food babe
Food Babe Interview
October 4, 2016
liver
Is your liver ready for the holidays? Maybe it needs some love :)
October 9, 2016

Update – Carrageenan

When reading labels, have you seen the strange-sounding ingredient carrageenan? What is it anyway? Is it safe?  Let’s talk a bit more about it, and what it’s all about, with today’s blog post.

What Is Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a seaweed extract. By and large, sea vegetables are good additions to the diet. I’m a fan of having wakame, dulse, nori, mozuku or hijiki.

These sea vegetables are full of nutrients and binding compounds to help us detox. (Personally, I’m not a fan of kelp, you end up with more iodine from it than you’d like.)

So, if carrageenan is a sea vegetable extract, it must be good, right?

So, if carrageenan is a sea vegetable extract, it must be good, right?

Not right.

Why Isn’t Carrageenan Good?

Carrageenan is a fiber that’s difficult to break down, creating inflammation in the intestinal tract. Studies show it can greatly provoke ulcerative colitis, even in small quantities.

Because carrageenan increases intestinal inflammation, there are theoretical concerns that it may raise the risk of intestinal cancers and worsen diabetes.

If you’re struggling with your weight, anything that worsens diabetes is a concern. Ingredients that worsen diabetes are also bad for our blood sugar. Because of this, I think carrageenan is worth avoiding.

Labeling Laws

There are a lot of weird ingredients that can fly under the radar by innocuous-sounding names, like “natural flavors”, but carrageenan isn’t one of those. There are strict labeling laws regarding carrageenan. It must be labeled as such.

If I think about my favorite foods (lean poultry, wild salmon, blueberries, a variety of vegetables, intact whole grains, nuts and seeds), how many of those have added carrageenan? None.

Avoiding Processed Foods

Where is carrageenan found? It is found in most processed foods, even many “natural” ones.

I always say the foods with the long lists of strange ingredients should not be questioned, just rejected.

Worry less about what strange ingredient is lurking to kill you. Instead, focus on which foods will maximize your health and speed your recovery.

The bulk of foods found in the middle of the grocery store are processed. It’s sad to say that processed foods are even found in health food supermarkets.

You’re less apt to see some of the worst preservatives and processing agents, but you’ll still see plenty of processed foods. So, shop the perimeter of the store: the produce, lean meats and all fresh items.

Although carrageenan comes from the sea, it isn’t safe to consume. When shopping, focus your diet on fresh foods for maximum health, and avoid the foods with strange ingredients.

Find The Right Products Today

It’s easy to find foods without carrageenan, you just need to know where to look. Things like Greek yogurt without carrageenan, organic chocolate milk without carrageenan, and hemp milk without carrageenan are all out there – you just have to keep your eyes peeled.

 Because labeling can be tricky, here is a full list of natural foods with and without carrageenan shared from Cornucopia.org.

Buttermilk with Carrageenan Buttermilk without Carrageenan
(Organic buttermilk producers that used to add carrageenan have reformulated their products to be carrageenan-free) ·         Butterworks Farm

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Hawthorne Valley

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Natural By Nature

·         Organic Valley

 

Chocolate Milk With Carrageenan

 

Chocolate Milk without Carrageenan

·         Avalon Dairy

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Kirkland (Costco Brand)

·         Natural By Nature

·         Publix

·         Simple Truth Organic – Kroger

·         Trickling Springs Creamery (Committed to removing carrageenan by mid-2016. Check ingredients list)

·         Castle Rock Organic Farms

·         Cow Wow Cereal Milk

·         Crystal Ball Farms

·         Equal Exchange Hot Chocolate (powdered)

·         Horizon

·         Organic Valley

·         Strafford Organic Creamery

·         Thomas Organic Creamery

 

Cottage Cheese with Carrageenan

 

Cottage Cheese without Carrageenan

·         365 Whole Foods (lowfat and fat free)

·         Avalon Dairy

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Horizon (regular and lowfat)

