Food becomes a chore to eat when it doesn’t have flavor. How we add flavor to our foods is where the problem comes in.
If you’ve ever eaten at a diner, restaurant or bar, you’ve probably noticed some condiments on the table: sugar, salt, ketchup, pepper. What you don’t see are the MSGs, GMO sourced soy and corn, xanthan gum and/or preservatives most likely present in them.
These unwanted additives have been linked to high blood sugar, high blood pressure, cancer, and ADHD among other chronic illnesses.
But you don’t have to settle for these harmful ingredients to satisfy your tastebuds. Here are seven popular flavoring brands and the REAL foods that you can replace them with! For vegans, there are even some options to replace common ingredients used from animals!
1. A.1. Steak Sauce
A.1. Steak Sauce is the most widely-consumed steak sauce in the United States. But, millions of Americans don’t know that this popular sauce has xanthan gum, corn syrup, and potassium sorbate.
Xanthan gum is a gummy substance used to stabilize ingredients by thickening the mix. Corn syrup is used as a sweetener and thickener. Try adding some grass-fed butter to your beef instead.
2. Cool Whip
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There’s nothing like a dollop of whipped cream to top off your strawberries, your milkshakes, your sundaes etc. But Cool Whip doesn’t seem as appealing once you realize that it actually has no cream in it! Instead, Cool Whip consists of high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic wax, and xanthan and guar gums.
Instead of Cool Whip, try beating one ripe banana with an egg white until it reaches your desired consistency. Use this mixture to top off all your favorite desserts!
3. Heinz Ketchup
Though an American favorite, this brand also has corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. You can avoid these hidden sugars by choosing mustard instead! Plain old mustard has no added sugar, but if you aren’t a fan of mustard’s taste, opt for salsa instead!
4. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
The first ingredient in this popular chocolate flavoring is high fructose corn syrup. Cocoa is the fifth ingredient listed, followed by sugar, xanthan gum, artificial flavors and a bunch of other preservatives. Need I say more?
Replace this chocolate flavoring with real cocoa powder. If you need it in liquid form, mix it with some water.
5. C&H Sugar
We already know that sugar is super unhealthy for us, particularly white, refined sugar. You can replace sugar in muffin recipes for sweet potatoes. Unsweetened applesauce can be used as an alternative to sugar as well.
Although healthy on its own, it can be frustrating for vegans to get their bake on without eggs! Luckily, you can get equally delicious baked goods by substituting eggs for pumpkin! Pumpkin can also be used to replace oil and cornstarch used in waffle and pancake recipes. In addition to all of that, you’ll get a solid source of fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene!
Now, even though specific brands are listed in this article, the flavorings in general can use the same replacements regardless of brand.
Di Justo, Patrick. This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth? New York: Three Rivers Press, 2015. Print.
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