olive oil with a little vinegar (or lemon juice, lime juice, or orange juice). Especially if you eat salad every day.
Mayo is probably the biggest offender, although I'm impressed you found one without soybean oil! It's worth learning how to make your own mayo. Not only is it better for you, but it's truly delicious, nothing like store-bought. I use my homemade mayo for salad dressing (just a dollop on a salad and mix in).
Here's one good recipe to get you started: http://everydaypaleo.com/salmon-cakes-with-homemade-ginger-mayo/
on May 18, 2013
at 09:16 PM
not too sure about the xantham gum and what not, but id personally stay away from anything with table salt or sugar, and all of those contain at least table salt. id look for something made with sea salt at least or you could make your own and it will be way better tasting and healthier. I definitely wouldnt eat that mayo, with the canola, cornstarch and all of those chemically ingredients. Just make aioli instead, its soo much better than mayo