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[personal profile] slyjinks
Yeah, I know it's horrible, but I just love the convenience of processed foods. I really, really hate cooking, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. What's more, it's just a lot easier to be able to pop a nuke-a-meal in my bag for lunch before heading off to work. I do (usually) read ingredients lists, and I'll look things up. For example, health wise, Amy's takes tops (but some of their stuff is too high point value for me to be really happy with), followed by Lean Cuisine (in general) and Healthy Choice All Naturals are generally pretty decent, outside of the high sodium content that I tend not to fret about, whether I should or not. Behind them are the rest of the Healthy Choice dishes, followed by Smart Ones, with Michellena's (sp) Lean Gourmet pulling in at last place. All of this is in regards to the likelihood of things like HFCS, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (which I honestly think are worse than HFCS), mono- and di-glycerides, and what-have-you cropping up on the ingredients list. Of course, there's also a cost factor, and you know what? If I'm presented with a really good deal on Smart Ones, that's what I'm going to stock up on. That, and the downsides of the Healthy Choice selections are somewhat offset by the fact that all their regular entrees include a really yummy heated fruit desert (I am still easily swayed by heated fruit deserts. :( ).

What's worse, though, is that I'm pretty haphazard about reading the ingredients lists of things. I don't do it while I'm in the grocery store. I don't do it before I put it in my mouth. I typically do it while I'm sitting there actually eating the food in question, and then, believe me, what I'm reading doesn't stop me from finishing. Heck, as demonstrated above, it doesn't even stop me from buying more, although in some cases it's because I don't feel I'm getting all that much of ingredient X. "Uh-oh! HFCS is listed about seven ingredients down on something I consume 100 calories of once or twice a week, at most." Yeah. I can't get all that worked up about it. There is the worry about the cumulative effects, but really, a large number of my snacks tend to be fruits and vegetables and stuff, because they don't call for a lot of prep work.

In my purse right now (as opposed to my lunch bag) I have... some dark cocoa powder covered almonds (3 points; worst ingredient: sucralose, listed last on the list. And sucralose doesn't bother me); a 100 calorie pack of Chex chocolate caramel mix (2 points, and it actually tends to stick mostly to normal sugars. I will qualify that statement by noting that I am not convinced HFCS is much worse than normal sugar. Or rather, before folks jump on me, let me phrase it this way: I'm not convinced normal sugar is much better than HFCS. They're both pretty darned bad, really, and I'm not denying that I think HFCS is somewhat worse; I just think people who believe they're in the clear because they're sticking to cane sugar are just fooling themselves); a 90 calorie honey nut Special K bar (2 points; somewhat suspiciously contains corn syrup as the second main ingredient and fructose as the third); and a Weight Watchers Double Chocolate Delight bar (2 points; definitely the worst of the lot - several kinds of sugars, including HFCS [plus HMCS and regular ol' CS, although those have never been shown to have the sort of associated health risks as HFCS], plus some mono- and di-glycerides which can contain unreported amounts of transfats because they're classed as emulsifiers rather than fats. It's also absolutely yummy, and considering it typically takes me 1-3 months to finish a box of four, well, oh, well). Of those four treats, I will most likely eat, at most, one today, and there is a very good chance that some of those things will stay in my purse for a week, two weeks, or more. I try not to forget what 'tide me over' snacks I have in my purse, but, uhm... it's been known to happen. ¬_¬

Anyway, all this was brought on because I finally got around to reading the ingredients list of my Jell-o pudding cups. As I said, I normally read ingredients lists while I'm eating, but the the pudding, I grab a cup, stick it in my lunch bag, and eat it at work. The individual cups don't have the ingredients list, so I haven't had it around while eating. Anyway. Anyway. The big issue here is that it turns out Jell-o sugar free pudding (1 point per 60 calorie container, and admittedly quite yummy) contains partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredients list. This means it contains transfats. Now, mind you, the packaging says it has 0 grams, but legally a company can say 0 if it has less than 0.5 grams, and everything with partially hydrogenated oils is going to have some. I wouldn't worry so much about it, except that Jell-o pudding cups is something I eat every day. So there's more concern of a cumulative effect there than there is with, say, my double delight bars (not to mention the cumulative effect when considered with the double delight bars).

So I've got a few choices here. I can continue to happily enjoy my Jell-o pudding cups anyway, and just hope that that <0.5 gram, when taken with the other snacks I may or may not be eating, plus whatever might crop up in my nuke-a-meal (actually, today is a Lean Cuisine, so I'm in the clear there, but it isn't always) still keeps these things at not horribly bad levels. I can switch to another brand (problem here is I've tried about every brand of sugar free pudding cups the grocer carries, and the Jell-o brand really is the yummiest. Not to mention I have my doubts that their ingredients lists are any more comforting). I can check to see if the mix is any safer and switch to that (even if it is less convenient, it's not like pudding is all that hard to make). I can switch to cottage cheese, which I already eat one serving of a day. There's a very good chance I'll do that last one, because cottage cheese is a real diary product vice a mock one, and, uhm, I loves me some cottage cheese. Maybe I'll alternate between cottage cheese and pudding-from-mix. We'll see.

I'm definitely going to finish off the pudding in my fridge, though. :( Oh, well.

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February 2012

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