When first starting the Whole30, choosing meats that are pre-spiced, pre-packaged, or pre-prepared can be a daunting task. It seems like every company is convinced their products will never make a profit without added sugar. And sadly, maybe they’re partially right due to the prevalence of that ingredient in foods these days. But there is hope! And even better than hope, there are options. Aidells Sausage Store makes some tasty and compliant sausages, as well as others you may want to try after your Whole30, since they have ingredients that are frowned upon during your inflammation cleanse. Here are the flavors they offer, complete with a breakdown of which flavors are Whole30-compliant (in bold) and which are not, as well as an explanation as to why, with questionable/non-compliant ingredients listed (in italics) so you can make an informed decision of your own. Some people do not see the harm in certain ingredients that are on the watch list while other people prefer to follow stricter guidelines. It’s really up to you since it’s your lifestyle.
Oh yes, they taste exactly as good as they look.
Artichoke and Garlic (COMPLIANT)
- Good news everyone! First sausage on the list and it’s totally safe/good/healthy. And it’s delicious – this ranks as my husband’s favorite sausage.
Cajun-Style Andouille (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Sadly, sugar is an ingredient here as it is in most Andouille. Do not give up hope, we’ll find some that is safe outside our own kitchens some day.
Chicken and Apple (COMPLIANT)
- Glory be, we can have chicken apple sausage! It is tough to find a brand without added sugar, and even here there is an ingredient to be somewhat wary of: fruit juice concentrate. The Official “Can I Have” list says this is the only acceptable form of sweetener, but to use with caution since it can cause an unhealthy mental response when used to satisfy a sugar craving.
- Sugar is present here as well. Truth be told I have only ever found one brand of compliant pre-packaged chorizo anywhere once and haven’t found it anywhere since, so this is not a huge surprise. If I can find it again, I promise to give it a recommendation.
Habanero and Green Chile (NON-COMPLIANT)
- This flavor contains two no-no’s: turbinado sugar and tequila. Understandably, especially with my Texas origins in mind, it upsets me greatly that I can no longer have these things.
- The Italian flavor is delicious, I’m sure, but contains a few ingredients which exclude it from a Whole30-compliant diet: mozzarella cheese, soybean oil, and sugar.
- While fruit juice concentrate is the exception to the sugar-sweetening rule, dried fruit containing sweeteners is still verboten. The dried mangoes that contain added fructose make this sausage a less healthy choice than recommended.
Organic Cajun-Style Andouille (NON-COMPLIANT)
- You can call it “dried sugar cane syrup” if you so choose, but it doesn’t make it good for you. That cleverly named ingredient is another name for sugar, and rules this sausage as not-compliant.
Organic Chicken and Apple (COMPLIANT)
- With the same ingredient list as the non-organic Chicken and Apple, this sausage is a winner!
Organic Spinach and Feta (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Sadly, nothing that contains cheese in the title will be complaint. Feta in the ingredient list disqualifies and otherwise yummy-looking choice.
Organic Sun-Dried Tomato (COMPLIANT)
- Organic, compliant, and delicious. The Sun-Dried Tomato flavor is a winner!
Organic Sweet Basil and Roasted Garlic (COMPLIANT)
- This flavor is also a winner and delicious on its own or in a throw-together on a night when you’re in a crunch for time.
Pineapple and Bacon (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Well, we knew this one wouldn’t end well. The preservatives and sugar in the bacon as well as brown sugar in the sausage exclude this flavor from our preferred choices.
Portobello and Swiss Cheese (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Swiss cheese and brown sugar keeps this sausage from being a healthy choice, despite how tempting it may sound.
Roasted Garlic and Gruyere (NON-COMPLIANT)
- This flavor is kept from being compliant by a double-whammy of Swiss and gruyere cheeses. Saddening, yes.
Spicy Mango with Jalapeno (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Cane syrup, cane sugar, and soybean oil are sneaky little ingredients lurking on this label which keep this flavor off our preferred list.
Spinach and Feta (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Much like its organic counterpart, this sausage is omitted from our ideal choices by the feta in the title.
Cajun Style Andouille Minis (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Our sneaky friend sugar is back to exempt more Andouille here.
Chicken and Apple Minis (COMPLIANT)
- Yes! These are compliant and tiny and tasty. Fruit juice concentrate is fine by Whole30, so it’s fine by me.
Hawaiian-Style with Pineapple Minis (NON-COMPLIANT)
This innocent-sounding mini actually contains both fructose and dried sugar cane syrup, both of which are added sugars.
Chicken and Apple Breakfast Links (COMPLIANT)
- Even though this sausage contains dried apples, it does not list any added sweeteners beyond fruit juice. As long as you are okay with sheep casing (I know I am), Chicken and Apple Breakfast Links are A-Okay!
Maple and Smoked Bacon Breakfast Links (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Let’s just be real for a second and accept that maple-bacon anything is a long-lost dream to those striving to eat clean. It’s not healthy, and the reason is all the added sugar and preservatives, as confirmed by this product.
Now here’s where we got to the sections of food that you will want to avoid from this company to remain Whole30-compliant. I list these not to be mean and show you the deliciousness you can’t have, but to make you aware. Aidells is a fantastic company with super delicious products, but don’t get too comfortable just buying anything with their name on it because you assume it’s compliant.
All Salame (NON-COMPLIANT)
- All flavors have added sugar. Even the Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic flavor, which may look fine (and mouthwatering) at first glance has a sneaky sugar called dextrose. I made the mistake of thinking it was safe when experimenting after my Whole30 and was very disappointed when I found that I had inadvertently strayed.
All Lunch Meats (NON-COMPLIANT)
- More sugar. The flavors look amazing, but sugar is present on every ingredient list in one form or another.
All Hot Dogs (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Also sugar. But let’s be real, hot dogs are not amazing anyways (at least not in my experience).
All Meatballs (NON-COMPLIANT)
- Any guesses? Sugar. Most flavors have names that clue you in before even reaching the ingredient lists – packaged Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs will probably never be a good food choice for someone avoiding sugar.
All in all, Aidells Sausage Store offers an amazing selection of seven different tasty sausages that will fit into your Whole30 lifestyle, as well as others that are delicious, but not necessarily the best choice for someone choosing to remain on a clean-eating plan. Online ordering is available and highly encouraged, so show Aidells some love for making a great product that’s perfect for a quick meal that’s flavorful and easy. Aidells sausage is also available at many local (South Bay) stores such as Safeway, Costco, and Sprouts Farmers Market.