Heath Squier: Welcome to “The Primal Show” with myself Heath Squier CEO of Julian Bakery and Paleo Inc and my co‑host Gary Collins, founder of The Primal Power Method and author of “The Primal Power Method” book.
Today, we’re going to be talking about paleo products and some of the companies out there that are claiming to have paleo bars and protein powders and some products that they’re claiming that are paleo and that really aren’t.
When we say paleo product that means that they should be operating within a paleo guidelines. Meaning, they are gluten‑free, grain‑free, dairy‑free. That rules out pea protein and even grass fed whey protein.
As a food manufacturer myself, I was a little confused when I first started making paleo products, whether grass‑fed whey was paleo or not.
What I learned was that grass‑fed whey can be beneficial for some, if you process dairy all right and it doesn’t trigger any sort of stomach issues or mucous, that you can consume it, but it’s definitely not for everybody and I ended up calling my protein line that had grass‑fed whey, “Primal Protein”.
I like to use grass‑fed whey, but only recommend it for those that can digest it properly. Regarding pea protein, it’s definitely in the vegan family. Pea protein specifically is a legume, and some people do process it OK. It’s not the most bio‑available or best protein on the market, it is an acceptable source of protein, but not in…it definitely doesn’t belong anywhere within the paleo family.
Check your labels is what we’re encouraging you to do on this show. We wanted to specifically highlight a bar that’s gotten a little bit of attraction out there. I’m not really doing this to bag on another manufacturer. Although, if you’re going to use the word “paleo”, and specifically, “paleo bar,” there’s a company that Gary and I have found called “Designs for Health.” Are you familiar with them, Gary?
Gary Collins: Yes, I’ve looked at their bars before, and I looked at their ingredients, and I about fell out of my chair when I saw that it was called “paleo bar,” and it’s not even in the neighborhood. It’s not even close.
Heath: Right, and specifically, I’m reading their ingredients, which, this is how shady this company is.
I just went to their site. They don’t post their ingredients. Are you kidding me? This makes me pissed off as a food manufacturer. You’re hiding your ingredients, probably, because theyí have gotten so many complaints that their bars aren’t paleo, they just decided to hide them.
I went to Pureformulas.com, which sells Designs for Health products, and I found the ingredients. Here is why they are not showing their ingredients on their site ‑‑ and who knows, maybe they will just all of a sudden appear after this episode, I have no idea.
Their first ingredient is maltitol syrup, and out of all the sweeteners, that is definitely the worse one. If you want to have some gas, that is definitely the way to go with maltitol. Their second ingredient, rice protein concentrate. Are you kidding me?
Gary: [laughs]. What do you mean, rice is a grain?
Gary: I didn’t know that.
Heath: You’ve got to be kidding me that you’ve made a rice protein bar and your first two ingredients are maltitol and rice protein. I mean…
Gary: Sounds like a vegan bar that they relabeled, but it is not…
Heath: Yes. Rice is not Paleo. Not Paleo. Third ingredient, erythritol.
Now, they are not stating whether this is non‑GMO. If you do consume erythritol, make sure its from a non‑GMO source, because it is derived from fruits and vegetables. Out of all the sugar alcohols, that is the best, but you definitely have to not over‑consume it. It can cause some stomach discomfort. We actually do use this ingredient, and it is much better for you than wrecking your blood sugar with traditional sugar.
Erythritol definitely is OK, but in moderate amounts, and it’s only because it’s dried from fruits and vegetables and is actually derived from the fermentation of fruits and vegetables. It’s not from anything that would be non‑paleo.
Gary: Let’s be honest, too, though. Anything above, I would say eight grams, it’s going to mess with you.
You’ve got to be real careful. I know I’m sensitive to it. I can tell. I’ve eaten a couple of bars over the years I didn’t check the label. I missed erythritol in it. It will gas you up. It will cause this gurgling, and the reaction to it…it’s just not me.
Heath: We like to make products with erythritol, but we definitely limit it to right around six grams.
