Category Archives: lessons learned

Why is there SUGAR in my SALT!?

sugar in salt

According to the medical dictionary, dextrose is a monosaccharide and the outdated name for glucose (now referred to as d-glucose).

I’ve become a label Nazi over the past 2 months. I’m amazed at the ingredients I glossed over prior to starting the SCD. Likely because the names were so long and I couldn’t pronounce them…. My how things change.

As I was cleaning out my cabinets the other day, I was glancing at the labels. You could have knocked me over, I was so stunned to see dextrose on the label of my salt.

When you go to Morton’s website FAQ page, they address the issue of dextrose:
“In 1924 Morton became the first company to produce iodized salt for the table in order to reduce the incidence of simple goiter. Dextrose is added to stabilize the iodide. Iodine is vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the prevention of goiter. Actually, the amount of dextrose in salt is so small that it is dietetically insignificant. Morton® Iodized Table Salt contains 0.04 percent dextrose or 40 milligrams per 100 grams of salt. Morton® Plain Table Salt contains neither iodine nor dextrose. All Morton Salt products containing potassium iodide are labeled as such.”

huh. Well, while it may be insignificant to your calorie intake, when you’ve got gut issues you can’t take any chances.

I went back to a book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, to refresh my memory on iodine and sea salt. It has become one of my main go to books for nutritional questions. She does a great job of breaking down the technical parts.

On page 44, she states that iodine is essential for “fat metabolism, thyroid function and the production of sex hormones”. One’s iodine requirements may vary based on where your ancestors are from (coastal – needs more) and requires Vitamin A for absorption. Also, too much can be toxic.

She continues on pages 48 and 49, “Most discussions of salt ignore the issue of salt processing. Few people realize that our salt – like our sugar, flour and vegetable oils – is highly refined; it is the product of a chemical and high-temperature industrial process that removes all the valuable magnesium salts as well as trace minerals naturally occurring in the sea. To keep salt dry, salt refiners adulterate this “pure” product with several harmful additives, including aluminum compounds. To replace the natural iodine salts that are removed during processing, potassium iodide is added in amounts that can be toxic. To stabilize the volatile iodine compound, processors add dextrose which turns the iodized salt a purplish color. A bleaching agent is then necessary to restore whiteness to the salt… Even most so-called sea salt is produced by industrial methods”.

Really? What the heck! She suggests that you buy the purest form, unrefined sea salt from the salt marshes in the Celtic region. It contains natural iodine from  marine life and is a light gray color (naturally).

If you don’t have the book, I highly recommend it. You can also find it in my Good Reads section. As for me, I’ll be buying some different sea salt this weekend…

The day I almost killed myself with mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”     -George Santayana

So, about 2 1/2 weeks into my new diet (about 1.5weeks ago), I cheated. Up until now, I had been doing pretty well. I had had a couple of rocky days where every fast food place I drove by was flashing giant **MILKSHAKE** signs, but, I had been able to abstain. I now had an opportunity to make a friend/co-worker dessert for her birthday. She absolutely loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candies. I needed something simple, from a box, especially since I’ve nearly eliminated all flour and sugar from my pantry. Being a recovering sugar addict and confessed foodie, I knew I had seen a recipe for peanut butter cup brownies somewhere.

After an brief internet search, I had the one I wanted. Simple. 1 box Ghiradelli chocolate brownie mix and 1 package mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Grease pan, prepare box per instructions and pour into pan. Then, arrange mini cups as desired and bake! Sounded deliciously rich and just what my sugar free diet had me craving.

After making them, I spent some time deliberating and staring at the batter bowl on the counter. Then, I licked it clean… I just couldn’t bring myself to put that stupid bowl in the sink and turn on the water. I had lost all willpower. The chocolatey goodness was right there in front of me, waiting to be eaten. Then, to make matters worse, I just happened to drop a couple peanut butter cups on the counter. I ate them, too.

Holy BIG MISTAKE! Found myself on the couch 10mins later, one hand on my stomach and one hand on my head. 4 glasses of water, 2 tylenol and 2 hours later, I was still having a migraine. I thought I was going to die. I checked myself for stroke symptoms at least 3 times. Somehow I managed to finish the brownies and get them in the fridge without burning them. I still couldn’t see straight.

Needless-to-say, I did not have any desire to have a brownie the next day at lunch. Everyone said they were delicious. I just took their word for it. Its amazing how much my sugar tolerance decreased in just a few short weeks.

Lesson learned and remembered.