·         Publix

·         Simple Truth Organics – Kroger

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Kalona Supernatural (regular and lowfat)

·         Nancy’s

·         Organic Valley (regular and lowfat)

 

Cream with Carrageenan

 

Cream without Carrageenan

·         HEB‘s Central Market Whipping Cream

·         O Organics – Safeway

·         Olympic

·         Publix

·         Stonyfield

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Butterworks Farm

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Horizon

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Natural By Nature

·         Organic Valley (Watch ingredients. Some reports indicate there may be carrageenan in UHT whipping cream)

·         Straus Family Creamery

·         Trickling Springs Creamery

 

Eggnog with Carrageenan

 

Eggnog without Carrageenan

·         Clover Stornetta ·         Horizon

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Straus Family Creamery

·         Organic Valley

 

Ice Cream with Carrageenan

 

Ice Cream without Carrageenan

·         Mapleton’s Organic (not listed in ingredients, in cream)

·         Organic Meadow

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Alden’s

·         Castle Rock Organic Farms

·         Crystal Ball Farms

·         Green and Black’s Organic

·         Julie’s

·         Publix (note: Publix conventional ice cream does contain carrageenan)

·         Strafford Organic Creamery

·         Straus Family Creamery

·         Three Twins

 

Kefir with Carrageenan

 

Kefir without Carrageenan

No organic kefir found with carrageenan – carrageenan is sometimes used in conventional kefir ·         Butterworks Farm

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Fresh Made

·         Helios

·         Lifeway

·         Nancy’s

·         Organic Pastures

·         Organic Valley (pourable yogurt)

 

Sour Cream with Carrageenan

 

Sour Cream without Carrageenan

·         Avalon Dairy

·         Horizon (lowfat)*

·         Natural By Nature

·         Publix

·         365 Whole Foods

·         Clover Stornetta

·         Horizon (regular only)*

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Organic Valley (regular and lowfat)

·         Nancy’s

·         Straus Family Creamery

·         Wallaby Organic

 

Yogurt with Carrageenan

 

Yogurt without Carrageenan

·         Publix

·         Trader Joe’s (Squishers™ and all but European-style plain whole milk, Greek-style yogurt, and vanilla organic yogurt cups in 6-pack)* Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         Yami Organic

·         365 Everyday (Whole Foods)

·         Butterworks

·         Clover Farms

·         Crystal Balls Farm

·         Green Mountain Creamery

·         Hails Family Farm

·         Harris Teeter

·         Hawthorne Valley Farm

·         Helios

·         Horizon

·         Kalona Supernatural

·         Latta

·         Maple Hill Creamery

·         Nancy’s

·         O Organics

·         Olympus

·         Pavel’s

·         Redwood Hill Farms

·         Saint Benoit

·         Seven Stars

·         Simple Truth

·         Smari

·         Stonyfield

·         Straus Family Creamery

·         Thomas Organic Creamery

·         Trader Joe’s European-style plain whole milk, Greek-style yogurt, and vanilla organic yogurt cups* (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Traders Point

·         Trickling Springs Creamery

·         Trimona

·         Wallaby Organic

·         Wegman’s

·         White Mountain

Organic Dairy Alternative

 

Almond Milk with Carrageenan

 

Almond Milk without Carrageenan

·         Central Market / HEB (organic original and vanilla)

·         Pacific Foods

·         President’s Choice

·         Trader Joe’s (aseptic)* Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         365 Whole Foods

·         Beber

·         New Barn

·         O Organics – Safeway

·         OMilk NYC

·         Trader Joe’s (refrigerated)* Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         Wegman’s

 

Cheese Alternative with Carrageenan

 

Cheese Alternative without Carrageenan

·         Vegan Gourmet – Follow Your Heart(made with organic ingredients) ·         Dr-Cow

·         Heidi Ho

·         Miyoko’s Creamery (made with organic ingredients)

 

Chocolate Soymilk with Carrageenan

 

Chocolate Soymilk without Carrageenan

·         365 Whole Foods

·         Eden Foods (Eden Foods committed to removing carrageenan from all its products, but it remains in this one.)

