Back in December, I mentioned that our local Kroger started carrying chips like these:
We’re seeing the wisdom of crowds at work. The U.S. government, the American Heart Association and other (ahem) “experts” still insist that coconut oil will kill us because of the saturated fat, and yet grocery stores are responding to demand from consumers who know better.
As more evidence that crowd wisdom is winning, I offer this picture:
There are only three ingredients in these chips: sweet potatoes, coconut oil and sea salt.
So what? It’s just another bag of chips cooked in coconut oil, right? True, but I found these at …wait for it … a gas-station mini-mart, right there by the checkout. That means someone who buys snacks for the mini-mart chain has realized there’s a demand for products like this. I remember driving from California to Tennessee in 2009 and not being able to find any gas-station snacks that weren’t vaguely horrifying.
Just for kicks, I also took a picture of the ingredients list for a bag of Lay’s cheddar-flavored baked chips:
Look at those yummy ingredients. But they’re baked! Lower in fat, ya see, so they must be good for you. Heh-heh-heh …
I’ll try not to strain my arm while patting myself on the back, but I’ve been predicting this trend for years. After Fat Head was released, I heard from plenty of food zealots who told me I’m an idiot, a shill for McDonald’s, etc., etc., for refusing to blame the evil corporations for making us all fat and sick by selling us bad foods.
I replied (over and over and over) that manufacturers only produce what people will buy, period. When more and more consumers demand grass-fed beef, or less-processed foods, or whatever, that’s what manufacturers will produce.
Here’s another example. I mentioned awhile back that I like a soup called True Primal. The latest incarnation is even better. It’s now made with all grass-fed beef, and the peas are gone. I’m sure that’s based on consumer feedback.
One pouch of the soup provides 24 grams of protein and just 11 net carbs. All the vegetables are organic. My daughters like the flavor, which makes it an easy lunch for them.
The demand for grain-free and gluten-free products is continuing to change what’s available in stores as well. Our local Kroger now carries several types of wheat-free pastas. Sure, they had gluten-free pastas before, but most were made from rice. My glucose meter tells me that anything with rice as a primary ingredient will send my blood sugar into the stratosphere. But now we’re finding pastas made from lentils, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots and beets.
Here’s the complicated ingredient list for the lentil pasta:
If you’re on a strict ketogenic diet or a paleo purist, pasta made from lentils probably won’t appeal to you. I’m not a paleo purist (I think lentils are a fine food) and my daily carb intake is in the 75-100 gram range, so I’m happy to have the option of a pasta meal now and then. Unlike wheat pasta, which seems to just make me hungrier until I stuff myself, these pastas are quite satisfying.
The lentil pasta has 24 net carbs for two ounces. I use three ounces when I make a dinner-sized meal, so it’s 36 net carbs. I’ve checked my glucose an hour after eating and have yet to peak above 125 mg/dl. I’m fine with that.
I usually add four ounces of chicken breast to boost the protein, although the lentil pasta itself has a decent amount of protein at 20 grams per three ounces. For sauce, I make a quick-and-easy alfredo. Here are the ingredients for one serving – multiply as necessary.
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan
2 tablespoons full-fat sour cream
Garlic and salt to taste
Warm the ingredients and whip with a fork.
Sometimes I also add a quarter-cup of marinara sauce made with no added sugars. According to my calculations, the meal comes out to:
58 grams of protein
40 net carbs
11 grams of fiber
Nice to see more foods like these becoming available in grocery stores. Definitely a sign that things are changing for the better.
On the other hand, there’s this:
Weight Watchers is still trying but failing to get it right. Yes, they’ve caught on that people want real ingredients you can pronounce, but they substituted bean puree for cream as a “smart swap.” I don’t have anything against bean puree, but it’s just not necessary to ditch the cream. And of course, they kept the wheat pasta. Wrong swap, folks.
Just to confirm that we have a ways to go despite all the positive changes, the checkout guy at Kroger furrowed his brow when he scanned a bag of the Boulder chips and said, “Coconut oil? Isn’t that bad for you?”
“What makes you say that?”
“I think I read it has too much of the bad kind of cholesterol or something like that.”
Ah, well. We’re getting there, but it will take time.
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