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    Archive for the ‘Kellogg’s’ Category

    Kellogg’s Misleads And, Yes, Farmwashes

    Time to check in with one of Big Food’s latest campaigns. In this instance, we turn our attention to Kellogg’s, which has rolled out quite the online defense of their various cereal lines.

    How do you make sugary, genetically modified, minimally nutritious products appear wholesome and a “great start to the day”? Behold:

    Continue Reading »

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    Ah, Of Course… Strawberry FLAVOR

    Picture-64Kellogg’s Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites promises “strawberry flavor in every bite”.  And, well, technically that’s correct.

    Here is what the ingredient list reveals:

    Strawberry flavored crunchlets (sugar, corn cereal, corn syrup, modified cornstarch, soybean oil, citric acid, glycerin, natural and artificial flavor, red #40, blue #1)

    Did you hear that?  That was the sound of consumers across the country getting a vicious processed-food slap across their faces.

    Sorry, Kellogg’s, the cutesy “crunchlets” term doesn’t take away from the fact that this cereal has as much in the way of real strawberries as a Big Mac.

    The actual cereal has whole grains as the first two ingredients, but it also contains Splenda (the latest trick to adding a jolt of sweetness while keeping sugar values low on the Nutrition Facts label).

    This, by the way, is considered one of the “healthier” big-food-company cereals.  Gulp.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Fiber Bars

    ServeImage.aspx_I’m trying to incorporate more fiber into my diet.

    I’ve recently discovered the new Fiber One bars, and the Kellogg’s Fiber Plus bars. They have good stats as far as calories, fiber, low sugars and a pinch of protein.

    My only issue is the ingredients list. I’m a very ‘clean’ and ‘natural things only’ kind of person, and the ingredients list on the bars are a bit sketchy.

    Can you take a look and see if their alright, or if I’m basically eating a candy bar?

    — Sarah (Last name unknown)
    (Location Unknown)

    If you are a “clean” and “natural things only” gal, these bars are not for you.

    Here is the ingredient list for Fiber One bars:

    Chicory Root Extract, Chocolate Chips With Confectioners Shellac (Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin], Ethanol, Shellac, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil), Rolled Oats, Crisp Rice (Rice Flour, Sugar, Malt, Salt), Barley Flakes, High Maltose Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Canola Oil, Honey, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Palm Kernel Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Nonfat Milk, Peanut Oil, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Color Added, Almond Flour, Peanut Flour, Sunflower Meal, Wheat Flour. Mixed Tocopherols Added to Retain Freshness.

    Practically all the fiber in these bars comes courtesy of chicory root extract, also known as inulin.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with (or unhealthy about) inulin, it appears here as an isolated fiber.

    Remember: isolated fibers aren’t as health-promoting as fiber from whole foods since whole foods provide fiber along with other nutrients and phytochemicals.

    What you are basically looking at is simple product fortification.  Lucky Charms cereal may be fortified with 21 vitamins and minerals, but is that the criteria we should use to determine whether a product is “healthy”?  I don’t believe so.

    As you may imagine, I am not a fan of all the added sugar in these bars, either.  In fact, I am willing to bet that if all those sugars were bunched together as one ingredient (‘added sugar’), they would be listed before rolled oats!

    Here is the ingredient list for Kellogg’s Fiber Plus bars:

    Chicory root fiber, rolled oats, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt, mixed tocopherols for freshness), sugar, roasted almonds, inulin from chicory root, semisweet chocolate drops (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, dextrose, milk fat, soy lecithin, confectioner’s glaze [shellac, hydrogenated coconut oil]), vegetable oil (hydrogenated palm kernel, coconut and palm oil), fructose, canola oil, contains two percent or less of honey, chocolate, cocoa (processed with alkali), glycerin, tricalcium phosphate, whey, salt, baking soda, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60, vitamin e acetate, gum arabic, zinc oxide, nonfat dry milk, whole wheat flour, partially defatted peanut flour, soy protein isolate, bht (for freshness), xanthan gum.

    Again, highly-processed, added-sugar central.

    Sure, there are worse snacks out there.  And, yes, these bars could potentially serve as a launching pad for people with very low fiber intakes.  However, there are also plenty of better bars out there.  These are certainly nowhere near “cream of the crop” status in my book.

    When it comes to bars that offer decent amounts of fiber — and are significantly less processed — I recommend Gnu Fiber & Flavor bars, Lara bars, Kashi TLC crunchy granola bars, or Clif Nectar bars (which, despite no longer being manufactured, I see to this day all over New York City).