·         Nature’s Promise – GIANT Food Stores

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Organic Valley

·         Tofu Shop

 

Coconut Milk with Carrageenan

 

Coconut Milk without Carrageenan

·         Trader Joe’s (original, vanilla and light) Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully. ·         Native Forest (canned milk or cream)

·         So Delicious (all organic culinary milk, latte and coconut beverages)

·         Tropical Traditions (coconut cream concentrate)

 

Coconut Water with Carrageenan

 

Coconut Water without Carrageenan

(Organic coconut water producers that used to add carrageenan have reformulated their products to be carrageenan-free) ·         Coco Libre coconut water

·         Harmless Harvest Organic 100% Raw

·         Lakewood (juice)

·         Yoga Earth Purity (coconut water powder)

 

Coffee Creamer with Carrageenan

 

Coffee Creamer without Carrageenan

·         365 Whole Foods

·         Fresh & Easy

·         Meijer Organics

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

·         Wildwood

·         Organic Valley
 

Frozen Dessert (non-dairy) with Carrageenan

 

Frozen Dessert (non-dairy) without Carrageenan

·         So Delicious (coconut frozen desserts made with organic ingredients: all No Sugar Added products)* ·         365 Whole Foods

·         Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Cream

·         Julie’s

·         Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss

·         Nadamoo

·         Natural Choice Fruit Bars

·         Organic Nectars

·         Sambazon

·         So Delicious (all frozen desserts and bars except those listed to the left)*

 

Hemp Milk with Carrageenan

 

Hemp Milk without Carrageenan

 

No organic hemp milk found with carrageenan.

·         Hemp Bliss
 

Oat Milk with Carrageenan

 

Oat Milk without Carrageenan

No organic oat beverages found with carrageenan. ·         Pacific Foods (organic original, organic vanilla)
 

Rice Milk with Carrageenan

 

Rice Milk without Carrageenan

·         365 Whole Foods

·         Rice Dream – shelf-stable (organic enriched unsweetened, Sprouted Rice Dream unsweetened)*

·         B.R.A.T. (all flavors)

·         Kirkland Signature

·         Natur-a

·         Nature’s Promise (Giant)

·         Rice Dream – shelf-stable (organic classic original, organic enriched original)*

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

 

Soymilk with Carrageenan

 

Soymilk without Carrageenan

·         365 Whole Foods* (Vanilla and Original Light)

·         Cadia

·         Fit & Active – Aldi Foods

·         Full Circle

·         Harris Teeter

·         Kirkland Signature – Costco

·         Knudsen‘s SoySations

·         True Goodness – Meijer

·         Nature’s Place – Hannaford

·         Nature’s Promise – GIANT Food Stores

·         O Organics – Safeway

·         Pearl Soymilk – Kikkoman

·         Rolling Hills Farm – ShopRite

·         Simply Roundy’s Organic – Mariano’s

·         Silk (In the process of removing carrageenan)

·         Simple Truth Organics – Kroger

·         So Nice

·         Soy Dream (enriched vanilla and enriched original)*

·         Starbucks

·         Sunrich

·         Trader Joe’s (except unsweetened in aseptic package)* Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         Vermont Soy

·         Vitasoy

·         Wegman’s

·         Westsoy (Organic Plus)*

·         Wild Harvest

·         Wildwood

·         ZenSoy

·         365 Whole Foods* (all but Vanilla and Original Light)

·         Eden Soy (Chocolate flavor contains carrageenan)

·         Natur-a

·         Organic Valley

·         Pacific Foods (Non-organic line contains carrageenan)

·         Soy Dream (classic original and classic vanilla)*

·         Sunrise Soya (Non-organic line contains carrageenan)

