Friday, July 18, 2014

In every store, check the nutrition label for added sugar

These sardines from Thailand seemed like a good buy at ShopRite in Parmaus, but when I looked at the nutrition label on the ones with tomato sauce, sugar was listed as one of the ingredients.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss nutrition labels that list added sugar, and shopping at Costco Wholesale, Trader Joe's and ShopRite.


Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods -- in juice, raw in salads and in cooking -- but a lot of products made with them also contain added sugar.

Bottled pasta sauce with sugar is commonplace, as I discovered at Trader Joe's the other day. But what is sugar doing in sardines?

I've been buying 99-cents canned Moroccan sardines with tomato sauce at Fatal's in Paterson, because they have less sodium than the same fish in oil, and often use them with pasta.

At the ShopRite in Paramus, I saw 3.75-ounce of sardines in tomato sauce from Thailand for only 59 cents during the Summer Can Can Sale.

But the nutrition label listed sugar as one of the ingredients.

I bought three jars of Archer Farms Roasted Salsa Verde from Target, and liked its thick, chunky style.

When I tasted it and then looked at the label, I saw sugar is one of the ingredients. 

No sugar is used in green salsas made in Mexico, and sold by Goya, La Costena and others.

Two bottled pasta sauces at Trader Joe's in Paramus, above and below, contain added sugar. I buy Kirkland Signature Marinara and Classico Tomato & Basil at Costco Wholesale. Both are made without sugar.

The front label on Trader Joe's Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil says it is "imported from Italy and packed in U.S.A." But a label on the back notes the bottle contains a blend of oils from four countries.

The side or back label, left, lists an oil blend from Italy, Spain, Argentina and Greece. ShopRite sells a liter bottle of 100% extra-virgin olive oil from Italy for $7.99 and for $6.99 during the Summer Can Can Sale.

Trader Joe's

At Trader Joe's in Paramus, I looked at bottled pasta sauces with sugar, but bought a 25-ounce jar of Trader Giotto's Organic Tomato Basil Marinara, which is unsweetened ($2.29).

A package of Trader Joe's uncured, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef hot dogs was $4.99.

Applegate naturally raised sliced ham and roast beef come in 7-ounce packages for $3.99 each.

A 2-pound bag of small sweet potatoes was $1.69 or about 85 cents a pound.

Summer Can Can Sale

I took advantage of Summer Can Can Sale discounts at the ShopRite in Paramus. 

The sale continues next week, though different items may be discounted.

A 1-pound package of Luigi Vitelli-brand Organic Whole Wheat Pasta from Italy is $1, compared to $1.39 for a similar product at Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.

I bought spaghetti, linguine, fusilli and capellini.

Liter bottles of Adirondack Lemon-Lime Seltzer were 40 cents each, and come in a 12 pack, a better value than the same seltzer in 12-ounce cans or 20-ounce bottles.

Bing Cherries were $1.99 a pound, reduced from $2.99.

Two-hundred Melitta basket filters for 4-cup coffee makers were 77 cents, reduced from $1.99.

Costco Wholesale calls this a "food court," but with only one counter, it's really just a food stand with tables. At the Montreal Costco, you can buy coffee and espresso drinks, but not in Hackensack.

A Melted Turkey and Provolone Sandwich is $3.99.

Costco Wholesale's $9.95 pizza

The slices on baked-to-order Costco Wholesale pizzas are so wide they are cut in two.

I ran out on Thursday to get an 18-inch pepperoni pizza at my Hackensack warehouse store for my wife and son ($9.95).

Before I went on a diet, I loved this pizza for all of the filling dough. And you can get a non-meat version with vegetables.

You can ask for it well done, but I'm not sure that is actually bakes longer in the conveyor-belt oven.

I used to bring it home and put the slices in the oven to bake even more.

The waiter said the Watermelon Salad at the Suburban Diner in Paramus comes with soup, such as this tasty vegetarian lentil, below. But when I got home, I noticed I was charged $4.10 for a small bowl.

The popular diner is cutting down trees to add more parking spaces.

A refreshing summer salad

I met a friend for lunch on Wednesday at the Suburban Diner in Paramus, and enjoyed a terrific Watermelon Salad with peppery arugula, diced cucumbers, feta cheese, salsa verde and a vinaigrette dressing with more cheese ($11.95).

I asked for the dressing on the side, and the waiter left it in the kitchen, but he brought it later when I asked for "more dressing."

He also told me a small bowl of soup came with the salad, but my check included a charge of $4.10.

I called the diner today and was told the soup is included. The next time I am there, a man said, the error will be fixed.

A cup of Mighty Leaf Organic Earl Grey Tea was $2.25.

Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north, Paramus; 201-261-2605.

At Maison Keyser on Third Avenue and 74th Street in Manhattan, a latte will set you back $4.50 plus tax, including a small pastry made in the artisan bakery. I couldn't find a Starbucks Coffee in the neighborhood.

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