Ingredients to Avoid when Grocery Shopping

March 31, 2022
• By

If you are in the Wild Health community, you may have heard some talk about “kryptonite” foods, as in the foods that can be detrimental to our health and longevity. These are foods that we are more likely to be sensitive to, or foods that can ultimately cause more harm than good on an individual level. There are, however, some ingredients that we all may benefit from reducing or completely eliminating from the foods we consume. When looking at the Nutrition labels for the foods you are eating, it’s important to understand these ingredients, and why you might look for a different option altogether in some instances.

Added Sugar

Many foods have naturally occurring sugars, like soups, fruits and vegetables, even milk. These are sugars that have not been altered by processing. Conversely, added sugars are not naturally occurring, and are added in the form of artificial or caloric sweeteners.

Here are some common names for added sugars you might find on ingredient lists:

  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Cane Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose

Added sugars are in many products that you’d expect, like ice cream and soda, but also tend to hide in other products like sauces and breads. Here are some more examples of foods that include sneaky added sugars:

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Yogurt (especially flavored)
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Premade Fruit Smoothies/Juices
  • Sports Drinks
  • Granola
  • Flavored Coffee
  • Protein Bars
  • Premade Soup
  • Breakfast Cereal

Processed Seed Oils

The process of producing cooking oil is a tricky one. Fats are not particularly heat stable, and for seed oils specifically, this means that the likelihood of them being produced in a way that does not protect against them going rancid is high. Oil from these sources is not easily extracted, requiring chemical solvents or oil mills to produce them. These fats are also higher in Omega-6 Fatty Acids, which as a population we get a lot of in our diet already. It is best to avoid these, and opt for higher quality sources of fats from other options like avocados, avocado oil, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed ghee or butter, or pastured tallow (best for high heat). Here are some examples of processed seed oils that are best to eliminate altogether:

  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower/Safflower Oil
  • Peanut Oil

These are commonly found in many convenience food products, these are the most common foods:

  • Chips, crackers, pretzels
  • Breads (even “healthy alternatives”)
  • Sauces & Mayonnaise
  • Pre-made frozen meals/vegetables
  • Protein bars
  • Premade Soups
  • Premade Meals
  • Candy, cookies, other processed sweet treats

If you are looking to start reducing or eliminating these ingredients from your diet, we have some resources to make that shift easier! It is important to remember that in order to make lasting change, the changes made must be sustainable. Start by auditing your pantry: what is already there, and what are the ingredients in those things? Bringing awareness here first can be helpful in understanding what to look for in the future. Once you’ve created awareness around the foods you typically buy that have these ingredients in them, you can start to look for alternatives when you go grocery shopping.

Here are some high quality brands, free of seed oils and added sugars (mostly) that you can try:

  • Primal Kitchen (Sauces & Marinades)
  • Kettle & Fire (Soups & Bone Broths)
  • LMNT (Electrolytes- Sports drink replacement)
  • Purely Elizabeth (Granola)
  • Four Sigmatic (Coffee & Lattes)
  • Siete Foods (chips, crackers, cookies)
  • Epic Foods (protein bars, snack foods)
  • The New Primal (jerky, sauces, marinades)
  • Whole30 (sauces, marinades)
  • Wild Planet (wild caught canned fish- salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, mussels)
  • Jovial (pasta)
  • Banza (pasta)

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