I recently had a mom tell me that Wow Butter is a very popular choice for parents sending their kids to schools with NO NUT policies. She asked me if it is a healthy option. So I thought I would have a look and give my two cents worth.
Firstly, here are the ingredients:
- Toasted Soy
- Soy Oil
- Granulated Cane Sugar
- Monoglyceride (from sustainable palm oil)
- Sea Salt
Let me start with the positives. Wow Butter provides a decent amount of protein: 7 grams per 2 tbsp.
The other good news is that the soy is made in Canada and is non-GMO and the palm oil is sustainably sourced. Furthermore, the salt used is sea salt rather than refined table salt. All good!
On the other hand, there are 3 downsides to Wow Butter. Firstly, the soybean oil ingredient is fully refined. Refined oils are not healthy in my books, not ever! Refined means exposed to mechanical and chemical modifications. Refinement destroys nutrients, introduces chemicals and produces trans fats. Don’t be fooled by the zero trans fats rating on the Nutrition Facts Table. Labeling laws allow for traces of trans fast to be present and still be listed as zero.
Secondly, the monoglycerides in this butter may also contain traces of trans fats. However, because monoglycerides are not categorized as fats under Canadian and US labeling laws (they are considered to be thickening agents), their trans fat content does not have to be declared. This means that their are two potential sources of trans fats in this butter.
Lastly, Wow Butter contains about 1 tsp of sugar per 2 tbsp. Is this a lot? Well it really depends on the sum total of sugar per meal or per day. I prefer my patients eat no more than about 7 teaspoons of sugar a day. Many nut butters are available without any added sugar.
I recommend trying to get your kids to use nut butters (or their substitutes) as vegetable dips rather than as spreads on bread. Most kids are eating breads made from refined flours. Furthermore, many commercial breads contain thickening agents like mono or di-glycerides which are another potential hidden source of trans fats (as explained above).
So that is my two cents worth about Wow Butter. If your kids are not allergic to nuts or seeds, my preference would be to give them real pure nut butters at home and to find alternative protein sources for lunch: hummus and veggies, organic tofu-fries, bean based chilli, hard boiled free-range eggs, and high protein pastas (made from beans and lentils). For particular brand ideas visit my list of RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS.
This excerpt is from, The Confident Food Shopper: The Guide to Food Labels and Fables, which can be purchased HERE.
Dr. Charney has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto for the past 14 years. Based on her own personal health triumphs, her healing advice has always been firmly rooted in the old adage, Food Is Your Best Medicine. Although she has been pleased by the personal successes of her patients who have committed themselves to truly creating a foundation for good health, she has also become increasingly aware of the limitations around food and healing in a culture where we are acutely disconnected from our foods. She has come to believe that access to healthy food can only be secured when we become more conscious about the stories around our
foods. And when we know those stories we cannot help but become impassioned and political about what we eat. In an attempt to open our eyes she has spent the last 4 years writing a four book series.The Confident Food Shopper: The Guide to Food Labels and Fables, expected around July of this year, is from where she draws much of her content today. The renowned Dr. Shiv Chopra, a huge advocate for transparency around food and the author of Corrupt to the Core, calls her book, “A ready encyclopedia on the best and worst of food labels.” Thalia’s branding of herself as The Classroom Doc speaks to her profound belief in the role of “Doctor as Teacher”. She wants not only to educate people but aspires to get them excited about food and hopefully a lot more critical about the information they get from food packages, food companies, media and yes… even Health Canada. She is delighted to have a captive audience and welcomes you questions and curiosity today and in future