·         Tofu Shop

·         Trader Joe’s Unsweetened in aseptic package (refrigerated does contain carrageenan)* Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         Twin Oaks

·         Westsoy (original, unsweetened)*

 

“Yogurt” (Non-Dairy) with Carrageenan

 

“Yogurt” (Non-Dairy) without Carrageenan

(Organic non-dairy “yogurt” producers that used to add carrageenan have reformulated their products to be carrageenan-free) ·         Nancy’s (soy yogurt)

·         O’Soy (Stonyfield Organic soy yogurt)

·         So Delicious (coconut milk yogurt)

·         Trader Joe’s (soy yogurt) Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.

·         Whole Soy & Co. (soy yogurt)

·         Yoso (soy yogurt)

Organic Nutritional Drinks & Supplements

 

Nutritional Drinks and Supplements  with Carrageenan

 

Nutritional Drinks and Supplements without Carrageenan

·         365 Everyday Value Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Gel (Whole Foods)

·         Flora Softgels

·         GNC Natural Brand Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Gel

·         Happy Child Super Nutrition Shake

·         Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel*

·         Muscle Milk

·         Nature’s Plus Source of Life Garden vegetarian capsules

·         Sambazon (Protein Superfood Smoothies)*

·         Aloe Farms Aloe Vera Juice and Gel

·         Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood

·         Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera

·         B.R.A.T

·         Garden of Life

·         Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice*

·         NOW Aloe Vera Gel

·         Orgain (Removed carrageenan from all products in 2015. Please note that the previous formulation of original shakes and Healthy Kids shakes may still be on shelves. Read ingredients list carefully.)

·         PediaSmart

·         Sambazon (All drinks except Protein Superfood Smoothies)*

·         Svelte organic protein shakes

Organic Deli Meat

 

Deli Meat with Carrageenan

 

 

Deli Meat without Carrageenan

·         Applegate (Roasted Chicken, Herb Turkey Breast, Roasted Turkey Breast, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Turkey Breast)* ·         Applegate (Roast Beef, Black Forest Ham, Slow Cooked Ham)*

·         Organic Prairie

Organic Dips

 

Dips with Carrageenan

 

Dips without Carrageenan

(Organic dip producers that used to add carrageenan have reformulated their products to be carrageenan-free) ·         Marzetti’s Organic Ranch Veggie Dip

·         Simply Organic Dip Mixes

Organic Juice

 

Juice with Carrageenan

 

Juice without Carrageenan

(Organic juice producers that used to add carrageenan have reformulated their products to be carrageenan-free) ·         Apple and Eve

·         Columbia Gorge

·         Honest Kids

·         Knudsen’s

·         Lakewood

·         Organic Valley

·         Publix

·         Santa Cruz

·         Uncle Matt’s

Organic Prepared Foods

 

Desserts/Snacks with Carrageenan

 

Desserts/Snacks without Carrageenan

·         Full Circle Fruit and Cereal Bars

·         Zen soy milk puddings

·         There are many without carrageenan. Please watch the ingredients labels.
 

Pizza with Carrageenan

 

Pizza without Carrageenan

·         Bold Organics Dairy-Free Pizza ·         365 Whole Foods

·         Amy’s (70% organic)

·         Annie’s Organic Frozen Pizza

·         Nature’s Promise

·         Publix

·         Rising Moon Organics (70% organic)

·         Trader Joe’s (Ingredients vary in Trader Joe’s products. Please read ingredients labels carefully.)

 

Prepared Meals with Carrageenan

 

Prepared Meals without Carrageenan

·         Amy’s Baked Ziti Bowl

·         Cedarlane burritos

·         There are many prepared meals without carrageenan. Please watch the ingredients labels.

 

Start Avoiding Carrageenan Today

Once you know more about how to avoid it, finding foods without carrageenan in them is so simple. Start with this list today and stay on the lookout when you are reading labels. Here’s to your best health today, tomorrow, and into the future!

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet and The Metabolism Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.