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    A “Touch” Of Honey… And A Whole Lot More!

    ServeImageOne of Kellogg’s newest products is its Special-K low-fat granola.

    I came across it for the first time in the supermarket today and got such a kick out of its misleading advertising that I must share it with you.

    The front of the box states:

    “Touch of honey”

    I don’t know about you, but when I hear that something is sweetened with a “touch of honey”, I assume honey is the only sweetener used (and used in low amounts, no less).

    A look at the ingredient list reveals the following (I bolded certain ingredients for effect):

    Whole grain oats, sugar, corn syrup, oat bran, rice, honey, soluble wheat fiber, modified corn starch, soy grits, molasses, corn flour, natural flavor, salt, acacia gum, soy protein isolate, oat fiber, evaporated cane juice, malt flavoring high fructose corn syrup, niacinamide, reduced iron, BHT (preservative), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, ferrous fumarate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

    Sugar, sugar everywhere!  There are no less than seven different sweeteners — including honey — in this product.

    There most certainly is a “touch of honey”, along with a touch of sugar, corn syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, malt flavoring, and high fructose corn syrup.

    The sugar content isn’t anything extravagant (9 grams — or slightly over 2 teaspoons — per 3/4 cup serving), but it’s well beyond a “touch” of sweetness.  For what it’s worth, you get the same amount of sugar from a three-quarter-cup serving of Fruity Pebbles!

    Remember — and I will never tire of saying this — that the use of honey as a sweetener does not make a product healthier, lower in sugar, or less caloric.

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    Fruit! And Yogurt! Well, More Like Sugar and Partially Hydrogenated Oils…

    231363Regular readers of this blog know how much I love to call out healthy-sounding food products that are anything but.

    On the hot seat today?  Kellogg’s Yogos Bits.

    The front of the packaging describes them as “yogurty covered fruit flavored bits.”

    Did you catch those two red flag terms?

    First there’s “yogurty covered”.  Not quite the same as “yogurt covered” (we’ll get to that in a minute).

    Then there’s my personal favorite: “fruit flavored“.  That’s basically marketing speak for “sugar that tastes like [insert name of fruit here]”.

    Let’s have a look at the not-surprisingly-lengthy ingredient list:

    Sugar, coating (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and palm oil, calcium carbonate, nonfat yogurt powder [cultured whey protein concentrate, cultured skim milk, yogurt cultures [heat-treated after culturing], nonfat milk, reduced mineral whey, color added, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, salt), corn syrup, modified corn starch, apple puree concentrate, contains two percent or less of: water, pectin, citric acid, cornstarch, malic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural and artificial cherry flavor, sodium citrate, color added: carnauba wax, carmine color, Yellow #5 Lake, Red #40, Red #40, Blue #1 Lake

    Wow.  Time for some analysis:

    1. The first ingredient (meaning, the most prominent one) in this product is sugar.

    2. The “yogurty coating” contains more sugar and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) than actual yogurt!

    3. Even worse, the yogurt cultures have been heat-treated after culturing, rendering their probiotic qualities ineffective.  Remember, you always want to look for live and active cultures!

    4. Carmine color is made by crushing the shells of cochineal beetles.  While there is nothing inherently unhealthy about this, I always like to inform vegetarians and vegans about that factoid.

    5. There isn’t a shred of fruit in this product.  Simply fruit sugars and fruit flavors.

    6. Each pouch of these “bits” weighs 20 grams.  Thirteen of those grams (that’s 65% of the product) come from sugar.

    This product can legally advertise itself as a good source of calcium because it delivers ten percent of the mineral’s daily adequate intake value.  Note, though, that some of it is fortified (sprinkled on during processing) in the yogurt coating!

    For what it’s worth, that same amount of calcium can be intrinsically found in these healthier and less processed foods:

    • A third of a cup of milk (dairy or fortified non-dairy varieties)
    • Half an ounce of Swiss cheese
    • Three quarters of a mozzarella stick
    • A quarter cup of tofu
    • A third of a cup of coked collard greens
    • A third of a cup of almonds

    I would be a lot less displeased if these were described more realistically.  Perhaps something along the lines of “sugar & yogurt covered sugar puffs”?

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    Food For Thought — Literally!

    Kellogg’s has just launched Live Bright — a “brain health bar.”

    What leads them to make this claim? The inclusion — through fortification, of course — of 100 milligrams of DocosaHexaenoic Acid (DHA, the same Omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.)

    This is a perfect example of nutrient isolation gone awry.

