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What to Eat

What to Eat

Did you fall for these breakfast cereal claims?

How do Kellogg’s artificially-colored dried apple bits qualify as berries?

Cereal companies are worried. Sales are down, in part because yogurt, bars, and other grab-and-go foods are gaining ground. Who has time any more to sit down and pour a bowl of cereal, for gosh sakes?

To win shoppers back, cereal makers are doubling down on the buzzwords that attract health-conscious consumers.  That means you’ll have to bring your “A” game to the supermarket because these wily marketers will promise you nutritional gold and try to sell you tin.

Want breakfast cereal that’s “fruity,” “real,” “carefully selected,” “fruitful,” “wholesome,” and “whole grain?”  The companies know you do. Then be skeptical about what they’re claiming on their labels.

Here are some examples:Special K

  • Kellogg’s Special K Fruit & Yogurt has berries on the box, but only dried apples and synthetic red 40 and blue 1 food dyes
    inside. And the “yogurt” is cultured milk that has been “heat treated,” which kills the yogurt’s cultures.
  • General Mills Fruity Cheerios has more oil (1½ grams) than either of its two fruit ingredients: pear purée concentrate and fruit juice (the juice is added for color).
  • Kashi Organic Berry Fruitful has more grape juice concentrate, corn starch, and apple powder than any berry purée concentrate.
  • Quaker Real Medleys SuperGrains Blueberry Pecan granola has more brown sugar and oil than qpecans, and more corn starch than quinoa or blueberries.
  • General Mills Strawberry Tiny Toast that’s “flavored with real strawberries and other natural flavors” has more corn starch than dried strawberry purée.
  • Kellogg’s “Whole grain” Special K Red Berries has white rice is its first ingredient.
  • The “wholesome multigrain flakes” in Quaker Real Medleys Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain Cereal are a “medley” of refined rice and wheat flour.

 

 


The bottom line:

  • Verify claims by checking the list of ingredients, which are in order by weight.
  • Unless the label says “100% whole grain,” assume it isn’t.
  • You’re better off adding your own fruit.


Find this article about breakfast cereals interesting and useful? Nutrition Action Healthletter subscribers regularly get sound, timely information about how nutrients can affect their health. They also receive science-based advice about diet and diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and other chronic diseases; delicious recipes; and detailed analyses of the healthy and unhealthy foods in supermarkets and restaurants. If you’re not already subscribing to the world’s most popular nutrition newsletter, click here to join hundreds of thousands of fellow health-minded consumers.

Add Your Comments

One Comment

  1. daveb15
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t voluntary honesty and transparency be great? Instead we get marketing pushed to the legal limit (and beyond if possible). I’m thinking it is a good thing for the “dreaded” regulations that require the factual information that is provided. Just imagine what we would and would not be told by the manufacturers if they were unregulated.

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