Yesterday, Lee and I went for a mid-morning breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We had a ton of stuff to do around the house this weekend and he loves breakfast food so I thought this will be great because he’ll have a full stomach and will come home with plenty of fuel to work in the yard all day. So I tried to eat healthy…. even at Cracker Barrel this is possible. I ordered a two egg omelet with no cheese, with tomatoes, peppers and onions only. I’m sure it was cooked with butter but, this was my best choice. I also ordered a side of turkey sausage and whole wheat toast. (Even though wheat toast has gluten, I only planned to eat a half of piece hoping that it would not mess me up too bad.) When I was placing my order with the waitress, I noticed that on the menu they had listed…….
Lower sugar preserves
Well, this caught my eye because when I think of preserves….. I think of my Grandma Hester’s fig, peach, blackberry or strawberry preserves. When most folks hear the word, “preserves” they think…. chunks of real fruit and yummy-ness and when they hear the word “jelly”….. they think, fake store bought stuff with a lot of sugar. So, I placed an order for some….. “fruit preserves with lower sugar” and was so looking forward to what would be served to our table. What I actually got was very disappointing.
My effort to eat healthy was not working out. They brought my omelet to the table and it was pretty good for the first couple of bites and then I noticed that it had that bright yellow processed cheese-like substance on it along with bacon. Of course, I didn’t order it that way but, that is what I got. I’m guessing because that is the way the omelet normally comes and they didn’t bother to leave it off for the strange lady that doesn’t eat that stuff. The waitress also placed on the table a bowl of butter and jellies for Lee’s biscuits and for me….. She places two little plastic containers of my……lower sugar preserves. 🙁 It was two tiny packets of Smucker’s.
I was so disappointed. I picked up the packet and read the ingredients to see what was in the jelly. It had a whole bunch of stuff like…. maltodextrin, sorbitol, artificial colors…red #40, (What the heck is that?) potassium sorbate, sucralose and several other ingredients that I had to sound out to pronounce. So I thought I’d pick up the little container of Lee’s jelly and read the ingredient just to see……
Strawberries, sugar, corn syrup, pectin and citric acid.
Yes…. corn syrup is not the best choice but I was only going to eat about a tablespoon and it is….. real….. not fake. Pectin is found in plants, and commercially produced and mainly extracted from citrus fruits and used in jams and jellies as a gelling agent. Pectin is a natural part of the human diet. Citric acid is a natural preservative and used to add acidic or sour taste to foods. So…. all in all it is the better choice over the Smucker’s fake stuff. Sorry Smucker’s.
So, I started to think…… most of us are being fooled into believing that it’s all about the sugar, fat and calories. It clearly says on the package….. sugar free and we buy into this. We’ve been told if you want to lose weight or just eat a healthier diet, that you must leave off sugar, fat and calories. What we need to remember is that GOOD fats (olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc.) and GOOD calories (real fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes) are okay and in the long run will benefit us WAY more than fake sugars and fake fats. Even though I wasn’t worried about gaining weight…… I was looking for “lower sugar”……. because limiting sugar whenever possible is better for our bodies in general. Fake sugar is not! My goal is to eat “REAL” food. The closest thing to real in this, “jelly choice” would be the Dickenson’s jam. Not the Smucker’s that was advertised as “lower sugar preserves” on the Cracker Barrel menu. I spread the Dickenson’s brand……. happily…. over my half a piece of whole wheat toast with no butter and it was GREAT!
Go ahead…….eat your jellies, jams and preserves but, make the best choice possible when doing so. REAL is always better for us. Make your own if you’re up to it. I think I’m going to give it a try this summer for the first time ever. Please know that a bunch of preservatives and fake stuff are reeking havoc on the inside of our bodies. They are causing a boat-load of food allergies and diseases, some that we know about, and some we do not yet. Please pay attention to WHAT is in your food, read the ingredients and avoid…. the sweet deception.