    Does DHA play a role in cognitive health? It very much appears that way.

    Then again, so do vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, and a variety of polyphenols and antioxidants.

    In other words — orange juice companies and blueberry farmers could, I suppose, also make brain health claims.

    As could the most sugary of cereals, for that matter, as long as it is fortified with the above mentioned nutrients.

    These types of health claims end up having very little meaning because they make up only portion of the total puzzle.

    While DHA can help with cognitive health, so does maintaining a healthy weight, keeping blood pressure at desired levels, and limiting saturated fat intake (neuroscience research studies have shown a link between high saturated fat intake and a decline in cognitive function over time.)

    Including one of these bars in a diet generally low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — and high in saturated fat and sodium — isn’t going to be much help.

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    In The News: Michael Phelps & Tony The Tiger Make It Official

    So Michael Phelps (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) has apparently angered a few nutritionists for agreeing to appear on boxes of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal.

    Really? I can’t believe some people in the nutrition field are up in arms over this when there are more serious issues worth devoting time to.

    How about stepping back a little and loosening up? It’s not as if he’s the face of Burger King or Ben & Jerry’s.

    No, Frosted Flakes are not a nutrition powerhouse, but the recently launched lower sugar variety only delivers 120 calories and 8 grams (2 teaspoons) of added sugar in a 1 cup serving. By no means stellar, but semi-decent.

    The most ironic part of this whole “controversy” is that “health experts [are] worried about the message he’ll be sending to children across America.”

    How so? Isn’t his main message all about exercising and being in shape?

    This is a man who achieved fame by being the fastest swimmer at the Olympics. His career is all about burning calories!

    I find the mental junk food provided by any given episode of The Hills to be much more worrisome.

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    Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: Fruit Cereals & Snacks

    Relying on conventional cereals and snacks to provide fruit to your diet? I’m afraid you might dealing with a case of mistaken identity.

    Consider Kellogg’s Berry Krispies — a fruity spin on traditional Rice Krispies.

    The packaging shows the three Rice Krispies cartoon characters juggling a variety of berries.

    A large strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry are also prominently featured on the front of the box.

    A glance at the ingredient list unveils a mystery, though — where is the fruit?

    “Rice, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, natural and artificial berry flavor, malt flavoring, red #40, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), iron, niacinamide, blue #1, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D.”

    So, in reality, you simply have artificially colored rice puffs with berry flavor sprinkled on them.

    No berries — or parts of them — are included in this product.

    Not surprisingly, a cup of Berry Krispies provides 0 grams of fiber.

    The letter “i” in Kix is dotted with three different berries, and the package boasts: “No Artificial Preservatives! No Artificial Flavors!”

    Be still, my heart.

    Let’s take a look at the ingredient list:

    “Whole grain corn, sugar, corn meal, whole grain oats, corn starch, modified corn starch, canola oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup”

    … along with food coloring, natural flavors, and a handful of vitamins and minerals.

    In total? A measly gram of fiber per serving.

    Combined with the feeble gram of protein and gram and a half of fat, this is one breakfast that barely satiates.

    Welch’s fruit snacks advertise their “100% of the Vitamin C Daily Value per Serving” status on the product’s packaging in all capital, colorful letters.

    A wavy green banner reads: “Excellent Source of Vitamins A & E” If that wasn’t enough, they are also “made with REAL FRUIT.”

    Who needs a banana or apple when you have these fruit snacks, right? Not quite.

    Per the ingredient list:

    “Juice from concentrates (grape, peach, pear, and pineapple), corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, fruit puree (grape, apple, strawberry, and raspberry), gelatin, citric acid, lactic acid, natural and artificial flavors, coconut oil, carnauba wax, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), [beta carotene (vitamin A), palmitate (vitamin A)], alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 and sodium citrate.”

    So, essentially, sugar with added vitamins. The high levels of Vitamins A, C, and E are not the result of healthy ingredients, but fortification.

    For all intents and purposes, you might as well chase your multivitamin with a tablespoon of sugar.

    Fruit flavorings, colorings, and extracts are not substitutes for the real thing.

    For the constant media hype I hear about the “difficulties of eating healthy,” incorporating fruit into your day is actually quite easy.

    Apples and bananas, for instance, are easily accessible, inexpensive, highly portable, and could not be further from the “acquired taste” category.

    You do not need to consume expensive, exotic fruits from a Mongolian monk’s Himalayan hut to be healthy. Simply try to include one piece of fruit (whichever one you want!) twice a day, every day.

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