You won’t really have any sort of issues. Just have it in two sittings. But you know, when we make chocolate and stuff like that, it’s a treat. Don’t over consume it, it would be like anything else. At least, when you do consume it, it’s not going to be wrecking your blood sugar, which, that means that you’re not going to have a crash afterward.
Now to be specific, this Paleo bar is the chocolate almond ,they call the anabolic energy bar. It’s got 14 grams of sugar alcohols. What you don’t know here is how much maltitol and how much erythritol is going. If it’s more heavy on maltitol, and you know it is, because it’s the first ingredient, this is most likely going to be a gas bomb. After you consume this, you’re going to have some issues.
Now, they have some unsweetened chocolate, which is great. Glycerin, neither here nor there. Here we go, crisp rice, and rice flour. Are you kidding me?
Here’s another one, rice bran, on a fucking Paleo bar, you got to be kidding me. I’m sorry, I’m getting a little fired up. Here we go, natural peanut butter. Wow, are you kidding me?
Gary: They like their grains and their legumes, lets’ go through two of the main things that are not Paleo, grains and legumes. Those are two no Paleo. There’s no exception on those unless you’re Chris Kresser and you just make it up as you go.
Heath: There’s more rice in this bar. I’m not even done with all the rice. They put some creatine. That’s fine, it’s going to make you retain some water weight, a proven fact. I don’t care what kind of creatine you get.
It will increase your strength, but that’s something that you would want to cycle on and off of and definitely can make you puffy, but it will give you some strength. There is that. Natural flavor, I have no idea what’s in that. That’s an interesting one.
Gary: Natural flavors by definition can be pretty much anything.
Heath: Here we go, there’s more. Stabilized rice bran. Really? By the way, there’s 28 gram of carbs in this bar. You might, as well, have just blown your whole carb load for the whole entire day. Unbelievable.
Gary: Even with those sugar alcohols, it’s still has 28 grams?
Gary: Wow. It’s probably like the size of a Vienna sausage, the bar, too.
Heath: Let’s explain something here to be fair. Total carbs are 28. Now, for every gram of sugar alcohol you have, you’re supposedly supposed to deduct the sugar alcohol and you’re also deducting the fiber, which is five grams.
In all fairness, you’ve got 19 grams, you’d be deducting from the 28 grams of carbohydrates. That’s how they’re getting around, supposedly that this would be a lower carb bar, but it’s not Paleo.
I just have to be fair. I’m reading the label as it is. It is stated right here on Pureforumulas.com. I definitely do not recommend this bar if you’re going to be consuming a Paleo bar. Guess what’s after rice bran? Peanuts.
Gary: Is there pea protein in there, too? Might, as well, through the pea protein in, as well, you’re already there. When you look at the ingredients on it, which I have, as well, it is a vegan bar.
It is a vegan bar that they have relabeled, because those are vegan ingredients. You could go to any vegan bar and it will read almost like that ingredient list.
Heath: It’s interesting actually that you bring up the vegan point, because you know who recommends this brand is Chris Kresser.
Heath: Yes, it’s true. I had to go there. He actually does indorse this and a lot of people do recommend this brand. A lot of the people out there trying to help people and we’re just trying to shine a little light on this company.
God bless them for trying to go Paleo, but man, did they fall short. We’ve been overly criticized ourselves, not for not being Paleo. If you’re going to make something Paleo at least follow the guidelines of Paleo that were set forth by the research done by Dr. Loren Cordain.
Gary: You can tell by this bar they don’t even know what Paleo is.
I guarantee that bar was already in their manufacturing process as another bar and they just re‑wrapped it. They had to have. How can you call that Paleo? It’s not anywhere even in the neighborhood.
Heath: It’s the most grave atrocity for a Paleo bar I’ve ever seen.
I’m sorry to be a little bit harsh, but seriously, it’s really sad. This is just an example of somebody that’s using Paleo to make money and not caring about people’s health, because these are nowhere near Paleo.
Now, a lot of people say, it’s a bar. It’s not even Paleo to begin with, because it’s processed. That is not true. You can use Paleo ingredients to make a Paleo product, bottom line, but it needs to support a person’s optimal health. It’s just really sad that these companies like this are using lecithin that’s got soy in it. They’re not telling you what kind of lecithin that they’re using. This is another common trick.
