Recently we received an e-mail about Walden Farms products. The writer wondered what is in these zero calorie, carbohydrate, fat, gluten and sugar free products and if they were healthy or chemical ridden. We decided to take a closer look. Here is what we found.
Beginning in 1972, the mission of Walden Farms' was, "to develop healthy specialty foods." By using natural ingredients and flavorings, freshly ground herbs and spices, aged vinegars and sweetening with Splenda, they have successfully established what they call "the Walden way". There are many recognizable ingredients instead of sugar alcohols, preservatives, or chemicals. However, there are also many products that contain natural flavors, cellulose and xanthan gums, or propylene glycol alginate for thickening.
If you have been doing without many of your favorite syrups, dressings and dips, Walden Farms products may be an option you would like to consider as long as you keep several things in mind. The first is that they will be costly and can take a bite out of your food dollar. Second, most all the products contain the sugar substitute sucralose or trade name Splenda. If you have noticed any personally adverse responses to this non-nutritive sweetener, you may experience them with the Walden Farms products as well. Lastly, you will want to note that many products state they contain trace calories. By law, this means they provide less than five calories per serving however if you do not monitor your serving size, you could consume negligible calories. These products are also not sodium free so if sodium control is important, you will want to pay close attention to the nutrition facts label.
The Bottom Line
Many times limiting calories to reach a personal goal means saying good-bye to favorite 'extras' like syrups, jams, dips, and dressings. Sometimes pureeing fresh berries and pouring them over frozen yogurt for dessert or a multi-grain waffle for breakfast works just fine. However, other times like holiday gatherings when you really want seafood sauce for your shrimp or BBQ sauce for your ribs, there are limited options without breaking your nutritional bank. Although they will be more costly, for those times when going without just won't do, Walden Farms products might be an answer. The Walden Farms website also provides a helpful store locator tool to help you find their products in your area.
Have you tried Walden Farm products? What do you think of them and how do you suggest others use them.
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