I’m looking at their “Paleo‑mixed Berry Bar” and when they state “lecithin” they’re actually hiding the fact that it’s soy, because they used to say so. I’ve been looking at this bar for a while. If I’m wrong, they might be using sunflower lecithin, but I don’t think I’m wrong in this.
Gary: If you’re sunflower lecithin then you would put it on your label. You would probably put that on your label.
Heath: Thank you, Mr. Former FDA Investigator.
Gary: Just saying that. Just thought I would throw that one out there for the obvious. Why would you hide a good ingredient?
Heath: We’re very proud. Our Paleo products, we went above and beyond and found sunflower lecithin.
This is not to like, “My product is better than theirs,” but as another food manufacturer, I get upset when somebody like this is coming on out the market with a Paleo bar and they’re doing it wrong. It’s sad.
Because there is another Paleo bar that’s out there on the market. It’s very high in sugar, but at least, it’s Paleo. It’s made from fruits and nuts. That’s one direction you could go, if you want to wreck your blood sugar, but I’ve set off to make a Paleo protein bar that doesn’t wreck your blood sugar, that’s got almost no sugar in it and it’s using Paleo ingredients, because at the end of the day, that’s really what it’s about.
Gary: Does it say “gluten‑free” on it, by any chance?
Heath: Yeah. That would be a whole other disaster, if that wasn’t gluten‑free.
Gary: I figured it was because, we’ve talked about this, that it’s gluten‑free, but technically, if you have issues with gluten and you have issues with grain and you’re going paleo, this bar is going to inflame you, too. You’ll have all kinds of things.
Heath: It does say gluten‑free and that’s one thing you’ve got to be really careful of. I’m not saying that their facility, because they are definitely gluten‑free but a lot of food manufacturers are producing products that are also shared with wheat and things that could cross‑contaminate.
Gary: I always tell people who are real sensitive to gluten, especially celiacs, that there are gluten‑like molecules in all grains. If you’re trying to go gluten‑free, you’re better off going grain‑free and going Paleo, because you can have a reaction to rice bran.
You can still have a reaction, because like I said, it may be a different molecule, but it’s very similar and just not called “gluten.” I’ve ran into this numerous times. Like I said, people who are gluten sensitive and they’re pounding these rice bars and they’re all messed up and they can’t figure out why they have these weird yo‑yo’s, where they’ll feel fine for a couple of days, and then, they won’t feel good.
I’ll ask them. I’ll go, “What are you eating?” Sure enough, they’re pounding a couple of these bars like this and it’s screwing them up. It’s just causing an inflammation reaction, an autoimmune reaction. That’s why you have to be careful. If you have a gluten intolerance, don’t be messing around with grains, period.
Heath: The other thing, they have some paleo meal, which is a really popular one that they’re recommending.
It’s got whey protein in it. Once again, call it something else. Call it “primal” or something like that. Definitely read your labels. The thing is, they’ve saturated Amazon with all these products and they’re not posting their ingredients. They just post a picture of the front of the product and they’re actually hiding what’s actually in the product.
You have to dig and actually do research to actually find out what’s in these products and that’s scary.
Gary: That’s a red flag. I tell people that all the time and I’ve written about it.
If you have to look hard to find ingredients for a product…if it’s not just right there as an ingredients labeled that you can click on and you’ve got to dig around, that’s a red flag. That’s a shady, shady company. If you’re doing it right, traditional data and labels are right there for everyone to see.
Heath: Yeah. The real thing here, when I look at that their bars, some of them do have ingredients on there but they’re just buried below.
But actually, the customers and the reviews are posting the actual ingredients and talking about how they’re not paleo and why are they hiding the ingredients.
For instance, on this one bar, it says, “I’ve never tried these, they may be fantastic. However, looking over the ingredients shows that they are in no way Paleo. If you are truly living Paleo or trying to the Paleo lifestyle, move on.”
This is posted by only Paleo and by B. Smith. This is on their Paleo bar, almond bar. Obviously, people are very aware of what’s going on, from the maltitol to the whey, to the fact that they’re hiding which kind of lecithin they’re using, because soy is in no way Paleo.
If you’re struggling with being overly estrogenized, if you have some gynecomastia in your pecks, it’s probably, because you’re over consuming soy, because they sneak it in everything.
Gary: Everything. Yeah.
Heath: One of the ways I was able to really shed weight was reducing my estrogen levels, making sure I’m cutting out all the soy.
It’s products like this that they’re sneaking it in. You’ve got soy, you got maltitol. If you’re over‑consuming sugar alcohol, you’re going to have gut inflammation.
Gary: Big time.
Heath: It’s going to give you all sorts of issues. It’s going to trigger your histamines.
You’re going to start having allergy problems. This is more just to look out for this, because there’s a lot of people in the paleo movement that are recommending these products. Just be aware that paleo is no dairy, no legumes, no grains.
Gary: I have a whole piece in my new book on how to read food labels.
I think I have an article on it somewhere, too. I, maybe, should post. Food labels are tricky and I’ve always said this. Food labels are tricky for a reason. Especially, when they get into far more ingredients, like what you’re doing, what we talked about, the products that we deal with and manufacture, ours are always simple.
We always talk about that. When you look at the label, you don’t have to guess. You go, “OK. There’s 55 ingredients on here. What’s what? What one is the first one? What one is the last one?” They do that for a reason. Anytime that a label becomes overcomplicated or you have to look for it, just move on. That’s the simplest advice I can give you. Don’t screw around with a product like that.
Heath: In all honesty, before I started manufacturing a lot of the Paleo proteins and other items that we may now, I had gone to them, filled out all their paperwork and then I actually saw these ingredients. I called them up. I said, “These aren’t Paleo. How can you be claiming this is Paleo?”
This is one of the things that really spurred me on to end up making my own products. Our Paleo Protein Pure has one ingredient, egg albumin. That’s it. And sunflower lecithin. Not soy lecithin. You can mix it with a spoon.
That’s it, two ingredients. Sorry.
Our beef protein, beef albumin, and sunflower lecithin. Really simple. Even our vanilla and chocolate flavors are simple, I have four, five ingredients, and they’re all Paleo. They’re clean.
There are options obviously whether you buy from me, or somebody else. Just ready the label is really are I’m tying to say here.
Gary: Boy, it’s such a amaze for the average consumer. You get why they gave up. Look at this product, it’s touted as this great product for health, and the product is actually garbage.
That’s the problem, I think the consumer gets so fed up with a lot of Paleo and primal movement. It’s not our fault. It’s just that people see as an avenue to make more money, and then, they’re just throwing these products out there, and the consumer gets pissed off, because things like this Paleo bar, and it’s garbage. Now, Paleo is now associated with this crappy bar.
Heath: It’s what pissing me off and that’s actually what lead me to design my own Paleo protein bar. Just that there’s full transparency, I am coming out with the Paleo protein bar. It doesn’t have any sugar alcohols.
This is really about the ingredients. It’s not about scamming anybody. I want more companies to be more transparent in this. It’s just once again, shocks me that they’re hiding their ingredients. It’s weird. It’s very strange, and as far as know, they might be even breaking sort of FDA regulation.
Gary: You do. You have to make sure that your ingredients in your nutritional data is available. You can’t hide it.
Heath: The nutritional data is there, but I don’t see where you can get the ingredients. They used to be there, it’s just very odd. Maybe you have to register or something, but I don’t know. I just want people to be aware and that’s really what this episode was all about.
Thank you to everyone for tuning in to this episode. I hope we’ve been able to help you. Please make sure to pay attentions to the labels and what you’re consuming. You will feel better if you pay attention to this and definitely follow a low carb, low sugar, ketogenic approach. Keep your blood sugar in check for the sustained energy levels all day.
We want you to be healthy and that’s really what Gary and I want it at the end of the day. We’re going to be doing many more episodes like this.
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